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ECL Exam System in Bulgaria

The ECL (European Consortium for the Certificate of Attainment in Modern Languages)  exam system provides standardized test in European languages. The test is based on CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) and is managed by the European Consortium for the Certificate of Attainment in Modern Languages (ECL).  The ECL exam system was established in 1983-92 by an international team of language experts. The international ECL exam centre since 1999 is operating at the University of Pecs of Hungary, at the Foreign Language Secretariat.

The ECL language exam assesses the candidate’s written and oral skills in day-to-day, professional and personal situations. ECL exam in Bulgarian language is held twice in a year in the months of June and December.

ECL Exam Languages

The ECL exam is held in the following languages: English, Bulgarian, Polish, Croatian, Slovak, German, Czech, Spanish, French, Romanian, Italian, German, Serbian, Hebrew, Russian, and Hungarian. 

ECL Language Exam Levels

The ECL language examination has four levels and it tests the communicative language proficiency of the candidates.
  • Level A2-Waystage: This level indicates that you are capable enough to understand, ask and answer questions in the desired language, you are a good tourist, can go for shopping, and understand the signs and signals.
  • Level B1-Threshold: This level indicates that can talk in the target language at workplace, and you understand the TV shows, radio news and newspaper in the target language.
  • Level B2-Vantage: This level indicates that you can study at the educational institutions of the desired language country, and you’re comfortable in interacting in the target language. 
  • Level C1-Effective Operational Proficiency: This level indicates that you are proficient in the target language. You can read, speak and write in the language, can work or study in the target language. 

ECL Exam Structure

The ECL exam has four parts-
  • Oral communication
  • Reading comprehension
  • Listening comprehension
  • Written communication

Oral Examination

Oral examination comprises of two sections-oral communication and listening comprehension.

Oral Communication

In this part, candidates are interviewed in pairs. In threes, if there are odd number of candidates. Candidate’s performance is evaluated by two examiners.  This part has following tasks:

Introduction: This part requires the candidate to introduce himself/herself. The interviewer collects all the required information about the candidate. This task is not evaluated. 
  • Duration: 3 to 5 minutes
Guided conversation: In this task, the interviewer starts the conversation based on a subject/topic of the candidate’s choice and also the interviewer ask questions that stimulates the conversation between the 2 candidates.
  • Duration: 5 to 8 minutes
Picture description: In this task, few pictures are chosen and provided by the interviewer. On the basis of the visual stimuli, candidates are required to describe the picture.
  • Duration: 5 to 8 minutes
Evaluation Criteria
This part assesses the vocabulary, pronunciation, fluency, syntax and morphology, and communication skills.

 Evaluation Criteria  Points
 Formal accuracy- syntax and morphology  0-5
 Style-sociolinguistic and pragmatic  0-5
 Oral accuracy-fluency, pronunciation and pattern  0-5
 Communicative effectiveness  0-5
 Vocabulary  0-5

Listening Comprehension

In this part, 2 recordings are played twice. This part comprises of two tasks with 10 items each. 

At level A2, candidates are required to prove their ability to understand the conversation between 2 native speakers on a topic/subject related to the candidate.  
  • Duration: 25 minutes
  • No. of task: 2
  • No. of words (recorded texts): 400-500
At this level B1, candidates are required to prove that they understand the important and general details of the conversation between 2 native speakers; understand the commentaries, public messages or news in the target language.
  • Duration: 25-30 minutes
  • No. of task: 2
  • No. of words (recorded texts): 500-700
At level B2, candidates are required to understand the idea and information on topics which involved 4 native speakers.
  • Duration: 30-35 minutes
  • No. of task: 2
  • No. of words (recorded texts): 800-1000
At level C1, candidates are required to take out the information and draw inferences from discussion on any unfamiliar topic. This level includes several speakers interacting with each other at a normal speech rate. 
  • Duration: 35-40
  • No. of task: 2
  • No. of words (recorded texts): 1200-1500

Writing Examination

Writing examination comprises of two sections- written communication and reading comprehension.

Written Communication

At level A2, candidates are required to convey basic information and write short items that are related to their day-to-day situations.
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • No. of tasks: 2
  • No. of words: 150 (70 for task 1 and 80 for task 2)
At level B1, candidates are required to prove that they can write brief and simple text to communicate information and express their point of view on different topics. 
  • Duration: 50 minutes
  • No. of tasks: 2
  • No. of words: 250 (120 for task 1 and 130 for task 2)
At level B2, candidates are required to prove that they can compose narrative and descriptive text relevant to personal and day-to-day experience with coherence.  
  • Duration: 75 minutes
  • No. of tasks: 2
  • No. of words: 400 (200 for each task)
At level C1, candidates are required to prove that they can compose on several topics related to professional, personal and daily needs.
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • No. of tasks: 2
  • No. of words: 600 (300 for each task)
Evaluation Criteria
This part assesses the usage of vocabulary, accuracy, syntax, style and communicative skills. 

 Evaluation Criteria  Points
 Formal accuracy  0-5
 Vocabulary  0-5
 Communicative effectiveness  0-5
 Style  0-5
 Spelling and test construction accuracy  0-5

Reading Comprehension

This test comprises of 2 tasks with 10 items each.

At level A2, candidates are required to prove the ability to understand the general brief and simple text on familiar topics, such as news, public notices timetables, travel brochures, etc.
  • Duration: 35 minutes
  • No. of tasks: 2
  • Number of words: 400-500
At level B1, students are required to prove the ability to understand the important and general details of the items on familiar topics, such as domestic bills, job ads, personal letters, etc.
  • Duration: 35 minutes
  • No. of tasks: 2
  • Number of words: 500-700
At level B2, students are required to prove the ability to identify the aim and tone of the passage taken from various sources, and understand the specific information. The passages are taken from reports, newspapers, formal letters, and magazines.
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • No. of tasks: 2
  • Number of words: 800-1000
At level C1, candidates are required to prove their capability to understand the idea and information, and identify the aim and tone of the texts given.
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • No. of tasks: 2
  • Number of words: 1000-1300
To know the topics of the ECL exam in Bulgarian language, click here

Registration and Fees

To register for the ECL exam, register at the official website of the ECL Exam System. The ECL consortium sets the examination fee which varies by location.

For exam dates, click here.

For exam centres, click here

Scoring and Results

Each skill assessed in every part is 25 points, thus the total score to be obtained is 100 points. The score of 40% in each skill is required in order to pass the exam, and at least 60% in each exam- writing examination and oral examination 

 Exam Parts  Maximum Points
 Reading comprehension  25
 Oral communication  25
 Listening comprehension  25
 Written communication  25
 Total  100
 Maximum pass level  60
 Pass level per skill for a partial examination  10



To know more about the exam, visits the official website of the ECL Exam System.
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