How can I find out my level of English?

Do you want to become bilingual but don't know your level of English or where to start? Questions like "am I a beginner, intermediate or advanced student?" "How do I find out my level of English?" hanging over your head?

These are some of the questions that many beginner students have and knowing your level of language proficiency is important if you want to study, work or travel to an English-speaking country. It can also help you choose a course that suits your needs, define your learning objectives, evaluate your progress and prove your skills to the world.

That's why, in this article, we're going to explain what an English level test is, how it works and which is the best test on the market.

How do I find out my level of English? Why is it so important?

If you share this same doubt, the answer lies in a concept called the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).This is actually an international system that defines the levels of proficiency in different languages and was created to standardize assessment criteria and facilitate communication between people from different countries and cultures.

In short, the CEFR is used as a benchmark to assess the level of English of candidates for job vacancies, academic courses, cultural exchanges and other programs that require mastery of the English language. It divides English levels into six categories: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2. Each of these categories represents a stage in the development of language skills: oral and written comprehension, oral and written expression.

Find out what levels of English are according to the CEFR

According to the CEFR, English levels are divided into six categories: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2. Here's a summary of what each level means:

Level A1

Level A1 is known as the beginner's level of the language.

The focus of A1 level English is on learning basic vocabulary and sentence structures, as well as developing reading and writing skills to communicate in simple situations, such as introducing yourself to someone, talking about family, hobbies and the weather, for example.

Level A2

This is the basic level and is an improvement on the previous one. Here, you'll begin to develop the skills to talk about more complex topics, such as work, shopping, travel or future plans. You will also develop reading and writing skills at more advanced levels, which will help you with simple routine tasks.

Level B1

This is the intermediate level, i.e. the level at which you begin to delve deeper into the language. From here you'll be able to talk about more complex topics, expressing your opinions and arguments. You will be able to deal with most familiar situations and situations that occur at school, college, work, on trips or during leisure time and by the end of level B1 you will be able to describe experiences, events, dreams, hopes and ambitions, as well as give opinions and brief justifications.

Level B2

It's the post-intermediate level, where you start to feel more comfortable in your language skills. At B2 level, you will be ready to deal with complex topics and in-depth conversations. You will also gain fluency in reading and writing, considering complex texts on concrete and abstract subjects, including technical discussions in your area of specialization.

Level C1

In the first stage of the advanced level you will be prepared to deal with any topic of discussion, using advanced communication skills. This includes, for example, the use of slang, idioms and advanced vocabulary, which enable you to understand a variety of long and demanding texts, recognizing their implicit meanings.

Level C2

Finally, level C2 is known as the native proficiency level. Here, you will be completely fluent in English, with conversational, reading and writing skills similar to a native speaker. In other words, you'll be able to understand everything you hear or read with ease. You'll also be able to summarize information from different oral or written sources, reconstructing arguments and facts coherently and accurately.

But how do I find out my level of English?

To do this, you need to take an English placement test, which is a way of assessing your current level of proficiency in the language. It consists of a series of questions on grammar, vocabulary, oral and written comprehension and production. It can also be taken online or in person, depending on the institution that administers it.

Generally, the assessment has a time limit and a minimum number of correct answers for each level. And it is precisely this number of correct answers that defines your level of knowledge in English.

Why is an English test important?

Taking an English placement test is important for several reasons:

  • Indicate your level of English and understand your knowledge of the language;

  • It makes it easier for you to choose an English course that suits your level and objectives, avoiding wasting time on content that you have already mastered or that is too difficult for you;

  • It allows you to track your progress in your English course;

  • It makes it easier to set clear goals and objectives for your learning, enabling you to plan your studies according to your needs;

  • It allows you to obtain an internationally recognized certificate that proves your level of English for academic, professional or personal purposes, such as TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS or the Cambridge exams.

What is the best English test?

Now that you know how to find out what your English level is, you're probably wondering: "Which English test should I take?". There are several types of English placement tests available on the market, but not all of them are reliable or internationally recognized. That's why it's important to choose a test that has been prepared by a serious and renowned language teaching institution.

An example of a reliable English placement test is EF SET, developed by EF Education First, the world's largest private education company. EF SET is a free, adaptive online test that adjusts to each student's level and provides an accurate result in line with CEFR requirements. Standardized, it measures all language skills and all CEFR levels of English and is recognized by thousands of universities and companies around the world.

Where to take the English placement test?

If you want to know your level of English, but can't or don't want to pay for an expensive or time-consuming test, there is a simple and effective option: EF English Live's online English test. EF English Live is the largest online English school in the world, with over 20 years' experience and millions of satisfied students. Here we use EF SET in our placement test, which has a standardized methodology, internationally recognized and aligned with the six levels of the CEFR. This way, you can find out what your level of English is in a practical, agile and reliable way.

At EF English Live, you can take your English placement test for free and without obligation. Just go to our website and register. Don't waste time and take your English placement test with EF English Live now. The test only takes 15 minutes and you'll know the result straight away!