The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF or CEFR) was put together by the Council of Europe as a way of standardising the levels of language exams in different regions. It is very widely used internationally and all important exams are mapped to the CEFR.
There are six levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2. These are described in the table below.
|The capacity to deal with material which is academic or cognitively demanding, and to use language to good effect at a level of performance which may in certain respects be more advanced than that of an average native speaker.
|The ability to communicate with the emphasis on how well it is done, in terms of appropriacy, sensitivity and the capacity to deal with unfamiliar topics.
|The capacity to achieve most goals and express oneself on a range of topics.
|The ability to express oneself in a limited way in familiar situations and to deal in a general way with nonroutine information.
|An ability to deal with simple, straightforward information and begin to express oneself in familiar contexts.
|A basic ability to communicate and exchange information in a simple way.