English Evaluation Guide

InterExchange interviews all applicants to ensure that each participant possesses sufficient proficiency in the English language to successfully participate in our U.S. programs and to function on a day-to-day basis.

Along with the applicant’s background, education, work experience and interests, we also rate applicants’ English levels according to the following scale:


  • 10 – Absolute proficiency in English. Applicant is able to both understand and converse using sophisticated vocabulary and correct sentence structure. Generally given only to native speakers.
  • 9 – Near fluency. Sentence structures are nearly perfect. Understands difficult questions and uses abstract terms. No problems communicating.
  • 8 – Responses come quickly and naturally. Has an above average vocabulary, understanding almost everything.
  • 7 – Understands most conversation. Speaking ability is good, just needs practice. Can go beyond basic responses. Varies vocabulary, although sometimes needs to search for words.
  • 6 – Understands the basic English vocabulary, including most common terms. Thinks quickly, but it is sometimes evident that applicant translates from mother tongue. Gets a little lost when conversation becomes abstract. Easily carries a basic conversation.
  • 5 – Applicant can certainly be understood. Can respond in sentence form even if grammar and sentence structures are not perfect.
  • 4 – Applicant evidently understands basic English sentences and responds even if only in words or phrases. Grammar and sentence structure are poor but understandable. Daily practice will quickly improve English.
  • 3 – Applicant understands words and phrases but has some difficulty understanding sentences and thoughts if they are spoken too quickly. Speaking ability is limited but has great potential to improve.
  • 2 – Applicant understands some words and phrases but has to make a big effort to communicate.
  • 1 – Applicant cannot understand any conversation and knows little or no English.