Evaluation grid

Taking the CLES test

To pass the CLES, candidates must validate each of the competences, detailed below:

The CLES does not allow partial validation or to take only one written or oral test. Candidates must therefore validate the target level in all skills.

B1 skills and criteria

At level B1, the candidate is required to demonstrate the following:

  • Follows the instructions and the situation
  • Provides the expected information
  • Be understood (pauses tolerated)
  • Pronounces keywords correctly (pronunciation errors elsewhere tolerated)
  • Presents and links information
  • A good command of grammar (errors do not interfere with understanding)
  • Uses appropriate lexicon (periphrasis is allowed in moderation)

B2 skills and criteria

A level B2 follows on from level B1, thus criteria are similar, but the candidate is expected to be more fluent and make fewer errors, whether grammatical, lexical or in pronunciation. Candidates who do not validate expected level B2 skills may however validate a level B1. 

At level B2, the candidate is required to demonstrate the following:

  • Can negotiate and use a variety of arguments
  • Can restart an exchange if necessary
  • Can speak fluently (long pause periods are not accepted)
  • Good pronunciation (candidate should be easy to understand)
  • A good command of grammar to avoid misunderstanding
  • Able to use a variety of complex sentences

C1 skills and criteria

The level C1 corresponds to an "experienced user level". This means that only occasional errors are tolerated. At this level, candidates are expected to show fluency, ease and spontaneity. Lower level skills are also evaluated at level C1 but it is not possible to validate a B2 CLES level from a C1 test.

At level C1, the candidate is required to demonstrate the following:

  • Structures speech (appropriate use of connectors)
  • Takes into account different points of view and arguments while reaching an appropriate conclusion
  • Uses language appropriate to the task
  • Uses complex sentences
  • Uses a wide and precise vocabulary
  • Good pronunciation, intonation and syllable stress
Published on  March 20, 2023
Updated on July 10, 2023