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Levels

The American Language Program provides instruction in eight levels of English proficiency.

  • Level 2 is pre-intermediate level ability
  • Level 9 is high advanced

The ALP does not teach beginners (level 0, level 1). If you speak no English, or speak just basic English, the ALP is not the right program for you.

Level 2 pre-intermediate students must be able to speak and write about familiar topics and be able to understand and read simple information in English (CEFR A2 level) before coming to the ALP.

Applicants scoring below level 2 on the Oxford online placement exam will not be admitted. All students are re-tested when they arrive.

If a student is too low for our program - meaning they cannot understand the class and cannot participate - they will not be able to continue. We will give a 100% tuition refund and help with a transfer to another school.

For questions about ALP levels, contact alptest [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu.

ALP Levels, the Common European Framework and the Oxford Online Placement Test.

The ALP uses the Oxford Online Placement Test (OOPT) as part of the admissions process.

The chart below shows the approximate OOPT scores for initial placement into the eight ALP levels, and also how ALP levels relate to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) proficiency scale. It is based on internal research conducted by the program and is for information purposes only. 

Comparison Table
ALP Level Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) Oxford Online Placement Test (OOPT)
2

A2

21-40

3

B1.1

41-45

4

B1.2

46-50

5

B1.3

51-63

6

B2.1

64-74

7

B2.2

75-85

8

C1.1

86-100

9

C1.2

101+