What english levels exist?

The system that defines the different levels of English is the CEFR, the Common European Framework of Reference for Language.

It is a standard for reference of one’s knowledge of the English language, that is used throughout Europe. It is very useful for teachers since it gives them the possibility to evaluate the linguistic abilities of their students.

When you need a certificate to demonstrate your level of English for a job, studying or applying for scholarships, it is very useful.

The CEFR allows you to compare your mark achieved in the IELTS, Aptis, the Cambridge exams or the Oxford Test of English, and it’s a very practical way of measuring language levels within the European Union.

Classification of English Levels according to CEFR


A1 – Beginner

This level corresponds with beginners of a language. Those who can communicate in daily situations with basic vocabulary and very common expressions.

A beginner can understand basic structures and simple phrases and sentences. However, they aren’t able to use the language practically.

The main objective of A1 English is being able to maintain an easy conversation and to write simple texts.

A2 – Elementary English KEY- KET

This level corresponds to users with very basic skills. Able to communicate in daily situations in a simple way, without correct grammar or full sentences.


They aren’t able to write, they can only understand lone words and can be understood in emergencies.

In this level, the goal is to be able to have a participative conversation. The aim is to understand the context of an oral conversation to a deeper level, and contribute to it.

Therefore, improving your listening skills is essential for achieving this target.

B1 – Lower Intermediate-Preliminary English Test (PET)

This level supposes that the user has fluency to speak with native speakers.

Their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary are quite well ingrained. The user understands the main ideas of a complex discourse and is able to participate in a conversation quite naturally.

A person with this level in English will need help with their writing. If the other person speaks slowly, they will be able to understand a face to face conversation.


Regarding oral expression, they can express themselves if they talk about themes that they know and very clear conecpts.

The aim of this level is to acquire advanced skills. The final aim is to be able to read and understand newspaper articles, maintain conversations on the phone in English without problems, and work on projects with English speakers, among other skills.

B2 – Intermediate – First Certificate in English Test (FCE)

A B2 level suggests fluency and skills in English. It implies the ability to write about general concepts and be able to talk about any theme or topic.

The student understands daily language, and although they may make grammatical errors, they can skillfully express themselves.

They can interact with English-speakers easily. They can also write letters, emails or simple pieces of writing. They can follow conversations in a professional or work environment if the participants are natives.


As regards oral expression, they don’t have problems with face to face conversations.

Once they have achieved this level, the aim is to improve face to face introductions and discussions. All of this so that their use of the language is more spontaneous and eloquent.

C1 – Upper Intermediate – Certificate in Advanced English Test (CAE)

C1 corresponds to very competent use of the language. They are very able to complete complex tasks.

They have very controlled linguistic skills and can talk about technical and non-technical themes with ease.

The student understands almost everything, including colloquial expressions and slang. They can elaborate on complex texts and use language in social, professional and academic situations.

They can write daily letter, maintain conversations with natives and negotiate without problems. And they can express themselves effectively in all contexts.

Once achieving this level, the aim is to acquire confidence and to perfect the language, both at a formal and informal level. They are seeking total fluency in their use of the language.

C2 – Advanced – Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

When the user has a C2 level in English, that means that they have mastered the vocabulary and grammar and that they understand practically everything.

Their communication level can be compared with that of a native. A student with this level can write all types of texts.

They perfectly understand people who speak quickly. Furthermore they can express themselves easily in all possible contexts.

The aim of this stage is to achieve an individual style. That is to say, once they have mastered all of the linguistic components, the key is communicating with total naturalness and be themselves.

If you are ready to take a step in the right direction to learn English, contact Nathalie Language Experiences. 

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