It's all about accuracy. Yes. You know a lot of legal vocabulary, but are you putting that vocabulary together properly ? In Contracts ? In Emails? In Letters ? Accuracy is as important as fluency to a law firm. 

About the exam

The Higher is the Second step in successful professional development with TOLES.

Building on a strong foundation 

The Higher Exam builds on the language skills and knowledge of practical legal vocabulary acquired at Foundation Level. The Higher Exam moves learners to the next stage and requires the ability to deal with more complex authentic legal documents and scenarios while also continuing to focus on strict attention to detail and grammatical accuracy.


The exam has two papers: a legal reading and writing paper and a listening paper. The reading and writing paper requires a more active use of language than the Foundation Exam, and requires learners to deal confidently with complex and recent commercially -relevant case studies, extracts from contracts and a professional letter. It continues to test practical and useful legal vocabulary and requires the ability to provide precise definitions for very common words from commercial practice. It also demands a good knowledge of the register of language, and asks learners to improve informal English and make it more appropriate and professional. 

The listening paper consists of listening to conversations between two or more lawyers or a lawyer and a client and answering questions based on understanding. The topics covered are very current and deal with situations that working lawyers frequently experience or topics that are of international interest. This continues the idea of the TOLES exams encouraging commercial awareness rather than an academic or theoretical knowledge of law. 

Level of General English

The level of English needed for this exam is Intermediate - Upper Intermediate level. The tasks at this level all use authentic, challenging general English and we recommend that exam candidates study some additional grammar as well as our training in legal English in order to score highly.

Higher - Summary 

Time allowed

Skills Tested


Appropriate level of general English



135 minutes approximately (depending on variations in the listening tests)

Legal reading and writing (90 minutes); Legal Listening (30-45 minutes)

Practical reading, writing and listening skills in authentic legal situations

Intermediate to Advanced

The maximum score possible at Higher level is 100

Toles Higher with grade explanation


The Program for the Toles Higher Level includes all the material covered in the Toles Foundation level as listed below.

  1. The Legal Profession
  2. The Language of Banking
  3. The Language of Contract Law
  4. The Language of Employment Law
  5. The Language of the Law of Tort
  6. Understanding Contracts (Part 1) 
  7. The Language of Business Law
  8. Modern Letter Writing
  9. The Language of Company Law
  10. Understanding Contracts (Part 2)

 In addition to the units in the Foundation, students are also to complete the Higher modules for this level of TOLES. They are:- 

  1. The Legal Profession - Higher 
  2. The Language of Banking - Higher
  3. The Language of Contract Law - Higher
  4. The Language of Employment Law - Higher
  5. The Language of the Law of Tort - Higher
  6. Understanding Contracts (Part 1) - Higher
  7. The Language of Business Law - Higher
  8. Modern Letter Writing - Higher
  9. The Language of Company Law - Higher
  10. Understanding Contracts (Part 2) - Higher

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