Know your Level with Busuu’s English Placement Test

Find your English level quickly and accurately — so you never have to waste time taking lessons that don’t help you achieve your goals.

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By Barney Meekin · March 19, 2024 · 9 minute read

Knowing your English level is important. But it’s really hard to assess your own language skills. When you don’t know your level, you end up learning the wrong things, wasting your time with courses that are either too difficult or too easy.

If you want to master English, you need to learn at the right level. A level that’s challenging enough to develop your skills, but not too challenging. When you learn things above your level, it takes you longer to finish them. You might not understand them at all. In the end, this hurts your motivation to learn English.

Assessing your own language level is really tough and that’s why we’re here to help you do it. Read on to learn the best way to find out how good you are at English with a Busuu placement test.

What is a placement test?

A placement test is a test you take before starting a language course to assess your knowledge and skills and make sure you join a level-appropriate course. Placement tests are an essential part of the language learning process. Without taking one, you could end up wasting time doing things that are too easy or too difficult

Benefits of taking an English placement test


Find my level

If you want to make a good start to your English learning, you need to know your starting level. This decides which courses or materials to use later — yeah, it’s that important. Busuu’s English placement test gives you the perfect starting point in just 5 minutes.


Take the right lessons

Nobody wants to take lessons that are too easy or difficult. But without knowing your current level, that could easily happen. Make sure you take appropriate courses with the Busuu placement test, that will place you in the right lesson to start with — and get ready to smash your language learning goals.


Test your knowledge

Get a full picture of your English ability. The Busuu English placement test assesses your vocabulary, grammar, listening, and reading skills. Test all of these essential skills in one, easy-to-complete 5-minute test.

Why is it important to learn at the right level?

In motivation theory, there’s something called an optimal challenge. An optimal challenge isn’t too easy or too difficult for you to complete.

Let’s say you start piano lessons. You’re a complete beginner but your teacher asks you to play a song from start to finish. Likely, you’ll never be able to finish that task because it doesn’t match your skills. But you try anyway. You make mistake after mistake. And it takes you forever to get nowhere. The frustration this causes hurts your motivation to continue learning the piano.

But let’s say a different teacher gives you a simple but challenging task that they know you can complete. It won’t be easy to finish, but you can do it. When you finish, you feel great. You achieved something and your motivation to continue learning increases. This is an optimal challenge.

Language learning is the same. You need to be challenged enough to get a sense of achievement. But not too much to cause frustration and harm motivation.

If you learn English that’s too easy for you, you’ll feel bored and won’t get that sense of achievement. And if you learn English that’s too difficult for you — like reading a novel when you’re not ready, for example — you’ll become frustrated, and lose interest and motivation.

Taking an English placement test is the best way to make sure you get this balancing act right.

How Busuu knows your level

Sign up with Busuu and you’ll find out your current level. The Bussu placement test tells you what level courses you should take. Here’s how it does it.

Over five minutes, you answer a bunch of different vocabulary, grammar, reading, and listening questions. What makes the Busuu test special is that the test is different for everyone.

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Because of an adaptive algorithm, you get a personalized test. An adaptive algorithm is a fancy way of saying that the test gets easier or harder depending on your answers to the questions. The AI assesses your performance in real time. Your answers to questions affect which questions appear later on the test.

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The more questions you answer, the more data the AI has about your performance. Because it understands the difficulty of every question on the test, it starts to build a picture of your level based on the questions you struggled with and the questions you aced.

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Throughout the test, the adaptive algorithm narrows down your level based on your performance. So by the end of the five minutes, you know your English level and have a clear difficulty level to start learning from.

Try Busuu, the best app for taking a placement test

placement-test busuu

Make an action plan and start taking a placement test, so you can find your level, and start the perfect course for you — no matter what your goals are. With courses for every English level about everything from general English to business and academic English, Busuu helps you smash your English language goals.

5 tips before taking an English placement test

Don’t rush into your first placement test. Take a little time to get prepared. It might only take 5 minutes to finish the test, but to give it your best shot — and get the most accurate picture of your English ability — follow these simple tips.

1. Find out what skills the test assesses

If you don’t know which skills the test assesses, you’ll be going into the test blind. So spend some time researching what kinds of questions appear on the test.

The Busuu English placement test assesses your grammar and vocabulary knowledge. It also tests your listening and reading skills (with a little writing too for inputting answers). There are a variety of questions from choosing the correct words to complete a sentence, to choosing other ways to say a phrase. Some of the listening questions include natural speech with background noise (like in a busy cafe) too.

2. Practice the skills you need

When you know what skills the test assesses, it’s time to get practicing. A placement test isn’t like a school test so there’s no need for you to cram like crazy. But definitely spend a little time brushing up on the important skills.

For the Busuu English placement test, you need to practice your listening and reading skills. Don’t worry, there are no super-long listening or reading texts on the test. But be sure to practice these skills a little before taking it.

3. Review grammar and vocabulary

The Busuu placement test assesses your grammar and vocabulary knowledge. So go back through your notebooks and textbooks to see if there’s anything you’re not confident with. Again, there’s no reason to go crazy with the amount of revision you do here. Review grammar and vocabulary a little so they’re fresh in your mind when you take the test.

4. Find a quiet place to do the test

The Busuu placement test is only 5 minutes long. But you still need to be able to focus in those 5 minutes. Find a quiet place. And get away from any distractions or interruptions so you get the most accurate results from the test.

5. Use headphones

Listening questions are best through headphones. Make sure you have a pair of headphones ready before you start the test so you don’t miss anything because of background noise.


Last — but most important — relax. The Busuu placement test isn’t a stressful test. The result you get from the test is just a suggestion. Even if the test says you’re at B1 level, you still have access to all the different level courses. And guess what? You can take the test more than once. Just remember that each time will be different because of the adaptive algorithm.

Take an English placement test today with Busuu

Busuu is the language app that helps you master English. And to get you off on the best possible start, its placement test gives you an accurate assessment of your abilities. Make sure you never take lessons that are too easy or difficult again by taking an English placement test today.

Find your level in English

Knowing your level is the first step to mastering English. The Busuu placement test can tell you — in just 5 minutes — what level of courses you should take.