Assess your English level with the Bulats Test

What is the Bulats test?

The Bulats (Business Language Testing Service) exam is only available in English (since the January 2017 reform). It assesses your level in English, can be used to certify a training course and gives you a comparative analysis. The Bulats exam, similarly to the TOEIC exam, is used to assess the ability of people to communicate in a international business environment in a foreign language. It is issued by Cambridge English Language Assessment.

The Bulats is more specifically recognised internationally for :

  • Validating linguistic training courses for the “Compte Personnel de Formation”
  • Recruitment for businesses
  • Entrance exams for higher education institutions (such as business schools)
  • Identifying your training needs within your job

The Bulats test is consistent with the CEFR, the international framework for language levels recognised in France and abroad..

The Bulats test is available in a paper version and online. However, from January 2017 onwards, only the online version will be available. Furthermore, from this date onwards, only the English test will be issued by Cambridge English Language Assessment. The decision concerning the future of the French, German and Spanish tests has been delegated to their partners – the Alliance Francaise, the Goethe-Instut and the University of Salamanca – who will confirm their decision soon.

The Bulats exam range is composed of 3 modules, that the candidate can sit separately, two at a time, or all together:

  • The Bulats Listening and Reading tests allows the quick and precise identification of a candidate’s oral and written comprehension competencies as well as their grammatical and lexical knowledge. Thanks to an adaptive software system, the questions asked automatically correspond to your level
  • The Bulats Speaking test allows the assessment of a candidate’s competency in oral expression within a professional context. The test is carried out entirely on the computer
  • The Bulats Writing test allows the assessment of competencies in written production and in grammatical and lexical knowledge. The written production section is completed on the computer.
Title Content Time
Reading and Listening –

Written and spoken comprehension

2 parts
Part 1 : Oral comprehension and written comprehension Part 2 : Knowledge of the language
Approximately 1 hour
Speaking – Oral expression 5 parts

Part 1: Answering 8 simple questions about yourself, your experience, your work, your future. For example: Where do you work?

Part 2: Reading aloud 8 phrases that are displayed on your screen

Part 3: Oral expression on a subject linked to work (for example, the ideal office) that you should discuss for 1 minute

Part 4: Oral expression relating to a document containing several graphs (for example, pie charts or line graphs). You should discuss them for 1 minute.

Part 5: Communication activity where you are presented with a situation and need to answer 5 questions about it.

Approximately 15 minutes
Writing – Written expression 2 parts
Part 1 :Drafting a brief email or a short letter of 50 to 60 words. This part is obligatory and represents 1/3 of the final score.

Part 2: Drafting a report or a letter of 180 to 200 words, depending on the instructions. This part represents 2/3 of the final score.

Approximately 45 minutes

If you sit all the sections at the same time, the test should last approximately 2 hours.

For the Reading and Listening module, the questions come in the following forms:

  • Read and select (multiple choice)
  • Gap fill (multiple choice)
  • Open gap fill (without multiple choice)
  • Extended reading
  • Listen and select (graphic)
  • Listen and select (short excerpt)
  • Listen and select (long excerpt)

Bulats score

The Bulats test results are issued in the form of a results certificate. The results are issued immediately for the written and oral comprehension (reading and listening) sections, and paper copies will be handed out by the organiser of the test. You will receive the results of the oral and written expression (speaking and writing) sections within 5 to 7 days.

The Bulats test is adaptive (meaning that the exam does not assess a specific language level, but gives you your level), and scores are marked on a scale of 1 to 100, corresponding to CEFR levels (A1 to C2)

Displayed on the results certificate are:

  • A final score
  • A score for each competency: written and oral comprehension and written and oral expression

Bulats Themes

The test targets Bulats vocabulary: 75% of the content relates to the professional world

Hence, regularly recurring vocabulary is used from such subjects as:

  • Sales transactions
  • Products and services
  • General professional environment
  • Entertaining business clients
  • Business travel
  • Training and personal development
  • Marketing

Answer Sheet

From January 2017, the Bulats exam will no longer be available in a paper version, and will only be issued online. This allows the test to adapt automatically to your language level. As the candidate progresses through the test, the system selects the next questions according to the quality of the answer to the preceding question, therefore becoming easier or harder until a coherent and reliable skill level can be obtained.

Sitting the Bulats: where can I sit the Bulats test?

The Bulats test is an international exam, recognised by numerous universities, institutions and companies. To sit the exam, it is imperative that you register:

  • With a Bulats agent, an independent organisation approved by Cambridge English Language Assessment to distribute the Bulats test to private individuals and professionals
  • In an exam centre, a client organisation of Cambridge English Language Assessment authorised to organise Bulats exam sessions

You can find the list of Bulats agents and exam centres here. Be aware that not all of the Bulats centres offer the Writing and Speaking tests.

Identify where you will sit your exam and arrive in advance on the day!

It is important to be familiar with the place where you will sit the exam before the day of the exam, in order to verify the time it will take to get there. Do not forget that you should arrive 30 minutes before the test starts. Candidates that arrive late may be refused entry.

Do not forget to bring your confirmation letter with you, as well as an identity document with your photo and signature. You are not allowed to bring your own pens or notebooks.