Interested in testing your Russian language skills? If so, there is one exam you cannot afford to miss. And that’s the TORFL (Test of Russian as a Foreign Language) certificate. Let’s find out everything about it.
There are plenty of good reasons to learn Russian.
Some top motivations include rich culture and literature, hobbies, travel, careers, and a dream to study in Russia.
Whatever inspirations you may have can open a new fascinating world for you when you speak Russian.
Table of Contents
Benefits of Russian Proficiency Tests
There are many known benefits associated with TORFL. And that’s why learners from far and wide take this exam. Let’s check the most common rationales.
First, you would like to know your current ability as a Russian learner. The test lets you know where you stand and builds your confidence. You motivate yourself to learn by setting a deadline for this type of exam.
Do you want to study at a Russian university?
It may not be compulsory sometimes. Still, many colleges prefer international students who have Russian language certificates.
What if you want to work post-studies or explore jobs in Russia?
Then, TORFL can give you a much-needed edge in your application. As an English speaker and Russian learner, you can also work as a translator, interpreter, writer, and tour guide.
You may need an A2 if you wish to settle in Russia. This is a condition of getting Russian citizenship. This is one of the main reasons to take language tests such as TORFL.
Because of Russia’s global influence, your Russian language skills can help you find a job in various careers worldwide. TORFL can be a valuable asset to your C.V.
Once you pass an intermediate or advanced level, you can explore many jobs meant for Russian specialists. Again, your language knowledge will benefit you compared to applicants who speak little Russian.
About Test of Russian as a Foreign Language
The Test of Russian as a Foreign Language is a standard and official Russian exam. This test is for foreign citizens whose mother tongue is not Russian.
TORFL (ТРКИ – Тест по русскому языку как иностранному) follows the guidelines of CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).
The examinations cover topics and language questions from different scenarios. For instance, work-related situations, formal and informal language, translation, and cultural aspects.
This certifies your Russian language knowledge. It measures the communicative skills needed in various real-life settings.
Who conducts the Russian TORFL?
An organization carries most exams out. For example, L’Alliance Française conducts French, whereas Instituto Cervantes does Spanish.
The Russian official test is an exception.
In Russia, not 1 or 2, but 13 authorized universities provide certification. These colleges are in different parts of Russia, like Moscow, Kazan, St. Petersburg, etc. The Russian Ministry of Education and Science oversees the entire process.
They also outsource to other institutions in Russia and foreign countries to conduct TORFL. The SPbU (Saint Petersburg University) actively cooperates with several organizations worldwide.
Acceptance & Recognition
TORFL test is the most popular and extensively used Russian proficiency test.
The Russian government institutions award official certifications of the various variants of TORFL. As a result, companies, public and private educational institutions, and governments across the globe accept and trust this Russian test.
There are a total of 6 levels, like CEFR A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2. But they only give the certificate from B1 onwards. They don’t provide for A1 and A2.
The first certificate is TRKI-I/B1. Thus, it is the least you can get. And if your goal is jobs involving Russian, higher studies, better understanding, and research, aim for TRKI-II/B2 or TRKI-III/C1.
TORFL-IV / C2 is the most advanced and is near-native proficiency. And if you wish to be an expert in the language, you can target this last level.
The TORFL has five sections of language competencies. It has writing, reading, speaking, listening, and vocabulary/grammar.
The first four adhere to the CEFR levels format. They also have a fifth part (vocabulary and grammar) and comprise multiple-choice questions.
They usually conduct the test in 2 days and comprise the following schedule.
- First day: Writing, Reading, Vocabulary, and Grammar;
- Second day: Speaking and Listening.
All five test sections have an equal weight age — 20% each.
To pass the TORFL test at any level, you need at least 66% in each of the 5 sections. So, for example, if you get over 66% in 4 parts and writing, say you get 61%, you will fail.
But there is one good thing about the test. You can retake any one or a few sections of the TORFL test by paying an extra fee.
Validity of TORFL
The TORFL certification never expires, unlike TOPIK, TEF & TCF, and SIELE. Once you pass the test, it is valid forever.
Many educational institutions and businesses have their own rules. For example, some only recognize certifications gained in the last 2 to 5 years. Although most consider it, regardless of when you took the test.
When booking the test, you must select the level (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2). You also choose test centers and which type of test you wish to take. For example, standard, secondary, and primary versions.
They conduct the test many times a year, and there is no fixed schedule. Thus, it is better to contact your nearest test center to get the dates for the upcoming test.
Once you pass the test, you will get the score and certificate in 1-2 weeks.
There is no restriction on the number of tests you take. The price ranges from 5,000 to 6,500 rubles ($70 – 100). This depends on the level and the university where you take it.
TORFL test centers worldwide
St. Petersburg University conducts the TORFL test in 32 regions across the Russian Federation.
There are many test centers in dozens of nations. It includes Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Germany, Greece, Estonia, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Norway, Japan, Kazakhstan, Poland, Latvia, Moldova, Netherlands, Spain, Serbia, and Slovenia.
There is no TORFL testing center in India.
How to prepare for the Russian Language Test?
We widely assumed Russian was one of the most challenging languages to learn.
But there are ways to make it simpler. For example, you can add books and online resources like podcasts and apps to your study plan.
The best way to learn is to sign up for courses offered by a nearby Russian learning center or a specialized tutor. You’ll get a better understanding of the language and the test structure.
You can watch movies to learn Russian if you’re at upper-intermediate or advanced levels, like B2 or C1.
To help you prepare well for TORFL, plenty of samples and previous year’s papers are available on various sites. You can also find some materials on the Pushkin Institute website.