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When your translator says he speaks "perfect English" or that he understands "anything" in English, you shouldn't just believe him.
Currently, the translation market is full of people who believe they can translate. However, many of them don't fulfil the minimum requirements to deliver an acceptable service. What these translators produce populates humurous language shaming internet posts where translators go to cry or laugh.

In this article I will give details about different international tests for English as a second language, correlated with a common measurement for comparison, entry requirements in English universities for foreigners and residents, and the inferred average English level of Key Stage 5 graduates.


* At least 1-2 years of studies must be completed in the UK for distance learning.

One can inferr from these requirements that a Key Stage 5 graduate must have a minimum level equivalent to level B2 of the CEFR. Obviously, some graduates will have a higher level, equivalent to levels C1 and C2 of the CEFR, so they can apply to more demanding studies like Law, Journalism and Medicine, as can be seen in the table. With demanding studies, these students should increase their language competence achieving a level some researchers call "E" or "Educated Native".

The following is a table with the most important tests for English as a second language, their different scores and comparable levels.

Examenes ESOL, ITEP, Michigan, TOEFL internet, TOEFL presencial, ETAAPP y TOEIC


References for equivalencies:

5 Approximate values taken from a range. (Ref: FulbrightChile, document disappeared from its original link)
6 TOEIC Maximum = 200 (Write) +200 (Speak) - 495 (Read) +495 (listen) = C1 (1390). Doesn't measure an advanced knowledge of English in "reading", something essential for translations from English into other languages.
Reading: Minimum scores B2 (385) B1 (275) A2 (115) – The score for C1 (455) is only for reference as only 55% of panelists consider it measures this level.
Listening: Minimum scores C1 (490) B2 (400) B1 (275) A2 (110)
Speaking: Minimum scores C1 (200) B2 (160) B1 (120) A2 (90)
Writing: Minimum scores C1 (200), B2 (150) B1 (120) A2 (70)


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