English Levels Compared

English Levels Compared

English Levels Table

Want to know what is your level of English?

Are you confused by many different names used to describe English levels?

One of the most common questions asked by our students or people enquiring about our English courses is related to English levels. That’s we we prepared a comparison of levels.

There are different terminologies used to describe levels of English language fluency. Very often different language exam centres or language schools use the same names to describe different English levels or the other way round – various names are being used to describe the same level of language skills. So it may be easy to get confused about your actual language skills, to decide what English exam to approach or what English language course to choose to reach the desired English level. Here is a table with English levels compared, we hope you find it helpful!


English levels comparison table


English Levels Compared in a table, names of English exams and certifying institutions

Download your free English levels table

Please note, our comparison of English levels is approximate. The aim was to simplify different level measurements in a visual form of a table to provide a tool for an easy and quick check. Moreover very often the levels are overlapping or different systems use different level names for the same standard of English. The table includes overall scores used by exam centres, whereas those marks are often based on separate evaluations of English language skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking. In fact English language skills assessment is a much more complex subject and this information should be used only as a guide.

Link School of English we always check your current English level to make sure you will be learning on the course right for you. If you are planning to join our English classes, please request our level test.


List of Abbreviations of International English Exams:

  • CEFR: Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
  • ESOL: English for speakers of other languages
  • Cambridge Exams, ESOL SfL: ESOL Skills for Life
  • Cambridge Exams, KET: Key English Test
  • Cambridge Exams, PET: Preliminary English Test
  • Cambridge Exams, BEC: Cambridge English: Business English Certificate
  • Cambridge Exams, FCE: First Certificate in English
  • Cambridge Exams, CAE: Certificate in Advanced English
  • IELTS: International English Language Testing System
  • Trinity College London, GESE: Graded Examinations in Spoken English
  • Trinity College London, ISE: Integrated Skills in English
  • Trinity College London, SEW: Spoken English for Work
  • PTE: Pearson Test of English
  • TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language
  • iBT: Internet Based Test
  • ITP: Institutional Testing Program
  • BULATS: Business Language Testing Service
  • Michigan Test, ECCE: Examination for the Certificate of Competency in English
  • Michigan Test, ECPE: Examination for the Certificate of Proficiency in English
  • TOLES: Test of Legal English Skills
  • TOEIC: Test of English for International Communication
  • NQF: National Qualifications Framework
  • iTEP: International Test of English Proficiency
  • UKVI tests: Tests for UK Visas and Immigration
  • British General Qualifications, GCSE: General Certificate of Secondary Education
  • British General Qualifications, GCE: General Certificate of Education

How long does it take to learn English?

We are also often asked how long will it take to learn English. According to Cambridge English Language Assessment each level can be reached on average within the following number of learning hours:

  • A2: 180 – 200
  • B1: 350 – 400
  • B2: 500 – 600
  • C1: 700 – 800
  • C2: 1.00 – 1.200

Want to improve your English fast?

Check our Intensive and Super Intensive English Courses in London. And remember, at Link School of English we always check your English level before you join to match the best course for you.


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