Summarising is not only an important academic skill. Research confirms, however, that the level of summarising in a foreign language is unsatisfactory. The reason for this is that people do not know the summarising strategy and the types of summaries. A careful analysis of the levels descriptions for this problem in the CEFR has shown that their description is inadequate. The main problem is that the descriptors characterise the input texts, not the output texts and summarisation strategies needed to edit them. Essential elements of the summarising strategy are content reduction, lexical and syntactic paraphrases, and metatextual activities. The degree of difficulty results from their linguistic complexity and simultaneous execution. The proposed correction of the reference levels in the CEFR is based on the description of the types of summaries and summarising methods in terms of their complexity. The article ends with a proposal of a new competence scale in the field of processing text.