English for Business (EFB)

from the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Examinations Board (LCCIEB)

What is "English for Business"?

"English for Business" (EFB) is an examination designed to test written communication in business with tasks based on real business activities. The exam is offered at 5 levels; Preliminary Level, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4. In addition to the written examination an OPTIONAL oral examination is also available which tests a candidate’s speaking and listening skills in discussing a business-related topic.

Where can I take the EFB?

The LCCIEB has over 200 Registered Examinations Centres throughout
Germany. To find your nearest Centre go to the "Exam Centres" page and
look for the Centre nearest your postcode.

When can I take EFB?

English for Business is offered on worldwide timetabled dates (see the
"Exam Dates" page) or On Demand (contact your local Centre -
see "Exam Centres" page)

How much does EFB cost?

All exam prices are listed on the "Exam Prices" page.

How can I prepare for EFB?

The LCCIEB have a range of support material available including
"How to Pass" books for each level (available from Logophon Verlag GmbH in
Mainz, Germany), free information packs consisting of the exam syllabus,
a sample paper, and model answers, and numerous past papers are available - to see what's available for download click here. You can request material directly info@lccieb-germany.com or complete the "Request Info" form.

Tell me more about EFB...

Below is an overview of the tasks at each level followed by a detailed description of the examination format and tasks.

Overview of the English for Business Exams
Level Length Tasks Availability
Preliminary 90 mins
  • multiple-choice
  • short answers
  • true/false
  • full-sentence answers
  • basic writing
all series
on demand
1 120 mins
  • memo
  • letter
  • short answers
  • true/false
  • form filling
all series
on demand
2 150 mins
Oral 8 mins
  • memo
  • letter
  • leaflet
  • article
  • report
  • notice
  • list
all series
on demand
3 180 mins
Oral 10 mins
  • letter
  • report
  • reading comprehension
  • business communication
all series
on demand
4 180 mins
Oral 12 mins
memo, report,
discussion paper,
summary, message etc
all series
on demand


Preliminary Level

The Preliminary Level written examination takes 90 minutes and consists of
3 sections:

  • Section A will contain a picture of an office or other workplace setting and candidates will be given fifteen 1-mark “tick box”
    type questions and ten 2-mark short answer questions on what is
    happening in the picture to demonstrate use of key structures and
  • Section B will contain a 2 person dialogue of about 10 exchanges
    to provide a reading comprehension exercise. Candidates will be given
    eleven 1-mark questions with true or false answers and eight
    2-mark questions requiring longer answers.
  • Section C will use the dialogue in Section B as a basis for a piece
    of productive writing. This will be the completion of a document
    provided (eg a telephone message or memo pad) which candidates will
    use to present selected information to a third party mentioned in
    the dialogue. Candidates will also be provided with some additional
    numerical data which they will be expected to consult in order to
    complete the exercise (eg a price list or timetable).

Level 1

The Level 1 written examination takes 120 minutes and consists of
4 sections:

  • Question 1 involves the composition of a letter or memo, based on given
    information. The content of which should be between 150 and 200 words.
    The stimulus will be rubric information giving data on which to base
    a reply. The content of the letter or memo will be simple business style
    communication dealing with, for example, retail orders, customer
    enquiries, requests for information, replies to complaints, reminders about
    tasks in hand, or communications between work colleagues.
  • Question 2 involves understanding and responding to a short passage of
    business-related prose of about 300 words. The stimulus for the exercise
    will be: a passage on a business-related topic in language appropriate
    to the level and a series of statements about the content and information
    in the passage.
  • Question 3 involves a "read and think" comprehension test, based on
    some graphic or numerical display, requiring very short answers.
    The stimulus for the question will be data in the form of a table or
    a chart relating to, for example: company car fleet hire charges, office
    accommodation agencies, conference facilities at an hotel, or company
    branches and staffing details.
  • Question 4 involves a "read and write" reformulation task using
    data to complete a form or diagram. The stimulus for the question
    will be selected from: data or information in written notes, a conversation
    about a business related situation, or a record of a telephone message
    or fax.

Level 2

The Level 2 written examination takes 150 minutes and consists of
3 sections:

  • Question 1 involves an extended writing task requiring candidates to
    produce: a memorandum, an article, a report, etc, on a choice of
    role-related topics drawn from business and economic life. Candidates
    have to answer 1 question from a choice of 3.
  • Question 2 involves a letter writing task, where the stimulus and
    information needed to reply to it will be provided in the form of an
    in-coming business letter.
  • Question 3 is a reformulation task requiring candidates to expand,
    reduce or selectively rewrite a passage of English for some defined
    purpose within a given role. Candidates will be offered tasks that will
    draw on their ability to make notes, or reassemble elements of a text
    for a specific purpose, which will be stated.

Level 3

The Level 3 written examination takes 180 minutes and consists of
4 sections:

  • Question 1 involves the composition of a letter, the stimulus for
    which will be an incoming letter, or the employer’s instructions,
    or both. The rubric will include data on which a reply might be
    based and an indication of the tone required.
  • Question 2 involves the drafting of an internal report based
    on raw data given in the form of graphs, notes, press cuttings,
    charts, tables, etc. Candidates will have to understand, select,
    collate and, if necessary, supplement this data in order to write the
    report in the light of the instructions given.
  • Question 3 involves a comprehension task in which candidates will
    be asked to show an understanding of information given for
    a defined purpose. This might be a press article, an extract from
    a business journal, a company report, a circular letter, a tender,
    or some other form of business reading matter, with which candidates
    should be familiar at this stage.
  • Question 4 is a conversion task involving the reformulation of a message
    for some defined purpose. Thus candidates may be required to produce
    a memo from a fax, letter or computer printout; or an abstract from
    an article; or a summary of a phone call for discussion; or a fax from
    a company notice, employer’s instructions, etc.

Level 4

The Level 4 written examination la
sts 180 minutes and consists of
4 tasks:

  • Question 1 is in 2 parts. the first part requires
    candidates to understand and respond to a lengthy and complex
    authentic business text. Comprehension will be demonstrated
    through a variety of question types. The second part of the question
    requires candidates to produce a written text related to the article,
    within a given scenario. Candidates must produce a text which is
    accurate linguistically and stylistically using an appropriate format
    with relevant content. (Part A, 15 marks, Part B: 10 marks)
  • Question 2 requires candidates to produce business texts in an
    appropriate tone and style. The question will be either a single case-study
    / scenario generating 2 pieces of business writing in contrasting
    styles or a formal report generated from a series of pieces of information
    written in an informal style. The text(s) must be accurate
    linguistically and appropriate stylistically, and successfully acheive
    the task set by selecting and using relevant information within an
    appropriate format. (25 marks)
  • Question 3 is in 2 parts. The first part requires candidates to refomulate
    information by way of a summary of a longer text, within a given
    scenario (eg to write an abstract of an article to put in an information
    bulletin). The second part requires candidates to reformulate digital /
    graphical / numerical information into a written form (eg a management
    comment on the performance of a subsidiary company). In both parts
    candidates must successfully acheive the task by selecting and using
    relevant information, using an appropriate layout and textual structure and
    choosing appropriate and accurate language. (Part A: 12.5 marks, Part B: 12.5 marks)
  • Question 4 requires candidates to produce fluent and accurate written texts in a
    range of styles and genres. Candidates are required to continue and
    complete 2 different texts from information given (eg a formal
    notice, an invitation to a company open recruitment meeting etc). The
    continuation and completion of each text must successfully acheive the
    task set by the appropriate selection of information, written in a style
    which is both accurate linguistically and stylistically.

Oral Test

There is an optional oral test for all levels of English for Business. For more information request the EFB Oral Examination Infopack