I got my C2 certification in English language proficiency over 10 years ago. Since then, I believe my grasp on the language has improved significantly, but that improvement is not reflected anywhere officially.

Today I decided to check if there are any strictly higher qualifications I could pursue, but I can't really find anything beyond C2. Should I look for something else?

  • 1
    Since certificates typically cost money, can you explain why you would want to take another test? To show a potential employer? (Since C2 is strictly speaking open ended, I don't see a why there would be a test that goes beyond it. I don't see a market for it either.)
    – Tsundoku
    Jan 6, 2018 at 19:33
  • 1
    @ChristopheStrobbe Well, I figured that since my proficiency level is well beyond what it was when I got the C2 certification, pursuing another certification that more closely matches my level could provide a competitive advantage. Also, I've heard that some employers disregard language proficiency certifications that aren't recent, meaning that I might have to "renew" my C2 eventually anyway.
    – T. C.
    Jan 6, 2018 at 19:40
  • 1
    Good question. Welcome to Language Learning!
    – fi12
    Jan 6, 2018 at 19:57

1 Answer 1


Some companies may not be familiar with CEFR and it may sometimes be safer to use descriptions such as "near native" or "fluent" (see e.g. Describing language skills on the Jobline LMU website). However, the Council of Europe (CoE) has pointed out that C2 is not meant to imply a near-native level:

Level C2, whilst it has been termed ‘Mastery’, is not intended to imply native-speaker or near native-speaker competence. What is intended is to characterise the degree of precision, appropriateness and ease with the language which typifies the speech of those who have been highly successful learners.

(Quoted from How Do You Prove Your Language Level? – The CEFR on the Linguacore blog; my emphasis. See also the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment: Companion Volume with New Descriptors from September 2017.)

Since many learners stagnate below C2, the market for tests that go beyond C2 is presumably exceedingly small. Nevertheless, the Level Guide on the Anglo-Link website contains a table with CEFR levels and the levels of three international tests: IELTS, the Cambridge English tests and TOEFL iBT. According to this table, the following tests or test results go beyond C2:

It seems that you can take (or retake) any of the above tests. If you can figure out what certificate future employers may be most familiar with, I would choose the test for that certificate.

  • 1
    CPE corresponds to C2 (this is official) cambridgeenglish.org/exams-and-tests/cefr
    – Alex B.
    Jan 26, 2018 at 1:07
  • @AlexB. Thanks, I have edited my answer to take this into account.
    – Tsundoku
    Jan 26, 2018 at 16:46
  • I would be interested in knowing this about other languages.
    – Jonathan
    May 31, 2021 at 17:44
  • @Jonathan Since the current question is specifically about English, you would need to ask a separate question about the language you are interested in.
    – Tsundoku
    May 31, 2021 at 17:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.