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Language levels

All the countries in Europe have agreed to use the same words when we talk about language learning and what someone can do in a language. There are six levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2. The levels come from the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Categorisation of levels

A1 is the lowest level, and C2 is the highest. In Norway we have tests for the levels A1-C1, but not for C2. The levels show for example:

  • how difficult a language course is,
  • what you learn at a course,
  • what you know after taking a test.

If you take a language test in Norway and get B1, for instance, people in other countries will know what that means, since the levels mean the same thing all over Europe.

Read about the different levels


You can understand and use familiar, everyday words and expressions. You can participate in a simple conversation if the other person is helpful and speaks slowly and clearly.


You can participate in simple conversations about ordinary and practical activities that you are familiar with. You can read and understand short, simple texts related to your work. You can write short, simple messages and describe experiences and events using simple phrases and sentences.


You can understand the main points of clear text and speech about familiar topics that you often encounter in connection with work, school, and leisure. You can manage in most situations that may arise, and you can write simple texts on familiar topics and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.


You can understand the main content of complex or academic texts, including academic discussions within your own discipline. You can participate in conversations using relatively spontaneous and fluent language, and you can write clear, detailed, and argumentative texts on a wide range of topics.


You can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning.

You can produce clear, well-structured, detailed texts on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors, and cohesive devices.

At C1-level you can use the language in speaking and writing for cognitively demanding tasks such as elaborating, synthesising and passing on information.


You have good mastery of a very wide range of language to formulate thoughts with precision, give emphasis, differentiate between nuances, and eliminate ambiguity. You show no sign of having to restrict what you want to say.

Which level do I need?

Applying for higher education

Anyone applying for admission to a university or college in Norway through The Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admission Service (NUCAS), must meet Norwegian language requirements. Level B2 is required for admission to higher education.

You can take the Norwegian language test to document that you master Norwegian at level B2. You must achieve B2 on all four parts of the test to apply for admission to higher education programmes.

Citizenship or residence permit

If you are applying for Norwegian citizenship you need level B1 on the oral test. This has been decided by the Storting. You can read more about the requirements for Norwegian language skills and citizenship on the websites of the Directorate of Immigration (

Working in Norway

Some jobs require documentation of a particular level of Norwegian. The test certificate for the Norwegian language test is valid documentation of your language level.

Read more about the framework