Benchmarking selected IB language courses to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (2023)

Last updated:

This study commissioned by the IB aims to assist universities in determining the language proficiencies of Diploma Programme (DP) and Career-related Programme (CP) students without the need for additional testing.

While many universities accept IB language courses grades as proof of language proficiency, some require additional assessments from IB students. The study, conducted by Ecctis, examined how grades in selected IB language courses compare to levels on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The CEFR is widely used in the development and referencing of language syllabus qualifications, assessment and other learning materials.

The findings indicate that DP language courses are comparable to CEFR B2, the level most commonly required by universities. The research therefore provides universities valuable benchmarks for comparing IB student grades against CEFR proficiency levels in Language A and Language B courses in English, French, German and Spanish.

Overview (PDF, 2.4 MB)

Executive summary (PDF, 1.4 MB)

Full report (PDF, 4.3 MB)

Appendices (PDF, 2.0 MB)

For more information on this study or other IB assessment research, please send an email. If you have any questions about recognition, please contact us

Additional comparisons with other qualifications and language proficiency tests have been benchmarked to levels of the CEFR scale.