English Levels

Generally there are seven English levels starting at beginner all the way to proficient level. The English Levels is normally determined by an English test taken at English schools prior to starting your English course. English levels help in deciding which English class you will join to match your capabilities.

English Levels Infographic

Another purpose is that some universities can determine your TOEFL or IELTS score by matching it to your English level. This is important because international students must meet the English requirements set by universities for admission to undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

Most private schools prepare students for their university admissions including English language preparation for university study. Other students choose to study English in UK, USA, Canada or Australia to further strengthen their English language skills.

The table below provides a general guideline on the various levels including brief description and equivalency to formal English test scores such as IELTS Academic, TOEFL iBT, and Pearson PTE. This should help students select a suitable English language course through gaining a better understanding of the various levels and scores as stated below

English Levels Table

English Level Description IELTS TOEFL Pearson’s

Assumes no previous study of English and needs to start with one-to-one private lessons with an English tutor to reach the elementary level of English. Not strong enough for academic study.


You can communicate at a basic and limited level for day-to-day issues. This could be useful for holiday and travel basic communication in English. Not strong enough for college or university study.

Lower Intermediate

You can communicate and deal with daily matters reasonably well but not sufficient for proper communication or academic study. Not strong enough for university degree study.

3.5-4 25-31 26-30

You are able to communicate independently, making reasonable use of English vocabularies and average use of grammar in normal circumstances and could join a foundation year program.

4.5-5 32-55 32-41
Upper Intermediate

You can communicate using medium complexity wording and grammar in reasonably complex situations and able to join an undergraduate level course such as bachelor degree.

5.5-6 56-75 42-57

You are able to communicate using more complex vocabularies and grammar in a more complex environment and circumstances and able to study at a postgraduate level.

6.5-7 76-105 58-71

Your level of communication at this stage is fluent, accurate with the ability to communicate at a high level with ease. You can easily join any study program at any level be it undergraduate or postgraduate.

7.5-9 106-120 72-90

Students can move from studying General English to studying Academic English when they have completed their intermediate level. IELTS and TOEFL preparation classes can begin following completion of upper intermediate level as students need to have stronger English grammar skills.


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