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Competence levels
A comparison of the language certificates

This page gives you an overview of the various evaluation systems of each of the language certificate. Further more each of the language skills in reference to your competence include: reading, speaking and writing.

On this page you will get information about the Common European Reference Framework for Languages (CERF). This helps in evaluating learning and teaching.It was started in 1997 by the Council of Europe with the hopes of making learning a language easier and to concentrate on the needs of the learner, by being transparent and through easy evaluation methods.

Competence levels

German Reference Frame

A1
A2
B1
B2
C1
C2
Elementary
levels
Intermediate
levels
Advanced Language
levels

Detail: GER Niveaustufen und Sprachkompetenz

Competence level
Comprehension
(listening/reading)
Speaking
Writing
A0
  • No prior knowledge of the language. Absolute beginner.
  • -
  • -
Competence level
Comprehension
(listening/reading)
Speaking
Writing
A1
  • Use of familiar words and the understanding of easy sentences, when they are slowly and clearly spoken,.related to topics, such as family, surroundings and other concrete things.
  • Familiar words, names, the understanding of easy sentences for example; Notice boards, billboards and catalogues.
  • To make myself more understandable, when my dialogue partner helps me in formulating, what I want to say.
  • To ask easy questions and give answers on important themes and topics.
  • Easy phrases and making easy sentences about people I know, description and where I live.
  • Short easy greetings on a postcard e.g. Holiday greetings.
  • Filling out forms e.g. in hotels, Name, Address, nationality.
Competence level
Comprehension
(listening/reading)
Speaking
Writing
A2
  • To understand single sentences with common words which are important to me.
  • Understanding easy daily texts e.g. (advertisements, restaurant menus, travel plans).
  • Comprehension of short, easy personal letters.
  • To be able to make myself understood in routine situations, where there is a direct exchange of information and familiar topics.
  • Participation in brief small talk.
  • With a few sentences and simple means, being able to describe e.g. my living conditions, my studies, my family, other people and my present or last profession.
  • Writing brief, easy notes and messages.
  • Writing simple personal letters e.g. a thank you letter.
Competence level
Comprehension
(listening/reading)
Speaking
Writing
B1
  • The main point is understanding familiar things at work, school and in your free time, when standard language is used.
  • Understanding the basic information from news and radio broadcastings about the current affairs, career related topics and interests, when it’s spoken relatively slowly and clearly.
  • Understanding texts in which standard daily and professional language is incorporated.
  • Understanding things such as happenings, feelings, emotions and wishes, when they are reported in private letters.
  • To be able to manage most situations while on travelling.
  • To spontaneously be able to take part in conversations about familiar topics, which are related to daily life such as : family, hobbies, work, travel and current affairs.
  • To be able to describe experiences, happenings, dreams, hopes and goals in simple, coherent sentences.
  • To briefly explain and support my opinions and my plans.
  • Telling a story e.g. what the plot of a book or film is, and to be able to describe my reactions to these.
  • To write simple notes and messages.
  • Writing simple personal letters e.g. a thank you letter.
Competence level
Comprehension
(listening/reading)
Speaking
Writing
B2
  • To understand the basic plot and dialogue of movies when standard language is spoken.
  • To read and understand articles and reports about present problems in which the author takes a particular attitude and viewpoint.
  • Understanding texts in contemporary literature.
  • Spontaneous and fluent engagement in a normal conversation with a native speaker.
  • To be able to take part in a discussion on familiar situations and to be able to give reasons for my views.
  • To give a clear descriptive representation of the various topics I am interested in.
  • To take a stand about a current question and explain the advantages and disadvantages of various possibilities.
  • To write a detailed text on various topics which are of personal interest.
  • To give information on specific issues including arguments and counter arguments in the form of an essay or a report.
  • To write letters, clearly describing personal on-going events and experiences.
Competence level
Comprehension
(listening/reading)
Speaking
Writing
C1
  • Ability to comprehend a wide spectrum of demanding, longer texts and their implicit meanings.
  • To be able to spontaneously and fluently articulate myself, without having to look for the words to say.
  • communication is easier at the professional level, or at the university, and one can use the language in a more flexible manner.
  • ability to articulate in a structured manner in complex situations and as well as the use of text as a way of communicating fluently.
Competence level
Comprehension
(listening/reading)
Speaking
Writing
C2
  • To practically understand everything you read and listen to.
  • To gather different information from various written material or oral sources and to represent reasons and coherent explanations on various topics.
  • Being Spontaneous, fluent and precise, and having the ability to give finer shades of meaning, even in more complex situations.