TOLES, ILEC or CAE – which is the best choice?

TOLES (Test of Legal English Skills)

The TOLES exam is designed for law students and lawyers to reach the standard of legal English required by employers such as international commercial law firms, in-house legal teams in private companies and top-class translators.

There are 3 levels of the TOLES exam, Foundation, Higher and Advanced suitable for those possessing Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels of English.  The Higher exam consists of a reading and writing paper and listening paper, whilst the Advanced is only reading and writing.

The TOLES exams are highly regarded by employers as they focus on commercial legal English skills, testing the vocabulary and grammar required for drafting and also for accuracy.

Severnvale offers 5 available exam dates during a 12 month period. Please see our website for our TOLES course start dates and dates of the exam:

A helpful overview of the different TOLES exams can be found at the following link   – Click on the red box “Find out more about the TOLES exam here”


The ILEC exam is aimed at law students and practising lawyers with English level of B2/C1 (CEFR).  There are 4 papers covering the skills of Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.  However, please note that the ILEC will be discontinued in December 2016:  Cambridge English recommend the CAE as an alternative.


The CAE is an English qualification widely recognised by employers and universities and is suitable for candidates possessing C1 (CEFR) level of English.  There are 4 papers: Reading and Use of English, Writing, Listening and Speaking. Severnvale offers 3 exam dates during a 12 month period, normally in March, June and December.

Severnvale is an examination centre for CAE and TOLES.  Dates for the exams can be found at:

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