How to Test Your English Level and What to Study Next
Level: All Levels Reading Time: 8 minutes Category: Study Tips
Do you know what your English level is? Lot’s of students have a rough idea but they don’t actually know for sure.
It can be very difficult to find out your exact level in English. That’s why I want to show you how to check your level.
Lot’s of English learners either don’t know their level or they think it doesn’t really matter to them, but I can tell you that is not the case.
Knowing where you are now is only half of the battle so I will also tell you what you should focus on in order to get to the next level.
In this lesson you will learn how to find your level and how to get to the next one!
What are ENglish Levels?
In English, and most languages, we use levels to describe the skills and abilities of a language learner at any point in their journey to master a new language.
In English, it is common for people to use the CEFR level system. This is a system that is used for a lot of European languages and is broken down in to 6 groups. A1 – A2 – B1 – B2 – C1 – C2.
Check out this infographic for the details of each level and the skills that you can use.
How to find your English level:
There are a lot of ways out there to find your English level. The correct method for you depends on the reason you want to know your level.
If you are looking to prove your English level in order to apply for a university, college or school you will probably need to take a test that is recognised by the place you want to apply to. Common tests for this are things like IELTS or Eiken.
If you need English for a job, then you will also probably need to take a professional test of some kind. Common tests for this are things like TOEIC or TOEFL.
These kind of tests are very detailed, very long and usually very expensive. People spend a lot of time studying and preparing for these tests because they are so important.
If you need to test your English level for one of those reasons, you should google the test you need and you should find all the details you need.
If you do not need an official test, or certificate then you have loads of options to choose from. There are millions of tests out there. Some are good. Some are bad. Some of them are just a way to get you to make an account. Thats why…
I have made and designed a level check test that you can take right now for free. It will take about 10 minutes to complete and will help you to understand your English level.
It is not as detailed as the professional tests, but it should be fine for almost everyone who is interested in their English level. You don’t need to sign up for anything and you will get your results when you finish!
To check your level now, all you need to do is click this Button:
If you want to improve your English, you should check out my FREE study hacks guide – It has 8 simple tips that you need to know and are designed to help you level up! Click here to get your free guide instantly!
Why knowing your level is important.
Knowing your level is not just so you can put it on your Twitter bio or CV.
It is important because it helps you to understand a lot of things that can help you. For example…
- I can help you understand what materials would be useful for you. There is no point buying a textbook for C2 learners if you are at the A1 level. Choosing materials for your level will help you build confidence and find suitable things you can study.
- It can also help your teachers or coaches understand the things that you are good at or not good at so far. It helps them design lessons and courses that will help you the most.
- It can also help you understand what you need to do in order to get to the next level. That is the main benefit in my opinion. Think of the level system as a road map for learning English.
If you know where you are on your language journey, you can plan where you want to go next.
What You Need to Study next
Now that you know what your level is, I want to give you some ideas of what you should study next to help you get to the next level.
The advice will be different for each level. However, the differences between A1 and A2 are quite small so I will group them together into 3 groups. Beginner (A1 and A2), Intermediate (B1 and B2) and Advanced (C1 and C2).
Advice for Beginners:
For beginners, your main focus should be learning vocabulary. You need to learn a lot of words, because without words, you can’t study any of the more advanced stuff.
Your first goal should be learning the 1500 most common English words. If you know these most common words, you can understand around 80% of all the words you will read and hear in daily life.
If you learn 20 new words a day, you can learn these 1500 in like 75 days. You need to be consistent and learn new words every day and you need to make sure you review the words you already learned otherwise you will forget them.
You can find a list of the most common English words that you can sort by CEFR level here: Oxford 3000-5000 word list.
Don’t forget to learn the pronunciation and practice saying the words too! You need to be able to say the words you are learning, because if you don’t you will really struggle later on.
Advice for Intermediate Learners:
It’s time to start getting into grammar. It’s time to learn how to use the words you have been learning to make more complex expressions.
I recommend learning about the tenses in English, modal verbs, prepositions and conjunctions to start off with. These will help you expand your English knowledge.
You also need to keep studying vocabulary. 1500 words is a good start but the next stop is 3000 words. With 3000 words, you will be able to understand 95% of the English you will encounter in daily life. That’s a lot of English that you will be able to understand so be sure to keep up the vocabulary studies.
It might also be a good idea to start listening to English in your free time too.
It could be watching Youtube videos in English, TV shows, Movies, songs, radio whatever. Just get used to listening to English. It’s cool if you don’t understand much.
Don’t worry about understanding everything because that is not the goal yet. The goal is to get used to hearing English and trying to understand a little more each time.
Advice for Advanced LEarners:
When you get to the advanced level, it is time to flip the balance between input and output. In the lower levels, there is much more focus on input whereas for you, we need to focus on output much more.
Find ways to output your English as much as possible. I highly recommend things like keeping a diary in English that you use every day. You could also join an online writing group, book club or conversation circle.
You could take conversation classes either in person or online. You could just try and make some new friends with English speakers.
The more you can output and build your confidence as well as practice all the skills you have learned so far will help you improve even further.
Don’t worry too much about making mistakes as long as you try and learn from them and don’t keep repeating the same mistakes. This is why finding someone you can practice with who can correct your mistakes is important.
It’s also a good idea to learn things like phrasal verbs, idioms, slang and more complex ways to use the grammar you have already learned in the previous levels to help you sound more natural when using English.
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