How can I find out my student's CEFR level?

Published on 22 November 2021 at 14:02

Taking a well-designed standardised test is the best approach to determine your student's CEFR level. The Oxford Placement Test, which has helped millions of students choose the proper class, can swiftly and easily assess your students' English ability. It is automatically marked and provides accurate, dependable, and immediate results, allowing you to be certain that students are placed in the appropriate class for their language level. Students can take the test in class or at home because it is entirely online. Teachers and students may follow clear directions that walk them through every step of taking the test remotely.


"The Oxford Placement Test has been the favourite placement test in the Colombian Higher Education context for many years. It has provided institutions with accurate and reliable results for thousands of students."

Leopoldo Pinzón Escobar, Universidad Santo Tomás, Colombia

What it tests
The Oxford Placement Test is in two parts - Use of English and Listening. Students are tested on their knowledge of grammatical form and vocabulary in the Use of English section, as well as their listening skills in the Listening section. In addition, both sections test how well students understand the meaning of what is being communicated. Understanding meaning is fundamental to communication and is an excellent indicator of language ability.


Who is suitable
Oxford Placement Test (9780194571548) is designed for students aged 16 years and above. The topics, situations, and associated grammar and vocabulary are age appropriate and suitable for teenage and adult learners.

  • Results include CEFR level (Pre-A1 to C2), a score out of 120, and the time taken.


The Oxford Placement Test for Young Learners (9780194571791) is designed for 7-12 year olds and is in two sections - Language Use and Listening. The Language Use section assesses students' knowledge of vocabulary, function and grammar across 18 questions. The Listening section assesses listening for detail and gist, using short and extended listening across 12 questions. Both sections test British English.

  • Results include a CEFR level (Pre-A1 to B1), a score out of 80, and the time taken.


Ideal for home use
The Oxford Placement Test is ideal for testing students who are studying remotely. Clear guides for teachers and learners provide step-by-step support through every stage of taking the test.

Taking the Oxford Placement Tests at Home Guidance for Teachers (PDF, 1 MB)

Taking the Oxford Placement Test at Home Guidance for Learners (PDF, 1 MB)


How it works
The test is computer-adaptive, which means that it selects an easier or more difficult question depending on whether the previous answer was wrong or right. This makes the test shorter than a pen and paper test. Students will be asked between 40 and 45 questions, depending on their level. The test is timed and you can set the timer between 50 and 90 minutes to suit different students.

From the Learning Management System (LMS), you download and print or email the log in details to your students. The test is automatically marked as students answer each question, giving you an instant result when they have finished.


Language options
You can test in British English or American English making it more realistic for your students. Test the Use of English section in British or American English and select a mix of accents in the Listening section: 100% British English, 100% American English, or a 50/50 mix of the two. This gives you the flexibility to test different groups and to match the way you test students to the way they use and experience English.


Results you can trust
The Oxford Placement Test was developed to take the worry out of placing your students. Piloted on thousands of students across the globe, the test is continually validated to ensure it delivers results you can trust. To find out more, see The Oxford Placement Test: What does it measure and how? (PDF, 1 MB) by Professor James Purpura.

Results are reported as a CEFR level and standardized score for the test as a whole, and separately for the Use of English and Listening sections, allowing you to make fine-grained distinctions between students' abilities. To find out more, see The Meaning of Oxford Placement Test Scores (PDF, 0.6 MB) by Alistair Pollitt.


Simple to administer
User-friendly management tools make it easy to administer the test, and to manage the results. You can email login details to students for them to take the test remotely, or print login slips for them to take the test at school.

You can also customise the test results to help you with placement decisions. Add your own registration questions, such as a student's country of origin or native language. These are then shown in one table with the test results. If your school has its own system of categorising students, you can correlate the test results to those categories to appear with the test results.

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