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The Russian state test system, TRKI, is included in the European language testing structure ALTE (Association of Language Testers in Europe) and the international testing system IAEA (International Association for Education Assessment). It was created with the aim of standardising the teaching system for foreign citizens in Russia and the inclusion of Russia in the unified educational sphere of Europe. The certificate given with the exam results has official status both in Russia and Europe.
The testing system has been in place since 1995 and each year is becoming more popular, and more in demand from the international community.
What does the TORFL exam give you?
The exam offers the opportunity to objectively assess your level of Russian language, including all of its aspects – grammar, lexicon, the ability to read and write, and the communicative skills necessary in different situations. You will be able to study in Russian universities, for masters programmes, and for apprenticeships or work placements. It will be easier for you to find work in Russia and other countries, especially in companies with Russian partnerships. Knowledge of Russian will increase your chances of finding interesting work and help you climb the career ladder.
Who can take the exam?
There are six levels to the TORFL exam. They check the general knowledge of Russian language, regardless of the candidate’s profession. The assessment criteria are as follows – the level of command of the Russian language, and the comprehensiveness of skills and knowledge. They check how well the candidate is able to use Russian and in which spheres and situations they are able to successfully communicate. Therefore, it is not important how and where you learnt Russian, whether it was through personal relationships, university, private classes, individual lessons or independent study.
Exam structure
As with other major international exams, TRKI defines the level of the student’s knowledge in different areas, and is divided into five subtests – grammar and lexis, reading, writing, speaking and listening.
The exam takes place over two days. The total time needed to take the test is five hours.
Testing system and level content
There are six levels in the TRKI system, and each of them corresponds to the European standard CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference – the accepted European system of language ability. The main goal of the CEFR system is to provide a method of assessment and teaching which can be applied to all European languages and to create a unified standard of quality):
TORFL elementary
(A1) The candidate can express themselves in a limited number of everyday situations
TORFL basic
(A2) The candidate can express themselves in real life social situations and the cultural sphere. This level is necessary when applying for Russian citizenship.
TORFL 1/intermediate
(B1) The candidate can conduct themselves with reasonable confidence in everyday social situations, and in the cultural and educational spheres. This level is necessary when enrolling in an undergraduate course at a Russian university.
TORFL 2/advanced
The candidate can conduct themselves confidently in a wide range of situations, including cultural, educational and professional spheres. This level is necessary to enter graduate studies as a non-humanities major in Russia.
TORFL 3/proficiency
The candidate is able to communicate freely in all spheres, undertake scientific research and teach courses in Russian. This level is necessary to enter graduate studies as a humanities major in Russia.
TORFL 4/fluency
The candidate has mastered Russian language and speaks fluently, almost to the level of a native speaker. This level is necessary to work as a philologist and a teacher of Russian as a foreign language.
Certificate of completion of state testing in Russian as a foreign language;

The document on education (at the extent of not less than the basic general education) issued in a foreign country and is recognized on the territory of Russia and notarized translation of a passport into Russian

The document of state approved qualification (at the extent not less than the basic general education), issued before September 1, 1991 by the educational institution of the state, which was part of the Soviet Union, or on the territory of Russia issued after September 1, 1991.