The Levels of the Common European Framework (CEF)

Our examinations are geared to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment.

What is the CEF?

The CEF provides the basis for the development of teaching plans, examinations as well as teaching and learning materials for all of Europe. It is organised according to six levels of competence and specifies what learners at each stage are able to understand and express.

The CEF defines six internationally comparable levels of progress:

  • A1 and A2: basic language skills
  • B1 and B2: independent use of language
  • C1 und C2: proficient use of language

On completing these levels, you will have the following skills:


B1 C1

Listening: understand familiar words and simple phrases when they are spoken slowly and clearly.

Reading: comprehend single words and simple sentences, e.g. signs and billboards.

Speaking: communicate in short, simple phrases.

Writing: produce short, simple notes and postcards and fill in forms.

Listening: understand important information regarding work, school, free time, etc.

Reading: comprehend texts written in everyday language for general and job-related purposes.

Speaking: participate in conversations regarding family, hobbies, work, travel and current events.

Writing: produce simple, connected text on familiar themes and topics.

Listening: understand lengthy reports, lectures, TV programmes and films without great effort.

Reading: comprehend complex and lengthy texts of a specialised or literary nature.

Speaking: express thoughts spontaneously, fluently and precisely.

Writing: produce clear, well-structured texts in appropriate style on complex subjects.

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B2 C2

Listening: understand the overall meaning of short, simple, clearly spoken messages.

Reading: read and comprehend short, simple text, e.g. advertisements and personal correspondence.

Speaking: make yourself understood with a series of sentences in familiar everyday situations.

Writing: produce short, simple notes, messages, emails and personal letters.

Listening: follow lengthy statements and reports as well as most films and TV programmes when the topics are somewhat familiar.

Reading: understand articles, reports and contemporary literary prose.

Speaking: relay ideas relatively fluently and spontaneously, and actively participate in discussions.

Writing: produce detailed texts such as essays, reports and letters, and present arguments effectively.

Listening: understand spoken language with ease, even when spoken quickly.

Reading: comprehend original texts of any complexity with ease.

Speaking: participate effortlessly in all conversations and discussions, understanding and using colloquial language.

Writing: produce sophisticated and complex texts, summarize and discuss specialized texts and literature.

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