Compare English Language Test Scores 


With the different scoring systems of available English language proficiency tests, its confusing to match results from one to the other.

  • When applying to a language program, you are generally required to meet a stated proficiency level, which is usually based on one exam.

  • Most programs will accept other certifications, providing you meet the benchmark for a particular exam. This varies according to the country or the program. For example, acceptance on Nacels language teacher assistant program in Australia requires an IELTS proficiency level of 5.5. However the equivalent score in the TOEFL, TOEIC and other exams based on the CEFR guidelines such as the ESOL the BULATS and the PTE are also valid. Other programs such as Work and Study in Canada will require fewer weeks of study for participants with a CEFR advanced level equivalency.

  • Use the table below to compare how TOEFL, IELTS, TOEIC, ESOL and other scores compare with the approximate equivalent of another system.

 

CEFR

ESOL
Cambridge

IELTS

TOEFL
ibt

TOEIC
Listen&read

Nacel
Preparation Centers

Proficiency levels referenced by test providers

 

Montreal, Sydney, Toronto

Australia, Canada, London, Oxford, New Zealand, USA

Australia, Canada, Cambridge, Cork, London, Oxford,
New Zealand, USA

Proficient

C2

CPE

9.0

118-120

785-990

8.5

115-117

8.0

110-114

7.5

103-109

Advanced

C1

CAE

7.0

94-102

605-780

6.5

79-93

Upper Intermediate

B2

FCE

6.0

60-78

5.5

46-59

5.0

35-45

405-600

Intermediate

B1

PTE

4.5

32-34

4.0

 

 

Top Score

Top Score

Top Score

Top Score

Top Score

 

C2

100

9.0

120

990

 

Overview of language proficiency tests (for detailed information see International Language Exams) Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) A guideline used to describe achievements of learners of foreign languages across Europe and other countries. The six reference levels are becoming widely accepted as the European standard for grading an individual's language proficiency.

  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Designed to measure the proficiency levels of candidates, preparing for entry to higher education or professional employment, who are not native speakers of English. Results reference the descriptions of language proficiency in the CEFR. Source cambridgeenglish.org

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Designed to assess the language ability of candidates who want to study or work where English is the language of communication. Results are reported as band scores on a scale from 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest). Source ielts.org

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language, administered by internet (TOEFL ibt) Designed to aid in school admissions process, but the speaking score is potentially useful as a pre-arrival screening measure for international teaching assistants. Results measure a candidates ability to combine listening, reading, speaking and writing skills. Source ets.org

  • Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) Designed to measure the ability of nonnative speakers of English to listen, read, speak and write in English in the global workplace. The total score adds up to a scale from 10 to 990 points. The TOEIC certificate exists in five colors, corresponding to the result. Source ets.org

  • Business Language Testing Services (BULATS) Designed for workplace language assessment, training and benchmarking. Used internationally for business and industry recruitment, for identifying and delivering training, for admission to study business-related courses. Results reference CEFR proficiency levels. Source bulats.org

  • Pearson Test of English General (PTE general) Designed to reward positive achievement in English language learning. It consists of two parts: a written paper and a spoken test. There are six levels which are linked to the(CEF). All levels in the test are awarded by Edexcel and accredited by Ofqual in the UK. Source pearsonpte.com

  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE academic) Designed to test English proficiency levels through tasks which reflect real-life settings. The test is accepted for admissions for thousands of international programs. PTE Academic acceptance includes top UK and US universities and government organizations. Source pearsonpte.com
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