Understanding CEFR Young Learners English (YLE) YLE: Test Composition
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Understanding the CEFR

The CEFR is a simple six-stage system to measure anyone’s language proficiency.

Cambridge English exams are aligned to internationally recognised frameworks such as the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), which plays a central role in language and education policy worldwide.

 The Six CEFR Levels

The beginner level is A1, progressing through to the Elementary level (A2) and then the Intermediate levels of  B1 and B2. The C1 level is advanced and the highest level is C2 which is where you typically would find native speakers of English.

Watch the excellent Understanding the CEFR from Cambridge English Language Assessment to learn more...  


What Can a Person Do at Each Level?

The Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE) have developed comprehensive "Can-Do Statements" that describe what language users are typically able to do at a defined level. You can download a free copy at the bottom of this page.

How Much Study is Needed?

Vantage is often asked about the number of study hours required to reach a certain CEFR level. It is not possible to give a simple answer to this. The hours of study needed will vary depending upon several factors, such as the a person's intensity of the study, the inclinations and age of the individual, as well as the amount of study/exposure outside of lesson times.

The figures in the table below can be seen as an approximate guideline. The chart assumes the student starts at the absolute beginning level (A1). For example, for a beginner to reach a B2 level, it would take some 500 to 600 hours of learning. If the student studied say 3 times a week for 2 hours each time (or 6 hours per week), it would take approximately 1.6 to 1.9 years to reach this intermediate level.

 CEFR Level
Learning Hours Required
  C2                approximately 1,000 – 1,200
  C1 approximately 700 – 800
approximately 500  600
  B1 approximately 350 – 400
  A2 approximately 180 – 200

 You can download a copy of this chart in the "How much study is needed?" document below.

Detailed Can-Do Statement Download
How Much Study is Needed? Download
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