English Levels

At IH Doha we use the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) descriptors to measure your language ability. CEFR is an international standard for describing language ability. It has become accepted as a way of benchmarking language ability, not only within Europe but worldwide, and plays a central role in language and education policy. The unique thing about the CEFR is that it can be applied to any language. CEFR descriptors can be used to set clear targets for achievements within language learning, to help define language proficiency levels and to interpret language qualifications.

The table below shows some English exams aligned against the six levels of the CEFR.

CEFRIH Doha LevelsCambridge ExamsIELTSLevel DescriptionHours
C2 MasteryUpper AdvancedCPE7.5-9You have excellent command of the language and can tackle the most difficult tasks120
Effective Operational Proficiency
AdvancedCAE6.5-7You have a good command of the language. it is fluent, accurate and well organised with only a few uncertainties in complex and difficult situations120
B2 VantageUpper-intermediateFCE5.5-6Your use of the language is consistent and usually appropriate but lapses in fluency and accuracy still occur in complex situations.120
B1 ThresholdIntermediate | Pre IntermediatePET4.5-5You can make effective and independent use of the language in familiar situations although there are still lapses in communication.120
A2 WaystageElementaryKET3.5-4Basic communication is possible with assistance and you understand simple sentences spoken slowly and clearly.120
A1 BreakthroughStarter0-3You have very little or no previous knowledge of the language.120


Watch this short video to learn about the CEFR and how it is explained on the Cambridge website.