English levels summary, image

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is a way of describing language ability and is often used to help language learners choose learning materials and courses at the right level.

The CEFR has six levels, from A1 for beginners, up to C2 for users who are proficient in the language. Levels are divided into three blocks: A or basic user, B or independent user and C or proficient user. For each level, the CEFR describes what a learner can do when speaking, reading, listening and writing in English. 

For those who need to prove their level of English for study, work or moving to another country, the CEFR allows them to compare the results or level obtained in examinations such as IELTS, Aptis or Cambridge with those required by educational or other institutions and organisations.

Level (CEFR) British Council IELTS Cambridge English
A1 Elementary - -
A2 Pre-Intermediate 3.5 A2 Key (KET)
B1 Intermediate 4-5 B1 Preliminary (PET)
B2 Upper intermediate 5.5-6.5 B2 First (FCE)
C1 Advanced 7-8 C1 Advanced (CAE)
C2 Proficiency 8.5-9 C2 Proficiency (CPE)

English levels