The Examination for the Certificate of Competency in English (ECCE) is a standardized high-intermediate level English as a foreign language (EFL) examination. You can use an ECCE certificate:

  • As evidence of high-intermediate competence in English for personal, public, educational, and occupational purposes
  • To provide evidence of your level of English to employers
  • When applying for a job or a promotion, or when conducting business with companies worldwide


The ECCE is aimed at the B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) and is valid for the lifetime of the recipient. Language users at the B2 competency level:

  • Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialization.
  • Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.
  • Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

(Council of Europe, 2001: 24)


The ECCE is a test of general language competency in a variety of contexts. The four-component skills of listening, reading, writing, and speaking are evaluated through a combination of tasks.

Section Time Description Number of Items
Speaking 15 minutes Test takers participate in a structured, multistage task with one examiner. 4 stages
Listening 30 minutes Part 1 (multiple choice)
A short recorded conversation is followed by a question. Answer choices are shown as pictures.
Part 2 (multiple choice)
Short talks delivered by single speakers on different topics, followed by 4 to 6 questions each.
90 minutes Grammar (multiple choice)
An incomplete sentence is followed by a choice of words or phrases to complete it. Only one choice is grammatically correct.
Vocabulary (multiple choice)
An incomplete sentence is followed by a choice of words or phrases to complete it. Only one word has the correct meaning in that context.
Reading (multiple choice)
Part 1: A short reading passage is followed by comprehension questions.
Part 2: Two sets of four short texts related to each other by topic are followed by 10 questions each.
Writing 30 minutes The test taker reads a short excerpt from a newspaper article and then writes a letter or essay giving an opinion about a situation or issue. 1 task

Taking the ECCE

The ECCE is offered at different times during the year. You can take the ECCE each time it is offered. Contact your local test center for more specific information about test dates.

Using Alternate English Accents or Spellings on the ECCE

During the speaking or writing sections of the ECCE, you are allowed to use alternate English accents or spellings. You will not be penalized.

ECCE Test Scoring

The ECCE speaking section is administered by well-qualified, carefully trained, and regularly monitored examiners trained by the test center using Michigan Language Assessment training materials. The writing section is scored by raters trained and certified according to Michigan Language Assessment standards.

ECCE Test Results

You will typically receive your results within two months after taking the exam. The ECCE examination report shows your overall performance (Honors, Pass, or Fail) as well as numerical scores for each test section.

The test center where you took the exam will notify you of your results and will issue your score report. Certificates are sent to the test centers for distribution to successful test takers.

Michigan Language Assessment does not issue duplicate certificates, copies of exam reports, or provide replacements for lost certificates. You can order a Michigan Language Assessment Certifying Statement online. The statement will include official confirmation of the performance by a test taker. You may also contact your center to request a letter specifying the test you took, when you took it, and the final result.

Rescore Requests

If you wish to have your ECCE rescored, rescore requests are available.

ECCE Certificates

ECCE test takers will receive a scaled numeric score for all four sections. Test takers who achieve an average score of 650 or higher will be awarded a certificate. Additionally, ECCE test takers who achieve a score of 840 or higher in all four sections will be awarded a Certificate of Competency with Honors.