The Legal English Gold Standard. It measures your ability to use authentic language at the most challenging level. Do well in this exam and you will be an asset to those law firms that really mean business. You know who they are.

About the exam

The Advanced Exam is the THIRD step in successful professional development with TOLES.

Reaching the standard employers demand

The Advanced Exam was created and then developed in consultation with leading commercial law firms and we consider it to be the gold standard of legal English achievement. Toles Advanced was initially created at the request of a major commercial law firm in London. They required a method of testing the English of international interns and new associates in its international offices. This required researching researching the tasks international lawyers were required to carry out in English and making a careful analysis of how best to test proficiency in those areas. The result was the TOLES Advanced Exam. Since its creation it has been trusted by legal employers everywhere as a measure of a lawyer's commercial legal English skills rather than his or her academic legal English skills.


The exam has one paper: legal reading and writing. The exam measures the candidates skills against a native English-speaking lawyer. In other words, any candidate scoring in the Gold category genuinely has very similar legal English skills to a native English-speaking solicitor, barrister or attorney. The exam has a heavy focus on the vocabulary and grammar required for contract drafting. It also encourages knowledge of the plain English style of writing favoured these days by leading commercial law firms. A working knowledge of the difference between 'legalese' and 'plain English' is essential to doing well in this exam. The candidates who score very well at Advanced level show an appreciation of the huge importance of absolute accuracy when working in law, as well as having a strong grasp of technical legal vocabulary. The exam also requires sensitivity to register and an understanding of how formal and informal English is used in a professional workplace. 

Level of General English

The level of English needed for this exam is Upper Intermediate - Advanced level. The exam measures a candidate's legal English skills against the standard required of native English-speaking lawyers.

Time allowed

Skills Tested


Appropriate level of general English



120 minutes

Legal reading, writing, drafting, knowledge of register and business idiom

Practical reading, writing and drafting skills in authentic legal situations

Upper Intermediate - Advanced

The maximum score possible at the Advanced level is 500

TOLES Advanced with grade explanation

Program includes the whole program for Toles Foundation and Higher.

In addition for the Advanced course of study, we will be studying drafting of commercial contracts, standard terms and conditions and other documents.

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