TORFL / “– »
Putting your Russian to the Test

The TORFL test was developed by the Russian government as a means of objectively assessing a person's Russian language skills. This test is required of foreigners applying to degree programs in Russia. Generally, employers in Russia do not require the test, but seeing the test results on a resume can certainly help them make a decision about an applicant's ability to fill a post. 

 
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Where can I take TORFL / “– »?

SRAS can assist students in arranging to take this test as part of our study abroad programs. The test can also be taken in the US by universities accredited to do so by the Russian government. These include Bowling Green State University (contact the Language Service Group) and Duke University (contact them for more information). SRAS cannot assist in taking this test in the US.

How much does TORFL / “– » cost?

The average cost of taking the test in Russia is ~$225. Actual charge may vary by university, date, and the level of test you chose to take. Payment is made directly to the university (or as directed by the university). SRAS can assist in arranging the test (not available at all times or in all locations) for any of regular program students abroad.

What is TORFL / “– »?

There are six levels of TORFL testing, each measuring language skills in a different area of activity (e.g. basic conversation, professional, academic).  The standardized tests take into consideration the each communicative situation and the factors affecting each, the communicative objectives and how to achieve them via different communicative strategies and tactics, and corresponding grammatical systems and vocabularies.

Students must score a minimum of 66% overall to have "passed" the exam.

The test consists of 5 sections. Each section tests a different area of language proficiency:

Section 1. Vocabulary and Grammar.
Section 2. Reading.
Section 3. Writing.
Section 4. Listening Comprehension.
Section 5. Speaking.

There are elementary and intermediate levels to the tests as well as four certification levels:

“›”. Test of Russian as a Foreign Language. Elementary level.
“Ń”. Test of Russian as a Foreign Language. Basic level.
TPK»-1. Test of Russian as a Foreign Language. First level.
TPK»-2. Test of Russian as a Foreign Language. Second level.
TPK»-3. Test of Russian as a Foreign Language. Third level.
TPK»-4. Test of Russian as a Foreign Language. Fourth level.

 
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The Certificates of the Elementary & Basic Level confirm that the student is able to generally achieve his or her basic communication objectives in everyday communication in basic conversations. The Ministry of Education estimates that a student would need 100-120 hours of study to achieve the Elementry Level and an additional 180-200 hours of study to advance from Elementry Level to the Basic Level.

The TORFL 1 Certificate confirms that the student is able to achieve his or her basic communicative objectives in everyday communication on a variety of social and cultural topics. In addition, the TORFL 1 Certificate allows its holder to enroll in a Russian university as an undergraduate. If the student chooses to continue his or her education in college, he or she has to complete an additional section to test the student's abilities to achieve minimum communicative objectives in the student’s area of professional/academic communication. The Ministry of Education estimates that a student would need an additional 160-180 hours of study to advance from the Basic Level to TORFL 1.

The TORFL 2 Certificate confirms a relatively high level of communicative competency in all communicative contexts. At this level, the speaker is able to conduct professional activity in Russian in different areas (such as Humanities, Engineering, technology, and Natural Sciences) and can enter graduate studies in Russia. The Ministry of Education estimates that a student would need an additional 380 hours of study to advance from TORFL 1 to TORFL 2.

The 3rd Level Certificate indicates that the candidate has a high level of language command in all communicative contexts, which allows him/her to conduct language-related professional activity in Russian (e.g. Linguistics, Translation, Editing, Journalism, International Relations, business management). The Ministry of Education estimates that a student would need an additional 280 hours of study to advance from TORFL 2 to TORFL 3.

The 4th Level means that the speaker can speak as well as an educated native speaker. This level allows its holder to work as a philologist and a teacher of Russian as a Foreign language.

The Russian state testing system is included in the ALTE (Association of Language Testers Europe). Levels of competency in Russian as a foreign language have been standardized with those used in other countries for other languages (see table):

 


 

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