Language Testing Centre

The Language Testing Centre at St Petersburg University was established on 22 August 1997. The centre organises and conducts state testing of foreign citizens in the Russian language as a foreign language (TORFL). For more than 20 years, St Petersburg University has been one of the leaders in the field of language testing foreign citizens.

By the Order of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation of 22 February 2018 No 130, St Petersburg University was included in the list of educational organisations that have the right to: conduct testing in Russian as a foreign language; and issue a state-approved certificate. This certificate is the only official document certifying the level of proficiency in Russian as a foreign language in accordance with the Common European Language Competences (CEFR). The certificate is required for admission to Russian universities. It is also included in the package of documents required for being naturalised in the Russian Federation.

Besides conducting state testing in Russian as a foreign language, St Petersburg University was authorised by the Order of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation of 29 August 2017 No 856 to conduct a comprehensive examination of: the Russian language; the history of Russia; and the fundamentals of the legislation of the Russian Federation (comprehensive examination). The certificate of ‘proficiency in Russian, and knowledge of the history of Russia and the fundamentals of the legislation of the Russian Federation’ issued by St Petersburg University is a necessary document when obtaining a work permit (or patent), a temporary residence permit, and a residence permit.

Besides exams in Russian, St Petersburg University conducts: Cambridge English exams; the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK); the Hebrew Proficiency Test (YAEL); ECL language tests in European languages; and the Turkish Proficiency Exam.

How to book an exam

To book an exam you must:

  • contact in person the Language Testing Centre: 11, Lieutenant Shmidt Emb
  • have an identity document with you
  • have other official documents containing information on the correct spelling of family names and given names in Russian and in Latin transcription

You can book an exam and collect an issued certificate from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 18:00.


State testing in Russian as a foreign language (TORFL) is based on a single certification system for determining the level of practical Russian language. It is developed according to the goals of the use of practical Russian, and skills of using linguistic means to express certain communicative intentions of different speech activities.

Comprehensive examination

From 1 January 2015, all foreign citizens wishing to apply for a work permit (with the exception of highly qualified specialists), a patent, a temporary residence permit or a residence permit must pass an exam in: Russian as a foreign language; the history of Russia; and the fundamentals of the legislation of the Russian Federation.

Cambridge English

The Cambridge English Exam at St Petersburg University provides a unique opportunity to confirm your level of English proficiency in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). You will receive a certificate recognised by 20,000 organisations worldwide, including universities, employers, government agencies and other organisations.


TOPIK (Test of Proficiency in Korean) is an international exam to determine the level of proficiency in Korean. The exam is conducted by the Korean organisation NIIED (National Institute of International Education).


St Petersburg University is the first and the only institution in Russia to hold a regular Hebrew Proficiency Test (YAEL). The test is developed in accordance with the CEFR scale. The results of the exam are recognised worldwide, and the test is scored directly in N. I. T. E. in Israel.

ECL Testing

ECL exams can be taken in English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Rumanian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Slovak, Russian, Spanish, Croatian, Czech and Hebrew.

The Turkish Proficiency Exam

The Turkish Proficiency Exam is held to determine the level of proficiency in Turkish as a foreign language. It is recognised by a number of the largest associations of testers in Europe.

JLPT (日本語能力試験, Japanese Language Proficiency Test, Nihongo Nōryoku Shiken)

Japanese Language Proficiency Test is an international examination to measure Japanese language proficiency. 

The test consists of five levels: N1, N2, N3, N4, N5.

N1 is the highest level – it corresponds to C1 on the CEFR level.

N5 is the lowest level – it corresponds to A1 on the CEFR level.

Nihongo Nōryoku Shiken is held twice a year in St Petersburg – on the first Sunday of December and July.

For sample tests see the official website:

Information for legal entities

St Petersburg University cooperates with private and state organisations in the field of testing the proficiency of Russian as a foreign language. The competence of St Petersburg University in the field of testing is confirmed by such reputable international organisations as the Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE).