Monday 30 May 2022


Aptis ESOL - the world’s leading English language proficiency test, developed and delivered by the British Council – is now available for candidates in the UK for the first time.

Trusted and recognised by governments, education and employment institutions, the Aptis ESOL International Certificate is official proof of English proficiency for individuals in their country.

The assessment was created by leading experts in language assessments and, with 2022 marking the tenth anniversary since its global launch, the test has been taken by over 1.8 million people around the world.  

To qualify, candidates must complete a five-skills, computer-based English test that focuses on listening, reading, writing, speaking and grammar and vocabulary. The test specifications, tasks and rating scales are based on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) and are delivered on a computer in invigilated, face-to-face sessions under strict security regulations. 

The British Council applies and delivers strict monitoring, control and quality assurance standards in the test’s development and ensures the reliability and accuracy of test scores. The speaking and writing components are marked remotely by trained human examiners, and the results are available in just 48-hours. The Ofqual regulation further reinforces the authority, authenticity and reliability of the test. 

Aptis ESOL testing methodology is backed by extensive research and validated in studies by independent researchers. It is taken by individuals to show that they fulfil the English language proficiency requirements of their institution or employer, and is available in three variants:  

  • Aptis ESOL General is for candidates aged 16 plus and assessing levels A1 to B2 on the CEFR.  
  • Aptis ESOL Teachers is adapted for candidates from a teaching background and ensures that they meet the language certification requirements for teachers working in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) or on bilingual programmes. It tests levels A1 to B2 on the CEFR. 
  • Aptis ESOL Advanced tests language proficiency from B1 to C2 on the CEFR. Tasks are more complex and designed to distinguish between C1 and C2 level candidates.

Dr. Jonathan Ford, Head of Global Assessment at the British Council, said: “After extensive research and work with Ofqual, we are delighted to be launching Aptis ESOL in the UK to support our community of English language learners and teachers across our partner centres. 

“Aptis ESOL is a quality test fully developed by the British Council and world-renowned experts in English assessments. It is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2022.”

In the UK, Aptis ESOL is now available through a network of British Council delivery partners, national language schools and language departments within universities. 

Aptis ESOL is regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) that regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.


Notes to Editor

For media enquiries, please contact Beatrice Cole, Senior Media and Campaigns Manager, British Council:

About Aptis ESOL: Find out more about the research behind Aptis in the research section. It includes information about the Aptis validation studies, linking the Aptis scores to the CEFR, the development approach and Aptis technical manual.

About Ofqual: Ofqual is the body that regulates qualifications, examinations and assessment in England and is respected worldwide for its management of educational standards. It is responsible for ensuring that regulated qualifications reliably reflect the knowledge, skills and proficiency students have demonstrated and achieved. They have a critical duty to ensure the public, employers, educational institutions, and state agencies have confidence in the general and vocational qualifications they recognise and regulate.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education, and the English language. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 14.5 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.

The British Council creates global opportunities in arts and culture, education and the English language.