The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF or CEFR) was put together by the Council of Europe to standardise the levels of language exams in different regions. It is widely used internationally.
A1 – Breakthrough
- Basic ability to communicate and exchange information.
- Example: Can ask simple questions about a menu and understand simple answers.
A2 – Waystage
- Able to deal with simple, straightforward information and begin to communicate in familiar situations.
- Example: Can take part in a routine conversation on simple, known topics.
B1 – Threshold
- Able to communicate in a limited way in familiar situations and to deal in a general way with unfamiliar information.
- Example: Can ask to open a bank account at a bank, provided the procedure is straightforward.
B2 – Vantage
- Able to achieve most language goals and clearly explain detailed information.
- Example: Can show visitors around and give a detailed description of a place.
C1 – Effective Operational Proficiency
- Able to respond appropriately to questions and communicate unfamiliar topics.
- Example: Can respond confidently to hostile questioning. Able to get and hold onto opportunities to speak.
C2 – Mastery
- Able to work with academic or cognitively demanding material.
- Able to use language which may be more advanced than that of an average native speaker.
- Example: Can scan texts for relevant information, and grasp main topic whilst reading almost as quickly as a native speaker.