English C1 level - CEFR definition and tests | EF SET (2023)

The official can-do statements are broken down into smaller chunks for teaching purposes. This more detailed skill breakdown can help you assess your own English level, or help a teacher assess a student’s level. For example, a student at the C1 level in English will be able to do all the things that a student in level B2 can do, and in addition he will be able to:

  • discuss in detail issues related to success, including building a motivated, successful team.

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  • talk in some detail about your favorite paintings and the architecture of buildings that you like.

  • discuss societal problems, possible solutions for problems and what role corporations can play.

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  • participate in discussions about conservation, sustainability and habitat protection.

  • talk about events and issues in the news and how they affect people and companies.

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  • talk about risks in life, including changing jobs and doing dangerous sports.

  • compare and contrast various forms of education and individual schools.

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  • discuss various types of humor, including subtle forms like sarcasm.

  • understand various communication styles, including direct, indirect, formal and informal.

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  • discuss issues related to your quality of life, including work-life balance and home environment.

  • understand and discuss issues related to ethics, like civil disobedience.

    (Video) How to evaluate your students´ English level - CEFR

Although progress will depend on the type of course and the individual student, students can expect to reach the C1 level in English with 800 hours of cumulative instruction.


What is C1 level English test? ›

C1 – Advanced

You can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. You can express yourself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. You can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.

What is CEFR C1 equivalent to? ›

Candidates who have secured a C1 Advanced grade C, having scored between 180 and 192 on the Cambridge English Scale, are at Level C1 of the CEFR and can be expected to be comparable in ability with candidates who have secured 6.5 or 7.0 in IELTS.

What tests are CEFR? ›

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is an international standard for describing language ability. It is used around the world to describe learners' language skills. The CEFR has six levels – from A1 for the most basic beginner to C2 for the very highest level of ability.

Can I take CEFR test online? ›

Take our free online English test today to find out your English level of proficiency. This is one of the most detailed free English tests online with instant results that match the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR) which standardises assessment of languages.

How do I prepare for the CEFR test? ›

The best way to find out your CEFR level is to take a well-designed standardized test. In English, the EF SET is the best choice because it is free and the first standardized test to be fully aligned to the CEFR. You will need to set aside 50 minutes to complete the test and find out your CEFR level.

How do I prepare for a C1 English exam? ›

C1 (CAE) Exam Tips
  1. Make use of grammar apps. Correct spelling is very important for the use of English part of the exam. ...
  2. Avoid distractors. One of the most important things to keep in mind when tackling any of the reading paper is that the texts will contain distractors. ...
  3. Don't waste time.
Apr 2, 2020

Is a C1 level fluent? ›


He/she can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for the right expression. He/she can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.

Is C1 fluent or advanced? ›

C1 English (Advanced)

Level C1 corresponds to users who can express themselves fluently and spontaneously. They can use language flexibly and effectively for all purposes.

Is C1 a good CEFR level? ›

You will also be given a grade and Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) level.
C1 Advanced Scale Scores.
Cambridge English Scale ScoreGrade/CEFRCEFR level
200–210Grade AC2
193–199Grade BC1
180–192Grade CC1
160–179Level B2B2

How much does CEFR test cost? ›

This test consists of 4 sections Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking. One can opt for this language test either online or through pen and paper. The registration fee for the internet-based test is $185, while that of the paper-based offline test is $180.

What is a passing score for CEFR? ›

Listening, Reading, Writing (L, R, W) aggregate 75-100 points for Pass, and 101-150 for High Pass; Speaking 25-37 for Pass, and 38-50 for High Pass.

Are native speakers C1 or C2? ›

In everyday speech, this level might be called “bilingual”, as in “I am bilingual in English and French.” A well-educated native English speaker is technically at a C2 level.

How do I get my CEFR English certificate? ›

How do I get CEFR certified with Lingoda?
  1. Choose your Lingoda course.
  2. Attend 90% of the classes in your language level.
  3. Download your certification!
Nov 4, 2022

How long is CEFR valid for? ›

Once you have been certified at a CEFR level, certainly with lack of use your ability in that language will decline, but the certification never expires.

Does CEFR expire? ›

A CEFR diploma is very versatile for your CV or résumé, and they often don't expire. You may need a CEFR certificate for school admissions, to join a University course, and Employment.

How many hours is each CEFR level? ›

As a rough guide, Cambridge exams estimate that each level is reached with the following guided learning hours: A2, 180–200; B1, 350–400; B2, 500–600; C1, 700–800, and C2, 1,000–1,200.

How long does it take to learn English CEFR? ›

How long does it take to learn English?
Level of English (CEFR)Number of hours of instruction
A1 to A2150 hours
A2 to B1300 hours
B1 to B2200 hours
B2 to C1200 hours
2 more rows
Jan 25, 2019

How long does it take to learn a language CEFR? ›

For motivated adult learners, they typically need between 100 and 200 hours of guided learning to get from one CEFR level to the next. As you go up the levels, you need more hours to get to the next one.

Can you fail a C1 test? ›

Passing C1 driving test practical test tips

You are only allowed up to 15 driving faults. One “Serious” or “Dangerous” is a fail, but our aim is to coach you to not make any of these faults. Make sure that your driving is smooth.

What should C1 students know? ›

At the C1 level of proficiency, students should be able to understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. They can express themselves fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions.

How long is C1 English exam? ›

Time allowed:1 hour 30 minutes
Number of parts:8
Number of questions:56
Lengths of texts:3,000–3,500 words to read in total.
Texts may be from:Newspapers and magazines, journals, books (fiction and non-fiction), promotional and informational materials.

How many words does a C1 speaker know? ›

When you reach C1, you should have a working vocabulary of about 8000 words – almost double that of B2! It takes approximately 700-800 hours with the language to pass the C1 Cambridge examination.

Is C1 native level? ›

The highest level on the CEFR scale is C1, which is close to the level of English proficiency of native speakers.

Can you reach C1 with duolingo? ›

At Duolingo, we use the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) to set goals for different proficiency levels when we design our courses. The levels are labeled A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2, and they cover increasingly complex language needs.

Is C1 better than C2? ›

The LG C2 OLED is slightly better than the LG C1 OLED, although the performance of the two is quite similar. The C2 is a bit brighter, especially in SDR and when displaying small, bright highlights in HDR.

Is there higher than C1? ›

Other level names in this convention are: A1- Breakthrough, A2- Waystage, B1- Threshold, B2- Vantage, C1- Advanced, C2- Mastery. Which CEFR level is the highest? C2 (Proficiency) is the top level you can achieve on the CEFR scale.

Which level is better C1 or C2? ›

C1 Advanced is targeted at the C1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), while C2 is targeted at the C2 CEFR level. C2 Proficiency is therefore the more difficult of the two exams.

Is C1 certificate useful? ›

It is the in-depth, high-level qualification that shows you have the language skills that employers and universities are looking for. More than 9,000 educational institutions, businesses and government departments around the world accept C1 Advanced as proof of high-level achievement in learning English.

Is C1 the highest level of English? ›

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) has six levels, from A1 for beginners, up to C2 for users who are proficient in the language.

What level of CEFR is fluent? ›

The CEFR C1 Level: Fluent conversation

The C level represents advanced users of language – those who have the ability to take part in conversations at a more complex level.

How much is the C1 English test? ›

The prices for the C1 Advanced will vary as the test centres can decide on the price of the test; however, you can expect to pay somewhere between 150-175 euros (165- 195 USD). Usually, you can pay online or in-person with a debit or credit card (VISA/ Master Card).

Which English test is the most accepted? ›

IELTS is designed to assess the language ability of people who want to study or work where English is the language of communication. Recognised by over 11,500 organisations worldwide, it is the world's most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration.

Is CEFR used in the US? ›

Whereas in Europe, foreign language instruction is based on the CEFR, the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) scale dominates in the United States. Both reference systems are designed so that they can be applied to different groups of learners and institutions.

How do I calculate my C1 score? ›

A candidate's overall score is calculated by adding all of the individual scores together and dividing by four (and then rounding to the nearest whole number).

Can you get C1 from B2 exam? ›

B2 First – Level C1

If you achieve a scale score of 180–190 (grade A) in your exam, you will receive the First Certificate in English stating that you demonstrated ability at Level C1.

How is C1 advanced score calculated? ›

How to calculate the score for C1 Advanced (CAE)
  1. Reading: 34 items = 50 points. Part 1: 8 items (1 item = 1 point) ...
  2. Use of English: 22 items = 28 points. ...
  3. Writing: 2 items = 40 points. ...
  4. Listening: 30 items = 30 points (1 item = 1 point) ...
  5. Speaking: 75 points in total (not divided into items or parts).

What level is a fluent speaker? ›

C2: Can understand virtually everything heard or read, expressing themselves spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, while differentiating finer shades of meaning even in highly complex situations.

What can a C1 speaker do? ›

A C1 level speaker can also be considered as someone who is a fluent speaker of the language. They will have no problem speaking, reading, writing and understanding the language and don't really need to take pauses to think while they are speaking.

Is C1 considered bilingual? ›

If you are at C1, then you are bilingual and have been for some time. Bilingual is not an either/or condition, there is a graduation of fluency. To interact on a daily basis at a higher level, talk with native speakers. Pay attention expressions, slang and familiar terms.

How do I raise my CEFR level? ›

You can increase your CEFR level by taking classes, reading books, watching movies, and practicing with native speakers.

What CEFR level is first certificate? ›

Valid scores on the FCE Exam range from 140 to 190. A score of 160 or above is considered a “pass” and students with that score will receive the Cambridge First Certificate, which corresponds to a level B2 in English on the CEFR.

What is a CEFR certificate? ›

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is an international standard for describing language ability. It describes language ability on a six-point scale, from A1 for beginners, up to C2 for those who have mastered a language.

What is the highest English certificate? ›

A C2 Proficiency qualification shows the world that you have mastered English to an exceptional level. It proves you can communicate with the fluency and sophistication of a highly competent English speaker.

Is CEFR a curriculum? ›

The new version updates and extends the CEFR 2001, which was designed to provide a transparent, coherent and comprehensive basis for the elaboration of language syllabuses and curriculum guidelines, the design of teaching and learning materials, and the assessment of foreign language proficiency.

How long is C1 valid for? ›

A C1 Advanced certificate has no expiration date. However, some institutions have their own language requirements or policies on how recent they require exam results to be. They may ask you for evidence that you have maintained or improved your level of English since you took your exam.

Which CEFR level is highest? ›

The CEFR organises language proficiency in six levels, A1 to C2, which can be regrouped into three broad levels: Basic User, Independent User and Proficient User, and that can be further subdivided according to the needs of the local context.

How long does Cambridge C1 certificate last? ›

Information for candidates who have taken a Cambridge English exam. Your Cambridge English exam result/certificate does not have an expiry date*. It shows that on a particular date you demonstrated language skills at a specified level, however, language skills are known to diminish over time if not used and maintained.

What is A1 A2 B1 B2 C1 C2? ›

What is the difference between A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2 in terms of language levels? The three broad levels are A1/A2 ("Basic User"), B1/B2 ("Independent User"), and C1/C2 ("Proficient User"). Let's take a look at what you should be able to communicate at the various levels set out by CERF.

Is English C1 difficult? ›

Is C1 difficult? The answer is yes! You will need to work a lot harder and be serious about your preparation for the C1 Advanced exam. While the B2 First shows you have a good grounding in English, the C1 Advanced is closer to the level of a native speaker.

Is CEFR level C1 good? ›

The C1 level would allow for full autonomy in a native English-speaking country. According to the official CEFR guidelines, someone at the C1 level in English: Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognize implicit meaning.

Is a C1 level in English good? ›

Level C1 corresponds to proficient users of the language, i.e. those able to perform complex tasks related to work and study.

Is B1 fluent? ›

Level B1 corresponds to independent users of the language, i.e. those who have the necessary fluency to communicate without effort with native speakers.

How do I know my English proficiency level? ›

The most reliable way to find out your English level is to take a well-designed assessment test. There are many tests to choose from, but taking the EF SET is a good place to start. You can use your EF SET score as an English level certification on your CV and on LinkedIn.

How long does it take to study for C1? ›

How long does it take to learn English?
Level of English (CEFR)Number of hours of instruction
A1 to A2150 hours
A2 to B1300 hours
B1 to B2200 hours
B2 to C1200 hours
2 more rows
Jan 25, 2019

How long does it take to complete C1? ›

It takes 600 to 750 hours to learn the German C1 level.

As a result of completing level C1, you will be able to understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts.

How is a C1 exam structured? ›

The C1 Advanced test is an in-depth, through test of all language skill areas. It tests your use of English, and your reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. It last for about four hours in total. You can take this test in two formats – paper-based or computer-based.

How many points do you need to pass C1? ›

A score of 180 or above is considered a “pass” and students with that score will receive the Cambridge C1 Advanced certificate, which corresponds to a level C1 in English on the CEFR. Students scoring 200 or above on the C1 Advanced will receive a Cambridge English certificate for level C2.

Is there a practical test for C1? ›

Once you have successfully passed your LGV Category C1 practical test, you will then obtain Category C1 on your driving licence which will entitle you to drive any rigid vehicle up to 7.5 tonnes.


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