Language Proficiency Assessment

Assessment period:
1) from 03 to 31 January 2020
Registration until 31 December 2019
2) from 15 June to 17 July 2020
Registration until 5 June 2020

Language Proficiency Assessment is a specialised service provided by BabeliUM to accredit and certify language proficiency in all languages offered by BabeliUM – Language Centre and according to the levels defined in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

This assessment is performed through a specific exam, divided into two major blocs:

  • A – assesses listening and reading comprehension, and writing skills.
  • B – assesses oral communication and interaction skills.
    The certificate is issued when the applicant is successful in all assessed language skills of the level to which he/she applied.

€ 100 Per exam/person assessed (within defined periods)
€ 150 Per exam/person assessed (outside defined periods)
Discounts for groups larger than 6 people, regarding the same language and same level.
Requests can be made at BabeliUM’s office (opening hours: from 9.00 to 11.30, and from 14.00 to 16.30).
For more information, contact us by:

  • Language proficiency assessment should be carried out by means of two annual calls in order to facilitate its organisation and dissemination, as well as to optimise the work involved in elaborating the exams in the respective departments, sections and language courses.
  • The establishment of a monitoring committee is also advised in order to oversee the correct levelling of exams and adequacy to the parameters described herein.
  • The exam structure will consist of two parts:
  • 1 – Part A: Part A will be collectively administered, and will evaluate listening and reading comprehension, and writing skills. This exam will be held in several classrooms, depending on the assessed language and level of applicants. The available spaces should be comfortable for applicants, and possess quality acoustics and necessary audiovisual means for its completion. In each classroom there must be a teacher in order to organise and oversee the exam. Applicants with special needs should provide evidence of the latter upon registration. Therefore, all necessary arrangements will be taken care of in order to facilitate exam completion in the best possible conditions. Completion time for this part is according to the different levels:
level A1/A2 B1/B2 C1/C2
time 2h30m 3h 4h
  • In this part, the applicant is free to manage his/her time in the best way possible; as such, the time specified for each of the three language skills that make up this part will not be discriminated, although the first 30 minutes of the exam should be dedicated to the listening comprehension exercise.
  • 2 – Part B: Part B will be individually administered and will evaluate oral communication and interaction skills. It will take place in a classroom where there should be an examiner and an evaluator. The examiner will sit in front of the applicant and will be responsible for the development of the interview. The evaluator will be responsible for classifying the exam, and is expected to be out of the applicant’s view, but at a reasonable distance, so the evaluator can easily listen to the interview.

1. Listening comprehension

  • The listening comprehension exercise consists of two oral texts, which will be heard twice and will be according to the level to which the applicant applied. The nature of both texts should cover different functional and sociolinguistic areas.
  • The questions will be objective and of closed response, and should evaluate both the overall comprehension of texts as well as specific and concrete elements..
  • The selected texts should adjust to the types and parameters described in (CEFR) or, if any, in the document related to the reference levels of each language.

2. Reading comprehension

  • The reading comprehension exercise also consists of two texts with objective questions and closed responses to assess the overall and specific comprehension of the text.
  • The selected texts should represent different functional and sociolinguistic areas of communicative competence and adjust to the reference levels described in (QECRL).

3. Writing skills

    • Writing skills are evaluated through the production of two texts. This part of the exam will require an open response and its correction will be made according to the descriptors of each level.
    • The outline of this part of the exam should accurately describe the communicative act to which the text produced by the applicant should adjust, as well as detail the task instructions. The length of the written text should also be explicitly mentioned according to level, and should be as follows:
  • nívelA1A2B1B2C1C2
    número aproximado de palavras100150250300400450

4. Oral communication

  • The text typology and the required functions, as well as the level of vocabulary and grammatical knowledge required must adjust to the CEFR reference levels.
  • Oral communication is evaluated through an interview with the examiner and the applicant. The structure of the interview should include both the expository and interactive parts. The examiner should not only ensure that the communicative functions required correspond to the level, but also obtain a representative language sample so that the evaluator can truthfully ponder on the oral competence of the applicant.
  • The interview will take approximately 15 minutes, which must be respected in full, regardless of the examiner or evaluator’s initial impressions.
  • The evaluator will classify the applicant’s oral communication according to a scale of descriptors.

In order to receive the Language Proficiency Certificate, the applicant must be evaluated in all four language skills.

In the objective and closed response exercises (listening and reading comprehension), applicants will have to adequately answer to a minimum of 75% of questions.

In the subjective and open response exercises (oral communication and writing skills), applicants will have to satisfactorily complete each section. The applicant may not reach the desired level in only one of the correction criteria of each writing skills exercise and in only one of the oral communication exercise.

Even if the applicant fails only one of the parameters, he/she may still not pass this part of the exam, and hence the overall assessment if the applicant’s spoken/written production is significantly less than that required. In order to better analyse this situation, an outline of the descriptors by scale is recommended.

The following parameters are part of the correction criteria of the writing skills exercise:

– Thematic Development.

– Sociolinguistic Appropriateness.

– Cohesion and Coherence.

– Grammatical Accuracy and Orthographic control.

– Vocabulary Control and Range.

In the writing skills exercise, the aforementioned criteria should be applied to each of the texts that will be independently assessed.


The following parameters are part of the correction criteria of the oral communication exercise:

– Thematic Development.

– Sociolinguistic Appropriateness.

– Cohesion, Coherence and Fluency.

– Phonological Control.

– Grammatical Accuracy.

– Vocabulary Control and Range.