CATs StepCheck

In a world interconnected through technology and travel, English has become a global language. English gives universal access to opportunities in education, business and leisure.

English is taught and tested all over the world – and demand for English language skills has never been higher.

CATs StepCheck is a world-class test which identifies the current language levels of learners of English in a range of skills immediately and accurately.

Whether you are a decision-maker at an educational organisation, an employer or a government or employment agency, CATs StepCheck allows you to test the English language skills of any number of groups, applicants and employees.

What is the CATs StepCheck difference?

Powerful & Simple

StepCheck allows you to choose the skills to test: listening, reading, speaking and writing.


StepCheck uses innovative artificial intelligence technology developed in collaboration with Carnegie Speech using licensed technology from Carnegie Mellon University to mark speaking and writing responses immediately.


Adaptive reading and listening tests respond to the level ability of the learner.


StepCheck is available on demand: you choose when and where to run the test. All you need is a computer, an internet connection, headphones and a microphone.

Affordable & Ethical

StepCheck gives you the highest quality English language assessment for the lowest price on the market.


The CATs Step service is funded by a charitable trust in Cambridge, UK, which supports education, economic, environmental and community development projects.


The principal vision is not for profit. After investment in product development, all surpluses are used for charitable causes, such as giving free CATs Step access and university scholarships to deprived communities.

Immediate & Accurate

StepCheck results are available immediately for all four skills.


StepCheck results are rigorously aligned with the internationally recognised Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), differentiating test takers from A1 to C1.


Developed in Cambridge, UK, by a dedicated team of specialists in English language teaching, learning, assessment and validation, StepCheck has been statistically validated during extensive international trialling and is proven to be highly reliable.

Who is CATs StepCheck for?

Employers and employment agencies


For recruitment and training

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Educational organisation


For selection, admission, placement, and training

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Government agencies


For setting targets and raising national standards

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About the test


CATs StepCheck tests candidates in a range of skills for all ability levels, from beginner to highly sophisticated, from A1 to C1 on the CEFR.

With CATs StepCheck you choose from the skills you want to test

There is a separate test section for each skill (listening, reading, speaking and writing) so you choose from the combination of skills you want to test. Here are the formats for the CATs StepCheck test:

  • StepCheckExpress

    • Listening

    • Reading

    • Speaking

    • Writing

  • Up to 30 mins

  • StepCheckExpress with Speaking

    • Listening

    • Reading

    • Speaking

    • Writing

  • Up to 40 mins

  • StepCheckExpress Communicator

    • Listening

    • Reading

    • Speaking

    • Writing

  • Up to 65 mins

Running the CATs StepCheck test is simple

CATs StepCheck can be administered easily at a time and place that suit you. You can use the test with any number of candidates at the same time. All you need is a computer, an internet connection, headphones and a microphone for each candidate.

When you order CATs StepCheck tests, you receive a unique code for each test you buy. The tests are ready to use immediately.

  • 1

    Simply give each candidate a test code, which they enter in the CATs Step website.

  • 2

    The candidate enters the code and completes their details – you do not need to enter any information manually in advance of the test.

  • 3

    The candidate takes the test.

Your local licensee is on hand to provide training and support throughout the process.


StepCheck results are available within an hour of the end of the test. A simple report is provided for each candidate showing:

  • The candidate's name and unique CATs Step ID.
  • The date the test was taken.
  • The CEFR Level achieved for each skill tested.
  • A short description of what each result means in terms of English language ability.

More detailed information is available for individuals and groups via a state-of-the art CATs Step reporting dashboard, including test reports giving an overview of how individuals and groups have perfomed. These reports can be exported for your own internal use.

The journey starts with a single step

CATs StepCheck can be used as a standalone test and also as the gateway to a whole eco–system of CATs Step learning and assessment materials.



Support in all aspects of test delivery is available from a dedicated local CATs StepCheck Licensee.

Become a CATs StepCheck Licensee

If you would like to add CATs StepCheck to services you offer your clients by joining our network of CATs Step licensees, please contact us by clicking on the link below.

Join the CATs Step network