TEG Levels

Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge (TEG), which is administered by the Centre for Irish Language at Maynooth University, is the first and only system of certification for adult learners of Irish. It is a comprehensive, graded system that allows learners to undertake examinations at five different levels of proficiency.

The various levels in TEG are broadly based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching and Assessment (Council of Europe, 2001). The various descriptors outlined in the CEFR framework were used as a basis during the development of our syllabuses and our specifications, although no formal alignment procedures with the framework have been undertaken to date. Similar certification systems have already been developed for the majority of other European languages.

In the About exams section you will find  information regarding the language skills expected of learners at each of the exam levels.  These descriptions will help you to determine what language level you or your students are currently at, and they will give you some basic information regarding the language skills on which you should focus in order to reach a particular proficiency level.

Learners are advised to spend a particular amount of time studying and practising the language before undertaking each of the exams.  The grid below gives a general guide as to the amount of time required to cover the syllabus material at each level.  Learners at every level are advised to have as much contact as possible with the language.  This can be achieved by attending teaching centres or conversation groups, through regular personal study, or through other opportunities for language use (television programmes and films, radio, reading online newspapers and magazines, keeping a diary in the language, etc.).  See the page Links and Resources for more ideas regarding effective language learning.


Hours of study recommended

Bonnleibhéal 1 (A1)


Bonnleibhéal 2 (A2)

+ 160- 200

Meánleibhéal 1 (B1)

+ 350-400

Meánleibhéal 2 (B2)

+ 500-600

Ardleibhéal 1 (C1)

+ 1000

If you’d like to get a general idea of your level in the language, try TEG’s Online Language Test. (Remember that this test is only one step in the process; candidates are advised undertake an oral assessment with a teacher before choosing a course or a particular exam.)