Russian langauge test

Russian as a foreign language

(To get your Russian up to scratch, don't forget to check out my post on the best books for learning Russian!)

What is it?
The Russian level test or TRKI (Russian test for foreigners) is something you can decide to take when you’re in Russia to demonstrate your level of Russian language. I have the third level and will be looking into the fourth early next year if I have the chance. Basically it’s like the Russian equivalent of a TOFEL. Now, there are four test levels and two elementary levels that come before them. On another note, if you want to study in Russian university as a foreigner, you have to pass the level one cert first.

How does the testing go?
As far as I know, all the levels are made up of speaking, listening, reading, grammar and writing. Since I only took the 2nd and 3rd levels and can’t tell you much about the first, other than that the grammar section consists of about 150 multiple choice questions. Also, I don’t remember the pass percent, sorry.

As for the third test, the reading and grammar sections were easy (for me at least) and the listening involved listening to radio recordings and writing down answers, although you have no time to look at the questions before the thing starts. The second part of the listening is watching clips from movies and answering questions. The written section was tough because of time limits and I’m a bad essay writer and my style has become a bit too conversational. On the day you get given a topic and you must structure your answers in a certain way (which a teacher should cover with you before hand). Here they kill you on any case or aspect mistakes, in theory you are only allowed to make stylistic collocation errors at this level. Finally, for the speaking you get given a topic and you are asked questions on it for 15 mins.   

The general difficulty depends on you but I recommend getting prepped for the exam, after all there is a certain art to taking tests. Test and practice books are widely available for the first level test, but they have stopped publishing books for level 2 upwards making your only source a faculty that has a copy.

Last time I checked it was 500 roubles per unit which is a pretty decent price. Also, you can take whichever units you like whenever you like in no particular order. 

How and where to take the test
I don’t know about SPB or other towns, but in Moscow I go to the testing centre (Центр тестирования) which is actually one of the cie faculties. You can head down there and they’ll sort you out with a private tutor or you can simply get busy with the testing. One thing, to take the 3rd test, you need to pass the 2nd first and likewise with the 4th level test. If you need any more info you should contact cie via their website ( They have English speaking staff so you shouldn’t have any trouble with them. 

What the levels mean
Below you can see the Russian table giving descriptions of the levels, if you cant understand it, let me know and ill translate it.

Russian as a foreign language

What the cert looks like
If you wanted to know:
Russian as a foreign language
Here are some links I found to the test books in pdf format. They give examples, what the teacher is looking for and include practice papers. I couldn’t find all of them, but here’s what I got. Hope it comes in handy:
Still looking for the first, but can for the life of me find it but ill add it when I do!

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jaleco on April 28, 2014 at 4:12 AM said...

Thank you for posting your experience with the TKRI test. I'm studying to take this test and I can't wait to pass the test. For now, I'm going for the A2 level but I would like to get to the B1 level. Trying to get the vocabulary words for B1 is a little tougher to find.

Lt. Columbo on April 28, 2014 at 9:22 PM said...

Glad to help! It's too bad that it's so tough to find materials on the tests. Good luck tho!

Unknown on September 26, 2016 at 12:37 PM said...

Could you please help me to find vocabulary for A1 and A2

Unknown on July 21, 2017 at 5:26 PM said...

Is it possible to take this test overseas?
I would like to take this test soon, but can it only be taken in Moscow?
Thanks in advance

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