Proof of language proficiency
You are required to provide a certificate of language proficiency when you apply for a study place. You can prove your language skills for example with a National Certificate of Language Proficiency or by taking a language test.
If you apply to a study programme and your mother tongue is something other than the educational institution’s language of instruction, you will be called to take a language test. The reason for taking the test is to ensure that you will manage to complete your studies.
The language test may be either a written exam and/or an interview. You can get additional information on language tests directly from the educational institutions.
If you do not have the required proficiency for spoken and written skills of the language of instruction when applying, the institution may choose to not take you on as a student.
When you apply to a higher education institution, you need to have a certificate of a completed language test or that you have proven your language proficiency in previous education. Polytechnics/UAS usually invite the applicants to take part in a language test. Universities do not usually organise language tests, but require you to have a certificate of your language proficiency.
Always check how you can prove you have the necessary language skills required for your studies before applying!
National Certificates of Language Proficiency
One way to prove your language skills is with the National Certificate of Language Proficiency or by taking a language test.
You can complete the National Certificate of Language Proficiency by taking a Basic, Intermediate or Advanced level test.
The National Certificate of Language Proficiency test consists of the following parts:
- Reading comprehension
- Listening comprehension, and
National Certificates of Language Proficiency can be completed in the following languages:
Language test for intermediate Finnish is arranged four times a year, tests for other levels and other languages usually two times a year. Swedish tests take place in the spring and autumn.
The language test is subject to a charge.
Proving your language proficiency with another language test or earlier education
- If you have completed some other language test, contact the study place and ask if they can accept this as proof of language proficiency.
- If you have completed previous education, degree or parts of it in a certain language, contact the study place and ask if they can accept this as proof of language proficiency.
Vocational institutions evaluate comprehension level of language of instruction
If you apply for vocational education and your mother tongue is something other than the language of instruction at the educational institution, you will be called to take a language test.
Read more about Applying for English-language vocational education and training
- National Certificate of Language Proficiency on the Finnish National Board of Education website
- Eligibility criteria for admission to vocational education
- Preparatory education for upper secondary vocational education and training (VALMA)