Language Proficiency Examination (LPE)

Speaking and writing the six official UN languages promotes multilingualism and enhances our diverse workplace.


The 2021 Language Proficiency Exam (LPE) will be based on UN Level III of the United Nations Language Framework (UNLF). It is strongly recommended that candidates familiarize themselves with Level III of the UNLF, in particular:

• the overall descriptors for UN Level III (pages 5, 8) and the learning objectives, communicative situations and text types (pages 22-26) in the UNLF Core Curriculum. These are common to all six official United Nations languages and the basis for the LPE in all six languages.

• the UN Level III pages in the specific language curriculum ( ArChEnFrRuSp) of the language in which you will be taking the exam.

Exam Format 

  • The exam consists of four sections: 1) Receptive activities: Listening; 2) Receptive activities: Reading; 3) Written production and interaction; and 4) Spoken production and interaction.
  • The oral part of the old LPE will be replaced by the spoken production and interaction part of the online exam, and no live interviewers will be involved.
  • Each section is worth 25 points. 
  • All sections will be completed on the United Nations Online Examinations & Tests System. 
  • The four sections will be divided into two ‘quizzes’ on the platform and candidates will be able to take a break between quizzes. 
    • Quiz 1: Listening and Reading (100 minutes) 
    • Quiz 2: Written and Spoken Production (120 minutes)