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The Research

The Speaknow assessment focuses on the accuracy,
range and intelligibility of spoken and written English.
These measure the domains of linguistic competence
and some aspects of pragmatic competence.

The purpose of the Speaknow Assessment is to
measure a candidate’s ability in natural contexts.

External Validation Studies

The purpose of the test is to assess an applicant’s English language competence for the context of professional and academic environments where English is necessary for successful communication. In order to ensure that the test is able to be used to make decisions about a candidate’s or applicant’s language proficiency, the test must be designed in such a way that its scores are able to be used for this purpose, and that the score interpretations are based on a theoretically sound framework.

What is the CEFR?

The CEFR is the European standard of measuring language level. It provides a six point scale of language proficiency for many different language skills. The scale is widely used throughout the world and allows you and everyone you work with to understand exactly what your candidates can do with the language.



Speakers have near-native language competence.


Speakers have very clear, high level communication and good vocabulary with few mistakes.



Speakers can understand and speak clearly about most subjects. However, they may have some mistakes and search for the right word.


Speakers can understand English spoken slowly and communicate about familiar topics. They make frequent mistakes but are understandable.



Speakers can use English for routine communications. They may be difficult to understand at times.


Speakers can use English for very limited, routine communication only.

How Speaknow aligns with CEFR

The Speaknow Assessment aligns with the CEFR by using proficiency scales with the same descriptions of English skills to train our raters and algorithms for automated grading. The result is a set of scores that is easy to understand. Speaknow's use of the CEFR provides you with the information you need to make informed hiring and admissions decisions.

Check out our blog to find more studies and tips!