arrow copy 4arrow copy 4Reading-iconFill 1check copy 21Page 1globeGoogle-Plus-iconFill 1Fill 1Fill 1Listening-iconLogout-iconPage 1 Copy 3Page 1arrowPage 1watchPage 1 Copy 2Page 1 Copy 2Group 2Group 2x

English Level C1

At this level you can understand:

  • Longer texts and their implicit meaning
  • Lengthy speech on abstract topics with relative ease
  • Details in complex texts, even if not relating to your own specialty
B2EF SET 51-60C2EF SET 71-100

Advanced / EF SET score 61 - 70

English level C1 is the fifth 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 called “advanced”, and that is the official level descriptor for this level as well, also used by EF SET. At this level, students can function independently and with a great deal of precision on a wide variety of subjects and in almost any setting without any prior preparation.

How to tell you're at a C1 level in English

The best way to tell if you are at a C1 level in English is to take a high-quality standardized test. See below for a list of major recognized tests and their corresponding C1 scores:

Test Name

Score equivalent to the C1 level





TOEIC Listening


TOEIC Reading




What can you do with a C1 level in English?

A C1 level of English allows for a full range of functionality at work or in an academic setting. The C1 level would allow for full autonomy in a native English-speaking country.

According to the official CEFR guidelines, someone at the C1 level in English:

  1. Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognize implicit meaning.
  2. Can express ideas fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions.
  3. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.
  4. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organizational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.

C1 level English skills in detail

The official can-do statements are broken down into smaller chunks 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 C1 level in English will be able to do all the things that a student in level B2 can do, and in addition he will be able to:

  • discuss in detail issues related to success, including building a motivated, successful team.
  • talk in some detail about your favorite paintings and the architecture of buildings that you like.
  • discuss societal problems, possible solutions for problems and what role corporations can play.
  • participate in discussions about conservation, sustainability and habitat protection.
  • talk about events and issues in the news and how they affect people and companies.
  • talk about risks in life, including changing jobs and doing dangerous sports.
  • compare and contrast various forms of education and individual schools.
  • discuss various types of humor, including subtle forms like sarcasm.
  • understand various communication styles, including direct, indirect, formal and informal.
  • discuss issues related to your quality of life, including work-life balance and home environment.
  • understand and discuss issues related to ethics, like civil disobedience.

Although progress will depend on the type of course and the individual student, students can expect to reach the C1 level in English with 800 hours of cumulative instruction.

What's next?

Learn about the C2 English level and what can be accomplished someone becomes proficient in English.

Further reading

Get an estimate of your CEFR level in 15 minutes
Try the Quick Check
Get a reliable measure of your CEFR level in less than an hour
Take the EF SET