A Guide to the TORFL Exam
So, you want to show off about the language skills you’ve picked up since moving here? Well, that’ll be difficult to do if you’re learning Ukrainian, as there is no standardised test just yet. But if you’re studying Russian, and you’d like some official certification to prove your level, you’re in luck. You can take the Test of Russian as a Foreign Language (TORFL) test right here in Kyiv.
What is the TORFL?
It is a test administered by the Government of Russia to test non-native speakers’ ability in the Russian language, according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). There are six levels you can take, from A1 to C2 (A level is basic, B intermediate, and C advanced).
Where can I take it?
Believe it or not, it’s not actually that easy to find. There are only 13 institutions in Russia that are accredited to administer the exam. They can, however, outsource it to other language centres: there are three providers in Ukraine. In Kyiv, the Echo Language School is the official administrator of the exam.
What is the test like?
It’s a pretty serious undertaking. There are sections on Reading (45 mins), Writing (45 mins), Vocabulary & Grammar (45 mins), Listening (25 mins), and Speaking (35 mins). The exam takes roughly half a day to complete.
What kind of accreditation can I get?
The Government of Russia will issue you an official document outlining your results. You will need to get at least 66% overall and must pass every section. It’s usually possible to retake a single section if you miss out on one. It can take up to 35 working days, plus 1-2 days of transit, for you to receive your certification.
How much does it cost?
It’s not cheap. The exam will set you back 200 EUR, which at least covers the cost of the certificate being sent by express mail.
What else do I need to know?
Be sure to bring your passport on exam day – you can’t take the exam without it!
Where can I study for it?
Though the Echo Language School is Kyiv’s only officially-accredited provider of the exam, you can study for it pretty much anywhere (and there’s no shortage of language schools in the city). Most schools offer both Russian and Ukrainian, and prices can vary greatly. Find a school in an ideal location for you, with a quality teacher, and at a price you can afford. Then just hit the books and stick at it!
Take the test at:
Echo Eastern Europe Russian and Ukrainian School
Find sample papers on the torfl facebook page: TORFLtest