Russian language certificates

What is or are the Russian equivalents of the TOEFL, IELTS, EIKEN etc?

Put another way, what are the certificates that a foreigner can study for and take, which will demonstrate to the world and his wife his level of competence in the Russian language? Where can one find out how to study, what to study, and how to take the test? Other than going to Moscow and doing a residential course I mean, which is beyond my means.

I guess the fact that I have to ask and not just do a Yandex search to find it suggests that I wouldn’t get the highest grade :wink:

Why Yandex? You may try to search in Google for “сертификат русского языка”, for example.

These are locations where the test can be taken:

There are also many useful links on these pages.

Here are some examples of test questions:

This forum thread is also worth reading, I think:

If you are really interested in textbooks and test brochures that are available here in Moscow bookstores, then let me know, maybe I’ll be able to scan and email one or several of them to you in exchange for some time of English tutoring. If I keep these books, maybe I’ll be able to help people studying for tests in the future.

Visit one of Moscow’s biggest bookstores:

Here are some links from this site:
et cetera.

Enter “русский язык иностранный” in the search field on, and you’ll get many other results.

Thank you for your help Dmitri! Your links sent me in interesting directions and I think I found the information I wanted. I think what I’m talking about is the ТРКИ-1, which is a certificate at B2 level in Eurospeak. I’ve found an academic bookshop with a catalogue of Russian language books all classed by their CEFRL level, which makes it a lot easier to find what I’m looking for.

Interestingly it seems that you can only sit this test in Russia (or maybe some equally distant places like America), so I doubt if I’ll ever actually manage to sit it. Not unless they develop an online version.

To be absolutely honest, I don’t really understand why North American and European people (maybe except some Eastern Europeans) may have any intentions to take professional tests in Russian. What benefits are they expecting to get? I think these tests should be popular among students of Russian from countries around Russia and maybe several other Asian countries where quality of life is lower than in Russia, and they therefore want to get a job in Russia. If they have a professional degree and don’t want to apply for second-rate jobs, they need to assure their potential employer that they are fully functional in Russian. Maybe the job they are applying for requires them preparing more or less complicated documents in Russian… I think this is the case.

If you want to know Russian, then why any tests are needed? You may learn Russian, speak Russian and (I think!) one day you will have a feeling that you have mastered your desired level, and if someone after having spoken to you in Russian would still need you to prove your ability to speak in Russian, it would be their problems.

I don’t like Russian tests. I remember from school that a fair amount of them are designed to catch students on failing in most complicated and ambiguous situations, forgetting most difficult rules or even exceptions to them. 90-95% of those test questions were about the speech situations I never (or extremely rarely!) encountered in real life after my school tests. I find Russian tests boring. I may offer my help with tests not in order to understand what is difficult in Russian tests for people taking them, but to understand what is difficult for these people in Russian.

Sorry for this message looking too Russian. I’ve been short of time and had to compose it really fast.

I DO have a job in Russia…er, sort of! At any rate I have a Russian employer who hired me partly on my claimed abilities in the Russian language. Although she didn’t expect a ТРКИ certificate from me, or even that I knew what it was, in the future someone is bound to ask me: “What ТРКИ level is your Russian at?” I would like to be able to say “More or less ТРКИ-1/ -2/”. Since it turns out you can’t yet take the test in my country most people wouldn’t expect me to actually take the test to prove it.

I tutor Russian students to pass the IELTS exam, and I have to admit I think it’s not a good test of their English abilities. Most of all it’s a test of their ability to perform well on the IELTS exam, which is a different thing altogether.

I read this article:

and what I could figure out from it is that ТРКИ-2 is a good level for a teacher of English for Russian speakers. You could explain many things in Russian if you have ТРКИ-2 level.

Honestly, I don’t understand why you need to know Russian to teach English to Russians. If they want to take a test, they are not complete beginners. I never needed to ask you any question in Russian. In my view, if a client still needs explanations in his or her native language when preparing to the serious test in a foreign language, then it’s too early to take this test.

By the way, Helen, if one day you reach the level of Russian which allows you to comfortably communicate with your learners, will this be enough for you? What is your desired level?

I think the ТРКИ-2 is as far as I would want to go. You’re right, it’s not necessary to learn a foreign language in order to teach your own. Actually it’s the other way round, I teach English in order to finance my Russian (and next year, hopefully, my applie linguistics) studies.