Composite Assessment B1 (CAB)

The Composite Assessment B1 (CAB) evaluates four aspects of the English language: reading, listening, speaking, and writing.

CEFR level


Test format

Computer or paper-based

What you'll learn


This specification document offers an overview of the LRN Entry Level Certificate in ESOL International (Entry 3) (CAB) (CEF B1) for various stakeholders, including candidates, centers, administrators, teachers, and examiners. It outlines the key features and administrative procedures associated with this assessment.


The CAB is designed for individuals aiming to improve their English language skills at the CEFR level B1. Candidates must demonstrate their ability to understand clear standard input on familiar matters encountered in work, school, leisure, and other everyday situations. The language proficiency expected aligns with the Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEFR) at B1.

Candidate Category

The CAB is suitable for individuals who:

       Need a starting point to work towards an English qualification.

       Work or seek work in an English-speaking environment.

       Live and work in a country where English is the native and official language.

       The CAB accommodates candidates from diverse national and cultural backgrounds.

Entry Requirements

       No prerequisites exist for candidates taking this qualification, including prior knowledge, understanding, or familiarity.

       Candidates do not need a previous English qualification to register. However, LRN recommends thorough preparation before attempting the test.

       Sample assessment materials are available for download from the LRN website. Approved LRN centers ensure candidates are prepared through trained teachers and appropriate resources, as outlined in the center agreement with LRN.


The CAB is designed to accommodate candidates with varying backgrounds, education levels, and career goals. Depending on the qualification achieved, candidates may progress to:

       A higher level of any ESOL International qualification, e.g., Level 1 ESOL;

       A key skills or functional skills qualification;

       Vocational qualifications.

Language of Assessment

LRN uses plain, clear, unbiased, and Entry Level-appropriate English for assessments and related materials. Teachers are expected to ensure their materials are clear, diverse, and suitable for Entry Level ESOL candidates.

Qualification Overview

The CAB aligns with the CEFR, reflecting language ability levels defined by the framework. It is a single-unit qualification assessing all four components of reading, listening, writing, and speaking. The total qualification time is approximately 302.15 hours.


Qualification Features

The CAB evaluates four English language sub-skills: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. References to the CEFR are made in the CAB Mark Scheme to demonstrate its connection to the framework.


LRN-trained examiners mark the writing and speaking components of the CAB. Marks are allocated according to the CAB Mark Scheme for writing and speaking. LRN will issue results within 10 days upon receiving candidate results from the test center.

Reading and Listening

Clerical markers grade the Reading and Listening components using answer keys for each question paper. Standardization exercises are completed before each paper to ensure consistency. Results are moderated and forwarded to the Lead Moderator for final approval.

Speaking and Writing

An LRN-trained examiner conducts the speaking examination and records it on a dictaphone. Marks are allocated for speaking and writing skills according to the CAB Mark Scheme. The CAB is 100% externally assessed by an LRN examiner. Results are moderated and forwarded to the Lead Moderator for final approval.


       Each Reading question carries 1 mark (20 questions/20 marks);

       Each Listening question carries 1 mark (20 questions/20 marks);

       Writing consists of 2 tasks, each carrying a maximum of 10 marks;

       Speaking is a three-part exam carrying a maximum of 20 marks.

       Sub-component skill marks are graded as follows:

1.    0- 10 = Fail

2.    11-14 = Pass

3.    15-17 = Merit

4.    18+ = Distinction


Each sub-component skill mark is out of 20, with the total possible marks for the qualification being 80.


Results are reported as distinction, merit, pass, or fail grades. To achieve the qualification, candidates must pass each sub-skill. If a candidate fails any sub-skill, they will not attain the qualification. The overall grade is determined by adding the marks for all sub-components:


       0-43: Fail

       44-59: Pass

       60-71: Merit

       72+: Distinction