Elementary / EF SET score 31 - 40

English level A2 is the second level of English in the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), a definition of different language levels written by the Council of Europe. In everyday speech, this level might be described as “basic” as in “I speak basic English”. The official level descriptor in the CEFR is “elementary”, which means the same thing: it is the foundation. At this level, students have mastered the basics of English and can communicate simple, basic needs.

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How to tell if you are at an A2 level in English

The best way to tell if you are at an A2 level in English is to take a high-quality standardized test. See below for a list of major recognized tests and their corresponding A2 scores:

Test Name

Score equivalent to the A2 level

EF SET

31-40

IELTS

TOEIC Listening

110-270

TOEIC Reading

115-270

TOEFL

cannot assess A2 level

What can you do with an A2 level in English?

An A2 level of English is sufficient for tourism in an English speaking country and socializing with English speakers, although to develop deeper friendships an A2 level is not adequate. An A2 level of English also allows for networking with English-speaking colleagues, but working in English is limited to very familiar topics at the A2 level. An A2 level of English is not sufficient for academic study or for consuming most English-language media (TV, movies, radio, magazines, etc.).

According to the official CEFR guidelines, someone at the A2 level in English:

  1. Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment).
  2. Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.
  3. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.

A2 level English skills in detail

The official can-do statements are broken down into smaller pieces for teaching purposes. This more detailed skill breakdown can help you assess your own English level, or help a teacher assess a student’s level. For example, a student at the A2 level in English will be able to do all the things that a student in level A1 can do, and in addition he will be able to:

  • evaluate coworkers' performance in the workplace.
  • relate events from your past, including your weekend activities and interesting stories.
  • describe your past life, giving details about important milestones.
  • entertain someone in your home or visit a friend or colleague in their home.
  • discuss your vacation plans and tell friends and colleagues about your vacation afterwards.
  • talk about the natural world and travels to see animals and natural areas in your country.
  • talk about movies that you like and choose a movie to see with friends.
  • discuss clothing and what kind of clothes you like to wear.
  • engage in basic communication at work, including attending meetings on familiar topics.
  • describe an accident or injury, get medical help from a doctor and fill a prescription for medicine.
  • engage in basic business socializing, welcoming guests and attending networking events.
  • understand and make basic business proposals in your area of expertise.
  • talk about and explain the rules of games.

Although progress will depend on the type of course and the individual student, students can expect to reach the A2 level in English with 200 hours of cumulative instruction.

What's next?

The priority at this level, when building up B1 English level is expanding mastery into a wider variety of subjects and learning to express more subtlety in communication.