Core Course Level Equivalencies

The MLS English language program offers 12 levels of courses

ranging from Level 1 (absolute beginner) to Level 12 (for those

with native-like proficiency). The table below presents our level

structure in relation to some common frames of reference for

describing English abilities. 

MLS Level     TOEFL Score   IELTS Score     CEFR

Level 12          111-120              No equivalent.   No equivalent.  

Level 11          101-110              8-9                     No equivalent. 

Level 10            91-100              7-7.5                 C2 

Level 9              81-90                6.5-7                 C1 - C2

Level 8              71-80                6-6.5                 C1

Level 7              61-70                6                       B2 

Level 6              51-60                5.5-6                 B1 – B2

Level 5              41-50                4.5-5                 B1

Level 4              32-40                4.5-5                 A2

Level 3                0-31                0-4                    A2 

Level 2                0-31                0-4                    A1

Level 1                0-31                0-4                    A1 


1. Semi-Intensive Programs (1 class meeting per week) require 16 weeks per level.

2. Intensive Programs (4 class meetings per week) require 4 weeks per level.

3. “NA” = “Not Applicable” (“Not Applicable” = “Not important because it doesn’t exist.”)

4. Levels 11 and 12 are so high that there are no IELTS or CEFR equivalencies.

5. The IELTS is an English proficiency exam used in England. It is becoming popular in the U.S.

as an easier alternative to the TOEFL. As it is quite new in the U.S., institutions often have varying

opinions regarding equivalencies. Universities which require a minimum score of 100 on the TOEFL

also sometimes accept a score of 7 on the IELTS. However, students who receive scores as low as

an 89 on the TOEFL can receive a 7 on the IELTS the following day.

6. "CEFR" stands for "Common European Framework of Reference for Languages." Outside of Europe,

this standard is largely unknown and irrelevant. 


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MLS English Language Program

Davis Square

402 A Highland Avenue, Suite I

Somerville, MA 02144  United States of America

© 2019 by James Doyle