All six levels of proficiency (A1, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5) are designed to assess and accredit general English language ability. The levels are linked to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and accredited by Ofqual in the UK.

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The International Certificate is provided in partnership with Edexcel Limited, the largest UK awarding body for academic and vocational qualifications. Edexcel Limited is the official awarding body for the International Certificate.

Jump to - Foundation Level, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Level 4, Level 5.

Exam updates

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The new times for the speaking tests will be as follows:

Level Test time
Foundation Level 3.5 min
Level 1 3.5 min
Level 2 5.5 min
Level 3 5.5 min
Level 4 6 min
Level 5 6 min

International Certificate levels

Foundation Level

Exam time: 1hr 15 mins
Speaking test: Five mins
Designed to be aligned with CEFR level A1.

Download our Guide to the International Certificate - Level A1 (PDF)

Who is it for?
This test is for test takers with a beginner knowledge of English, sufficient for survival in social, travel and everyday situations. Test takers will be expected to understand very short, simple information and to express themselves simply and briefly, in both speech and in writing.

How is it structured?
The test has a written paper and a spoken test. The written paper is divided into nine tasks which are linked to a theme. At Level A1 Foundation the theme tends to relate to familiar and routine matters, such as home and shopping. 

About the test
It contains nine sections which assess the listening, writing and reading, and speaking skills. The description of the tested items include multiple choice, open-ended questions, and text writing.

Spoken test
This is a five minute session consisting of a timed interaction between a test taker and an interlocutor. There are three sections to the test:

1. sustained monologue
2. describe picture
3. role play

Please read the test guide document for more detailed information on the test structure.

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