Proficient / EF SET score 71 - 100

English level C2 is the sixth and final 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 “bilingual”, as in “I am bilingual in English and French.” A well-educated native English speaker is technically at a C2 level. Relatively few English learners reach this level because their professional or academic goals do not require it.

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How to tell if you're at a C2 level in English

The best way to tell if you are at a C2 level in English is to take a high-quality standardized test. Several standardized tests cannot measure the C2 level, so if you think you may be at a C2 level, choose a test that can measure that level accurately. See below for a list of major recognized tests and their corresponding C2 scores:

Test Name

Score equivalent to the C2 level

EF SET

71-100

IELTS

8.0-9.0

TOEIC

does not measure C2 level

TOEFL

does not measure C2 level

What can you do with a C2 level in English

A C2 level of English is essentially a native level. It allows for reading and writing of any type on any subject, nuanced expression of emotions and opinions, and active participation in any academic or professional setting.

According to the official CEFR guidelines, someone at the C2 level in English:

  1. Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read.
  2. Can summarize information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation.
  3. Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.

C2 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 C2 level in English will be able to do all the things that a student in level C1 can do, and in addition he will be able to:

  • discuss issues related to science and technology, including robots and new inventions.
  • talk about celebrities, celebrity activism and gossip about celebrities.
  • use a variety of techniques for promoting creativity in your speech and writing.
  • discuss financial planning and give and understand advice about personal finance.
  • talk about stress in your life and the lives of friends and colleagues.
  • discuss techniques for doing research on a wide range of topics.

Although progress will depend on the type of course and the individual student, students can expect to reach the C2 level in English with 1000 hours of cumulative instruction.