What is the CEFR?


The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR or CEF)

The CEFR is a  framework or scale used to measure language abilities and proficiency of foreign language learners.

It is used to provide a universal, transparent and comprehensive basis for the development of language curriculums, learning materials and assessments of foreign language proficiency. It was fist used in Europe but over time has expanded and is used to as measure for around 39 languages.


39 Language Versions

Arabic, Albanian, Armenian, Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Finnish, French, Friulian, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Lithuanian, Macedonian Language, Moldovan, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian (Iekavian version), Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Ukrainian.


The CEFR describes foreign language proficiency based on six different levels.  (A1 and A2, B1 and B2, C1 and C2)  This is done by identifying what learners at each stage are able to understand and do.  I like to call it the “Can do list”.

This strategy makes it possible to for  there to be one common standard to compare  language learners across various languages, location and assessment.


What does each CEFR levels mean ?

A1 and A2: basic language skills
B1 and B2: independent user of  a language
C1 und C2: proficient user of  a language

CEFR Level English PlacementTest

Click Here! Take the Free CEFR Level Placement Test


CEFR Level Descriptors 

Cerfr Descriptors A1-B2

CEFR Descriptors C1-C2


CEFR Level Equivalents


TOEFL: 8-12 (speaking), TOEIC: 60-105 (listening); 60-110 (reading, City and Guilds: Preliminary, Cambridge Exam: KET 45-59,British general qualifications: Foundation Tier GCSE



TOEFL: 13-18 (speaking), 11-16 (writing), TOEIC: 110-270 (listening), 115-270 (reading), City and Guilds: Access, Cambridge Exam: PET (45 to 59) / KET Pass with Merit, Pass, British general qualifications: Higher Tier GCSE



IELTS: 4-5 (5 is between B1 and B2), TOEFL: 57 to 86, TOEIC: 275 – 395 (listening), 275 – 380 (reading), City and Guilds: Achiever, Cambridge Exam: FCE (45 to 59) / PET Pass with Merit, Pass / KET Pass with Distinction, British general qualifications: GCE AS level / lower grade A-level



IELTS: 5-6.5 (5 is between B1 and B2), TOEFL: 87 to 109, TOEIC: 400-485 (listening), 385-450 (reading), City and Guilds: Communicator, Cambridge Exam: CAE (45 to 59) / FCE grade B or C / PET Pass with Distinction, British general qualifications: GCE A-Level (known as A2)



IELTS: 7-8 (8 is between C1 and C2), TOEFL: 110 to 120, TOEIC: 490-495 (listening), 455-495 (reading), City and Guilds: Expert, Cambridge Exam: CPE (45 to 59) / CAE grade B or C / FCE grade A.



IELTS: 8-9 (8 is borderline between C1 and C2), TOEFL: 29-30 (reading), City and Guilds: Mastery, Cambridge Exam: CPE grade A, B or C / CAE grade A


We at EEN take pride in providing accurate and comprehensive information but please do your due diligence and check out the source.