For someone who intends to focus on verbal skills, a written test does not reveal anything about their ability to speak. We have seen countless examples of people who can pass a challenging exam with virtually little effort, but lack the verbal skills to communicate effectively. Their formal education deprived them of the opportunity to practise speaking and concentrated solely on written skills instead.
We feel the best way to assess verbal skills is a 1-on-1 consultation which we offer free of charge.
CEFR stands for Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and is widely used. For more detailed and standard explanations please refer to the Wikipedia website or to the European Council.
A - Basic User
A1 – BREAKTHROUGH (Pre-Intermediate)
Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases, e.g. ask and answer questions about personal details (”Where do you live?”). Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is willing to help.
A2 – WAYSTAGE (Lower Intermediate) — Cambridge Certificate: KET
Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, employment. Can communicate in a simple way and exchange information on routine matters.
B - Independent User
B1 – TRESHOLD (Intermediate) — Cambridge Certificates: PET / Business English Certificate: Preliminary BEC P
Can understand the main points of familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school or leisure provided that the other person speaks clearly and uses standard language. Can deal with most situations during journeys through areas where the language is spoken. Can communicate in a simple way, talking about experiences and events, expressing hopes and ambitions and briefly giving explanations.
B2 – VANTAGE (Upper Intermediate) — Cambridge First Certificate FCE / Business English Certificate: BEC Vantage
Can understand the main ideas of complex texts on concrete as well as abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers successful without strain for either party. Can express him/herself clearly to a wide range of subjects in a detailed way.
C - Proficient User
C1 – EFFECTIVE OPERATIONAL PROFICIENCY (Advanced) — Cambridge Advanced Certificate / BEC Higher
Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts and recognize implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.
C2 – MASTERY (Proficiency) — Cambridge Proficiency Exam CPE
Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely. Speakers who have reached this level can hardly be distinguished from educated native speakers.