English certification: 6 things to know about Linguaskill (BULATS)

Formerly known as BULATS (Business Language Testing Service), Linguaskill is an English test taken on a computer that measures your level of English. Linguaskill is recognized all over the world.

Introduced in France in 1998, the test is designed by Cambridge Assessment English, a department of the University of Cambridge, and is based on English language skills used in everyday and professional situations.

Every year, about 4.5 million people take the Linguaskill test in France.

What is the purpose of the test?

The Linguaskill English test is used to certify a level of English for job recruiters and employers (in the context of providing English lessons to employees for example) or in higher education, in particular for the purposes of internal promotion and international mobility.

Linguaskill adapts to all language levels from beginner (A1) to advanced (C1+) and is recognized on the CEFR scale.

Note: Linguaskill is considered one of the Cambridge English tests,  not an exam.

What does the test involve?

Unlike the previous incarnation of BULATS, there are two different Linguaskill tests:

  • Linguaskill General: suited to a wider variety of candidates, this test is based on everyday language and situations.
  • Linguaskill Business: this is the modernized version of the BULATS. As the name suggests, the test focuses on business situations likely to occur in sales, marketing and management.

The tests assess up to four language skills: reading comprehension, oral comprehension, written expression and oral expression

The Linguaskill test is carried out entirely on a computer, and consists of three modules, which can be taken separately or together:

  • The main test (Listening and Reading) lasts between one hour and one hour 20 minutes. There is a succession of questions on reading and oral comprehension, which also cover grammar and semantics.
  • The Writing module lasts 45 minutes and assesses the relevance of candidates’ language skills and their ability to analyze ideas.
  • The Speaking module takes 15 minutes, with five exercises being completed using a microphone.

Like the TOEIC and TOEFL tests, the Linguaskill certification is valid for two years.

How long does the test take?

Depending on the modules chosen, the test can take from an hour to two hours and twenty minutes.

What levels can the Linguaskill test assess?

Linguaskill can assess all language levels from beginner (A1) to advanced (C1+) and is recognized on the CEFR scale.

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What grading system does Linguaskill use?

The results are delivered in the form of a certificate, with a score ranging from 100 (level A1) to 180+ (level C1+). Your Linguaskill score is then translated into its equivalent CEFR level.

Here is the level correspondence with the CEFR:

Score obtainedCEFR levelGymglish equivalent
100-119A1Level 1
120-139A2Level 1
140-159B1Level 2
160-179B2Level 3
180+C1+Levels 4 and 5

How much does the test cost? Where can you take it?

For the “2 skills” version, the price of the Linguaskill test is between €70 and €90 depending on the city. The “4 skills” version costs around €120.

To take a Linguaskill test, you have to register directly with a Linguaskill agent or a test center.

Did you know? Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some Linguaskill agents are offering “Linguaskill Anywhere”, a 100% online version of the test with remote monitoring.

BULATS at a glance

PublisherCambridge Assessment EnglishGymglish
Name of certificate / diplomaLinguaskill (BULATS)Gymglish learning report, professional English
Validity periodTwo yearsDoes not expire
Skills testedReading comprehension, oral comprehension, written expression, oral expressionReading, listening, writing (business and professional English)
Target level(s)All levelsAll levels, except beginners (A2 to C2)
PriceBetween €70 and €120From € 14 /month
DurationBetween an hour and 2 hrs 20 minTraining + learning report: 6 months
Face-to-face / RemoteOnly onlineRemote / online

The Linguaskill / BULATS  test is not the only option for English certification. At the end of our English language training we also provide a personalized learning report.

See our section on English language tests and diplomas

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