Test of Russian as a Foreign Language (TORFL)

You surely hear about the TOEFL and  IELTS, standardized test to assess your ability to use and understand the English language. In Russian, there is the same exam: Тест по русскому языку как иностранному, or Test of Russian as a Foreign Language (TORFL).

Established since 1992, it is now mandatory to study in Russian universities. It is also possible that some Russian-speaking companies require you to have this test to guarantee your level of Russian. Of course, you can also pass the test just to know your level and evaluate your progress!

There are five different levels to the TORFL:

  • Basic level – A2 : usually required to obtain Russian citizenship by naturalization. Elementary level ( A1) is a part of the Basic Level.
  • Intermediate (level 1) – B1 : required to enter in Russian educational institutions.
  • Advanced (level 2) – B2: required for Bachelor’s, Master’s and PHD degrees in Russian universities
  • Proficiency (level 3) – C1 : required when you want to work in a Russian speaking environment ( journalist, diplomat, translation, …)
  • Fluency (level 4) – C2 : your Russian is closed to native Russian speaker, required to work in Russian philology.

Each level test contains 5 sections : Lexis and Grammar, Reading, Listening,Writing and Speaking.  Examinations are held over two days.

For further informations, check the official website : http://www.torfl.org


Article written by Anne Sophie Reinhard for Russian language school Liden & Denz.

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