When you take an English test, you get a score. Often you'll also get some indication of what that score means, expressed as an English level or label, for example "beginner" or "advanced". There are many different English leveling systems in use around the world, and an even wider variety of English tests, which have implicit or explicit leveling systems built into their scoring. Some English levelling schemes are built in to a particular English test, while others are theoretical frameworks without any associated test.

EFSET SCORES

The most reliable way to find out your English level is to take a well-designed assessment test. There are many tests to choose from, but taking the EFSET is a good place to start. You can use your EFSET score as an English level certification on your CV and on LinkedIn. The EFSET is currently the only standardized English test that accurately measures all skill levels, beginner to proficient, in alignment with the internationally recognized standard, the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Other standardized English tests are able to assess some proficiency levels, but not the entire CEFR scale. Using the EFSET to track your English level over months or years gives you a standardized way to evaluate your own progress.

The English level system you use to describe your English skills is usually imposed on you from the outside. An employer, a school, a teacher, or an immigration authority asks you to take a particular English test, so you do, and then you describe your English level using that test's system. Depending on your goals and location, you are likely to be more familiar with one system of English levels than another. For example, if you're applying to university in the USA, you probably know what a TOEFL score of 100 means, whereas if you're trying to get a visa to move to the UK, you're more likely to be familiar with the CEFR level B1.

FIND OUT YOUR ENGLISH LEVEL

Converting from one English level to another

Although it is notoriously hard to map one levelling system to another, the table below gives you a good approximation. If you’ve taken one of these tests, this table gives you an idea what type of score you might be able to get on another one.*

A1 - Beginner
A2 -Elementary
B1 - Intermediate
B2 - Upper intermediate
C1 - Advanced
C2 - Proficient

EFSET

1-30

31-40

41-50

51-60

61-70

71-100

ACTFL

Novice

Intermediate

Advanced Low

Advanced Mild

Advanced High

Superior

CLB

1-2

3-4

5-6

7-8

9-10

11-12

ILR

0

1

1+

2

3

4

KET

45-69

Pass or pass with merit

Pass with distinction

PET

45-69

Pass or pass with merit

Pass with distinction

FCE

140-159

Grade B or C

Grade A

CAE

160-179

Grade B or C

Grade A

CPE

180-199

200-230

IELTS

4.0-5.0

5.5-6.0

6.5-7.5

8.0-9.0

TOEFL

iBT 42-71

iBT 72-94

iBT 95-120

TOEIC Listening

60-105

110-270

275-395

400-485

490-495

TOEIC Reading

60-110

115-270

275-380

385-450

455-495

PTE General level

A1

1

2

3

4

5

PTE Academic

30-42

43-58

59-75

76-84

85+

BEC

Prelim

Vantage

Higher

City and Guilds

Preliminary

Access

Achiever

Communicator

Expert

Mastery

NQF

Entry Level

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4-6

Level 7-8

iTEP

1-2

2.5-3

3.5

4-4.5

5-5.5

6

*The classification levels (A1-Beginner through C2-Proficient) are from the CEFR. Score comparisons are based on individual test provider's websites using the CEFR as the main benchmark for comparison.

What does "0" or "No score" mean?

If you receive an EFSET result of “0” or “No score” it is because you either did not answer any questions or you likely achieved very different scores on the reading and listening sections. Unfortunately, with scores that fall into two very different levels, we cannot provide a valid or meaningful combined EFSET score.

If you are looking to improve your English, there are a number of ways that you can achieve this with EF Education First. Contact us to find our more information EF’s opportunities to study abroad and our online courses for all ages and levels.

Why it's important to know your English level

English level certification is required in applying for many university programs and visas. In the job market, although there are rarely official requirements, certifying your English level makes you stand out from the crowd. But in a broader sense, measuring your English level accurately, and being able to track your level change over time, is important for any English learner – how else will you know if your English is improving?

How can you improve your English level?

In addition to measuring your English level, there are many ways to improve your English to achieve the next level. While focusing on basic, intermediate and advanced English levels, we have compiled some common tips for practicing your English:

Overall, we recommend setting goals and milestones along the way to motivate yourself during the learning process. And, as with learning anything, you must be dedicate to practicing and be patient with yourself.