Cambridge exam levels

Which Cambridge Examination?

The exams assess all four language skills:listening, oral communication, reading and written communication. They provide for assignments that aim to assess candidates’ skills in using English, so that at the very moment they are preparing for the exam, candidates can develop the skills needed to make practical use of the language in a wide variety of contexts. In fact, the Cambridge Assessment English exams are primarily intended to assess the ability to communicate effectively in English.

Cambridge Assessment English exam assessment is linked to an international scale consisting of five levels, established by the Association of Language Testers in Europe(ALTE), the European Association of Language Examiners) and used for a wide range of European languages.

Cambridge Assessment English is a member of ALTE. This association aims to develop and implement common language assessment standards throughout Europe.

Several universities in Britain, North America and the rest of the world accept Cambridge certificates corresponding to Levels 4 and 5 as proof of a satisfactory standard of proficiency in the use of English for the purpose of admission to undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

For detailed and up-to-date information on exams designed for those studying English as a foreign language, you can visit the official website of


Cambridge Assessment English

Level 1 (ALTE A2)
Level elementary

Mastery of the simplest and most elementary aspects of language in a range of familiar situations. For example, the person can understand and report simple messages.

Level 2 (ALTE B1)
Lower intermediate level

Limited but effective command of language in familiar situations. For example, the person may participate in a routine meeting on family matters, and in a special way in an exchange of simple information.

Level 3 (ALTE B2)
Upper intermediate level

Generally effective command of language in a range of situations. For example, the person can give input in discussions focused on practical issues.

Level 4 (ALTE C1)
Lower advanced level

Good functional command of the language in a wide range of real-world situations. For example, the person can participate effectively in discussions and meetings.

Level 5 (ALTE C2)
Upper advanced level

Fully functional command of the language at a high level and in most situations. For example, the person can sustain a discussion with confidence, effectively expressing and justifying his or her opinions.

Main levels and Cambridge exams

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