Common European Framework

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF or CEFR) was put together by the Council of Europe as a way of standardizing the levels of language exams in different regions. It is very widely used internationally and all-important exams are mapped to the CEFR.

 

There are six levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2. These are described in the table below.

CEF Levels

Description
A basic ability to communicate and exchange information in a simple way.
Example: CAN ask simple questions about a menu and understand simple answers.
Description
An ability to deal with simple, straightforward information and begin to express oneself in familiar contexts.
Example: CAN take part in a routine conversation on simple predictable topics.
Description
The ability to express oneself in a limited way in familiar situations and to deal in a general way with nonroutine information.
Example: CAN ask to open an account at a bank, provided that the procedure is straightforward.
Description
The capacity to achieve most goals and express oneself on a range of topics.
Example: CAN show visitors around and give a detailed description of a place.
Description

The ability to communicate with the emphasis on how well it is done, in terms of appropriacy, sensitivity and the capacity to deal with unfamiliar topics.
Example: CAN deal with hostile questioning confidently. CAN get and hold onto his/her turn to speak.

Description

The capacity to deal with material which is academic or cognitively demanding, and to use language to good effect at a level of performance which may in certain respects be more advanced than that of an average native speaker.
Example: CAN scan texts for relevant information, and grasp main topic of text, reading almost as quickly as a native speaker.