Estonian language proficiency examinations

Estonian language proficiency examinations are used to test the knowledge of Estonian as the official language. Proficiency examinations are intended for those who wish to apply for citizenship of the Republic of Estonia and/or in whose position it is required to prove the level of proficiency in the Estonian language.

Professional language skills are measured and national exams are organized in Estonia on four levels: Estonian language level A2, B1, B2, and C1. The language proficiency requirement is determined on the basis of the type of civil  servant, the basic category of offices, the requirements for the certification of the basic category of offices, the language proficiency requirements stated in professional standards, and the nature of the employee’s work. The determination of the level of compulsory language proficiency of individuals is based on the language proficiency levels described in the European Framework of Reference for Languages.

In order to become a citizen of the Republic of Estonia, the Estonian language proficiency level must be at least B1. A person of at least 65 years of age applying for Estonian citizenship is exempted from the requirements of clause 8 2) 4) of the Citizenship Act (being able to draw up a simple text on a familiar topic or on a topic of interest to him or her), that is, the written test. If a person has submitted a relevant application, he or she must pass three parts of the examination: the listening, reading and speaking part.

The requirements for the proficiency of the Estonian language, its assessment, and control are laid down in the Language Act. The structure and implementation of Estonian language proficiency examinations have been approved by a regulation of the Ministry of Education and Research. The language proficiency levels required for the position are established by a regulation of the Government of the Republic.

Descriptions of language levels, the structure of the examination and sample tasks:

The Estonian language proficiency examinations have been awarded the Association of Language Testers in Europe ALTE Quality Label.

Examinations and Consultations

The Estonian language proficiency examinations at all levels take place at least once a quarter. Consultations prior to examinations are available for everyone, and you can take part even if you have not applied for taking the examination. All examinations and consultations start at 10 am.

2022:

LEVEL  EXAMINATIONS CONSULTATIONS
A2 12.02.2022
14.05.2022
10.09.2022
12.11.2022
29.01.2022
23.04.2022
27.08.2022
22.10.2022
 B1 13.02.2022 (also in Pärnu)*
15.05.2022
11.09.2022 (also in Pärnu)*
13.11.2022 (also in Finland)
30.01.2022
24.04.2022
28.08.2022
23.10.2022
 B2 26.02.2022 (also in Finland)
21.05.2022
24.09.2022
19.11.2022
05.02.2022, in Tartu 13.02.2022
07.05.2022, in Tartu 14.05.2022
03.09.2022, in Tartu 10.09.2022
29.10.2022, in Tartu 12.11.2022
 C1 27.02.2022
22.05.2022
25.09.2022
20.11.2022
06.02.2022, in Tartu 14.02.2022
07.05.2022, in Tartu 15.05.2022
04.09.2022, in Tartu 11.09.2022
30.10.2022, in Tartu 13.11.2022

* At least 5 people registered for the exam 

Examinations and consultations are held at:

  • Tallinn: Pae Gymnasium, Pae 5;
  • Tartu: Examination Point, Jakobi 2;
  • Jõhvi: Ida-Virumaa Vocational Education Centre, Kutse 13 (entrance from B-building, go along the corridor to the C-building);
  • Narva: Estonian Gymnasium, Kraavi 1;
  • Pärnu: Pärnu Tammsaare Kool, A.H.Tammsaare pst 30;
  • Helsinki: Sörnäisten rantatie 22, 00540.

Regional Information Points

Additional information about the Estonian language proficiency examinations and application forms for registering are also available at our regional information points:

  • Education and Youth Board in TALLINN: Lõõtsa 4, 11415 Tallinn.
    Receiving and issuing documents: Mon-Fri 9.00–17.00. Phone: +372 735 0500
  • Rajaleidja Center in NARVA: Kerese 3, 20309 Narva.
    Receiving and issuing documents: Mon–Thur 9.00–17.00.
  • Rajaleidja Center in JÕHVI: Keskväljak 4, 41531 Jõhvi.
    Receiving and issuing documents: Mon–Thur 9.00–17.00, F 9.00–15.00.
  • Rajaleidja Center in TARTU: Tähe 4, 51010 Tartu.
    Receiving and issuing documents: Mon–Thur 9.00–17.00, F 9.00–15.00.
  • Rajaleidja Center in PÄRNU: Metsa 1, 80010 Pärnu.
    Receiving and issuing documents: Mon–Thur 9.00–17.00, F 9.00–15.00.
  • Tuglase Association/Viro-keskus (Eesti Maja) in HELSINKI: Sörnäisten rantatie 22, 00540 Helsinki.
    Receiving and issuing documents: Mon-Fri 10.00–17.00, Phone: 09 681 1430 (+358 9 681 1430 if calling from abroad).
Information materials:
Descriptions of language levels, the structure of the examination and sample tasks:
Samples of writing tasks in examinations taken by previous examinees (with comments):
Workbooks:
E-environments:
  • Keeleklikk is a modern online Estonian language course for beginners that is suitable for individual study and also for classroom use. Keeleklikk targets adult learners who want to learn how to communicate in everyday situations. You can take the course either based on English or Russian. The course is free!

  • We recommend that you check your language skills at the online Estonian language proficiency testing page before taking the Estonian language proficiency examination.

Registration for the Estonian language proficiency examination.  

You can register for the examinations throughout the year.

Registration for the Estonian language proficiency examination ends on the 1st of the month preceding the exam.

You can register for one exam at a time.

There are several ways to register for the Estonian language proficiency examination:

  • By logging in electronically to the Exam Information System (EIS).
  • By logging in electronically to the state portal.
  • Send a digitally signed application with a copy of the document via info@harno.ee.
  • Submit a paper application with a copy of the document directly to Haridus- ja Noorteamet (by mail or to arrive in person)

NB! Students cannot be registered for examinations based on paper applications!

Students shall register for the examinations themselves (electronically) using the exam information system (EIS).   

Enter the Exams Information System (EIS) with your ID-card, mobile-ID, Smart-ID   Exam Information System (EIS)

Instructions for registering for the exam in the Exam Information System (EIS) can be found here.

To register on the state portal www.eesti.ee, enter with your ID-card or Mobile-ID here.

A copy of the digitally signed application and the document can be sent to: info@harno.ee

An application for registration for the Estonian language proficiency examination can be sent with a copy of your ID to Education and Youth Board at Lõõtsa 4, Tallinn 11415.

The application can also be completed at the reception of the Education and Youth Board (present an identity document when submitting the application).

If the application is filed by an authorized person, he or she must submit with the application the power of attorney of the applicant as well as his or her own identity document.

The application form can be downloaded here, the forms are also available at all our regional information points .

The exam notice, listing the time and place of the exam and consultation and all other necessary information, will be sent to the postal address or e-mail address stated on the application form. Notice of the Estonian language proficiency exam is usually sent one month before the exam.

Persons of at least 65 years of age applying for Estonian citizenship are exempt from the writing test (essay) on the B1 level language proficiency examination, i.e., from the requirements (is able to compose a simple text on a topic which he or she is familiar with or takes an interest in) of Article 8 (2) (4) of the Citizenship Act.

He/she has to pass three parts of the exam: listening, reading, and speaking. In order to take advantage of this option, you must select the ‘B1 level* (Citizenship applicant who is 65 years of age and over)’ option in your registration application.

A basic school student (grades 7-9) can register for the Estonian language proficiency examination only if he or she applies for Estonian citizenship (for this purpose he or she must be 15 years old) or if his or her goal is to prove language proficiency at work.

7th and 8th grade students can register for the basic school final examination in Estonian as a second language combined with the B1 level. (based on the regulation of the Minister of Education and Research)

At the end of basic school, a 9th grade student takes a final examination in Estonian as a second language combined with the B1 level .

Re-registration in case of absence from the exam

An applicant who is absent from the exam without good reason or whose exam results fall below 35 percentage points of the possible score may retake the exam at the earliest six months after the exam.

The restriction shall not apply if the registration for the examination is canceled at least seven days before the examination. You can cancel your registration by notifying Education and Youth Board by phone at 735 0500 or info@harno.ee.

Anyone who is absent from the exam due to a valid (e.g., health) reason and who wants to take the exam before six months must submit a free form explanation to Education and Youth Board within 30 days from the date of the exam and file a new application for registration for the exam.

This page contains the necessary information for applicants who are not able to take the Estonian language proficiency examination according to the standard procedure for health reasons. Applicants with special needs can take the examination within the scope and according to the procedure appropriate for their health condition or can be exempted from taking the examination.

In order to apply for special conditions at or exemption from the examination, the person or their representative holding a notarized power of attorney is to file a relevant application with Education and Youth Board. Application forms:

In addition to the application, the following are to be provided:

  • a note from the person’s treating physician or medical specialist;
  • if available, the resolution of the medical expert examination on the designation of the status of disability or incapacity for work in accordance with Appendix 1 to regulation no. 144 of the Minister of Social Affairs “Medical expert examination resolution form” dated 13 December 2002;
  • a copy of the ID;
  • in case of the representative filing the application, the document proving the right of representation;
  • other documents describing the person’s health condition may be submitted.

The originals of all medical certificates, notices and medical examination reports on pre-printed forms of the relevant health care facilities are to be provided, signed by the issuer and bearing the stamp of the issuing facility. The resolution of the medical expert committee on the designation of the status of disability or incapacity for work is to be provided as one of the following:

  • the original document that we are going to return by registered mail after the meeting of the committee;
  • a notarized copy;
  • an officially certified copy of the original document;
  • a copy certified by Education and Youth Board and made at our information desk.

An expert committee shall make a decision on the scope and method of the examination in Estonian language proficiency as well as on the knowledge of the Constitution and the Citizenship Act of the Republic of Estonia or exemption from the examinations. The members of the committee shall be appointed by the Minister of Education and Research. By its resolution, the expert committee can dismiss the application or satisfy it partially or in full.

Grounds for full exemption from the examination:
  • severe or profound intellectual disability;
  • complete deafness and third grade hearing loss in both ears;
  • people with severe or profound visual impairment, suffering from the following conditions (on the basis of the WHO classification):
    • severe visual impairment: OD-OS 0,12 – 0,05 in the corrected better-seeing eye;
    • blindness: OD-OS 0,05-0.
  • People with multiple disabilities, suffering from several conditions at the same time:
    • hearing impairment and visual impairment = deaf-blindness; including people with moderate or severe visual impairment and hearing loss (40 dB or more);
    • hearing, visual or mobility impairment accompanied by mental retardation.
  • People with hearing impairment and hearing loss of 50–60 dB or more (corrected):
    • mute people whose first language (mother tongue) is sign language;
    • oral deaf people with severe speech impairment in the first language (speech) (hearing impairment – in the middle speech range at the frequency of 500-4000 Hz, 50-100 dB, and the consequent speech impairment);
    • people with cochlear implants.

The results of the Estonian language proficiency examination can be obtained through the state portal within 30 days after taking the examination. The results are not communicated over the phone. Estonian language proficiency examination certificates are issued in the electronic format. Certificates are not issued in hard copy.

Electronic certificates are available on the state portal www.eesti.ee. After taking the examination, you will receive a notice stating the results and a unique number of your e-certificate. This notice will be sent to you by post or e-mail that you have stated on your application. Knowing your e-certificate number and personal ID number is sufficient for proving language proficiency to the employer. The employer can use these numbers to check whether the certificate is valid through the state portal and will not need a hard copy. All officials (language inspectors, notaries, relevant employees of the citizenship and migration divisions of the Police and Border Guard Board) are also able to check certificates by certificate number online.

The electronic certificate has the same legal force as the certificate in hard copy. The e-certificate is supplemented with a digital stamp, which guarantees that the document is authentic.

However, if you want, the e-certificate can also be downloaded from www.eesti.ee. Also, if needed, our customer service office (Lõõtsa 4, Tallinn) can provide certified printouts of e-certificates upon request. This is a paid service: one A4 page – 1 euro. Payments are to be made on site in cash only.

All the certificates previously issued in hard copy remain valid. If your previous hard copy certificate has been lost or destroyed, we will issue a new e-certificate as a replacement.

  • Recommendations for downloading the e-certificate from the state portal eesti.ee are available HERE .
  • Recommendations for third persons (incl. employers) on checking e-certificates on the state portal eesti.ee are available HERE .

Duplicates

In case your Estonian language proficiency examination certificate has been lost, stolen or destroyed, you do not have to take the examination again: there is an option of requesting a duplicate.  The duplicate has the same legal force as the original.

A duplicate may be requested in the following cases:

  • the text of the initial document has become barely legible;
  • discrepancies or misrepresentation of the data entered in the initial document have been discovered;
  • the initial document has been destroyed, lost or stolen;
  • the initial document has been legalised or apostilled pursuant to the procedure established by law.

The person wishing to request a duplicate is to file an application with Education and Youth Board for the duplicate to be issued, stating the following information:

  • the applicant’s first name and surname;
  • personal ID code;
  • address, contact telephone number;
  • the date of the examination and the language level;
  • the date of filing the application and signature.

If the text of the initial document has become barely legible or discrepancies or misrepresentation of the data entered in the initial document have been discovered, the initial document is to be attached to the application.

We will issue the duplicate within 30 days after the application has been filed. Duplicates are issued in the form of e-certificates. We will contact you when the duplicate is ready.

For category certificates of occupational Estonian language proficiency issued before 1 July 1999, an archive notice has been issued as a duplicate. For the issue of an archive notice, a signed application is to be forwarded to Education and Youth Board:

All applications can be sent to us, Education and Youth Board, by post: Lõõtsa 4, 11415 Tallinn; or by e-mail: harno@harno.ee.

The Estonian language proficiency examination papers can be reviewed by the examinee and other persons upon reasonable request within five years after the examination has been taken. The completed tests can only be reviewed at Education and Youth Board. The tests are not to be given out.

To review the completed tests of the examination, you need submit a application:

The hard copy of application may be left at our information desk (Mon - Fri 9.00–17:00) or sent to us by post: Lõõtsa 4, 11415 Tallinn.

  • The applications received will be reviewed at the first opportunity, but no later than within 30 working days.
  • The applicant will be notified about the time when they can review the examination test.
  • In case the person who has filed the application has no right to review the completed tests, the examination centre will inform the person of the fact within 30 working days.

When coming to review the test, please provide us with an ID. Authorised representatives need to present an unattested proxy and a copy of the authorising person’s ID as well as his or her own ID.

Procedure for reviewing the completed test:

  • One person having filed an application may review the Estonian language proficiency examination paper at a time.
  • The examination paper is reviewed in a special room in Education and Youth Board, in the presence of our employee.
  • While reviewing the Estonian language proficiency examination paper, you are not allowed to write comments, make corrections or add or underline anything. The examination paper may not be taken out of the office.
  • You will see your examination paper exactly the way you submitted it at the examination. Assessors of the written part do not correct your mistakes, write comments or notes in your work.

Contesting the results of the examination

If you are not not satisfied with the result of the proficiency examinations, you have the right to file a challenge with the Ministry of Education and Research for the review of your examination result. The challenge must be filed within thirty days after being communicated the examination result.

A proficiency examinations challenge committee shall be formed whose membership shall be approved by a directive of the Minister of Education and Research. The challenge committee shall review a filed challenge within 30 days after the receipt thereof and pass one of the following resolutions:

  • to dismiss the challenge;
  • to satisfy the challenge and where necessary, issue a precept to the head of the agency issuing certificates of proficiency in the Estonian language, to issue a certificate of proficiency in the Estonian language.

Additional information on filing a challenge: Ministry of Education and Research.

Compensation for language learning costs to those who are applying for Estonian citizenship and have passed the necessary examinations:

  • Only persons who are not Estonian citizens can apply for compensation. Estonian citizens are not compensated language learning costs.
  • Only natural persons can apply for compensation. Companies cannot apply for compensation for language learning costs incurred on training their employees.
  • You can apply for compensation if you have passed both of the following examinations: the Estonian language proficiency examination (proficiency level B1, B2, or C1, and basic, intermediate, or high proficiency) as well as the examination on knowledge of the Citizenship Act and of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia.
  • If you apply for compensation for the tuition fee of an Estonian language course, the course must be completed by the time the application is submitted. Compensation can be paid for language learning costs incurred before the proficiency examination after which compensation is applied for.
  • The educational institution that ran the Estonian language course must have an education licence issued by the Ministry of Education and Research. The education licence must be issued for the Estonian language level after which compensation is applied for. As an exception, the tuition fee is also compensated to those who started learning at an educational institution that does not have an education licence before 1 January 2004. In that case, you must present a certificate issued by the educational institution to prove that you started learning before that date. The course must be completed after that date.
  • You must submit your application for compensation within three months after you find out that you have passed the Estonian language proficiency examination, and the examination on knowledge of the Citizenship Act and of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia. The time limit will be counted from the seventh day after delivery of the notice of passing. The order in which you pass the examinations, or when the first examination was passed, is irrelevant.
  • The tuition fee paid for Estonian language learning is compensated to the maximum limit allowed by the Government of the Republic. This is 384 euros.
  • Compensation will be paid into the bank account indicated in the application within one month after the application and the cost statements have been duly checked and forwarded to the accounts department of Education and Youth Board.
  • If you would like the transfer to be made to a foreign bank account, be sure to provide the full name of the bank and the SWIFT/BIC code.
  • You have the right to apply for compensation for the costs associated with your citizenship application only once. Before paying compensation, Education and Youth Board checks what payments have been made to you previously.

Application form and documents to be enclosed

To apply for compensation, you must submit a written application. The form is available to download HERE or you may take a hard copy from our information desk (Lõõtsa 4, Tallinn) or from our regional information points.

Along with the application, you must submit:

  • A copy of an identity document (alien’s passport, driving licence, residence permit, ID card). You can also make a copy at our information desk.
  • The original of a document certifying payment of the tuition fee. Documents certifying payment of the tuition fee are cash payment receipts, card payment receipts, original copies of bank payment orders, account statements certified by the bank. Documents certifying payment must comply with the requirements provided for in the Accounting Act §7.
  • A document certifying payment of the tuition fee must indicate for what the tuition fee was paid. Language learning costs are compensated only based on documents that expressly show that payment was made for Estonian language learning. If another natural person has paid the training costs for the compensation applicant, the details of the document certifying payment must indicate the name of the person who learned the language (the recipient of compensation), and that payment was made for Estonian language learning.
  • In addition to a payment order submitted as a document certifying payment, you must submit an invoice from the educational institution, or a certificate that proves that you have received training and that the sums have been paid.
  • A card payment receipt must be accompanied by a certificate issued by the educational institution. The certificate must indicate the training period, total cost of the course, and that the payments made have been credited to the bank account of the educational institution. Payments must be shown by dates and amounts. If another natural person has paid the training costs for the compensation applicant, this must be indicated on the certificate issued by the educational institution.
  • Costs incurred on preparing for the examination on knowledge of the Citizenship Act and of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia will not be compensated for. If the details on a single invoice refer to a tuition fee for both the Estonian language examination and the examination on knowledge of legislation, you must add a statement showing to what extent the payment covered Estonian language learning.

All documents certifying training costs must be originals or verified with the issuer’s digital signature. Duplicates (unverified copies of cost statements) will not be accepted.

Education and Youth Board has the right to request additional documents to verify compliance of the application with the compensation award conditions.

If false information is provided, Education and Youth Board has the right to reclaim the amount of compensation paid.

You can send your application on by post to Education andYouth Board, Lõõtsa 4, Tallinn, 11415, or e-mail it to harno@harno.ee (in this case, all documents must be supplemented with a digital stamp by the issuer).

Compensation for costs to those who have passed the Estonian language examination at the Language Inspectorate’s request by the date set in the injunction:

  • You have the right for compensation regardless of your citizenship.
  • Only natural persons can apply for compensation. It is not possible to apply for compensation for language learning costs incurred on employee training under an injunction.
  • Compensation can be applied for to the extent of 100% of the amount used for language learning, but not more than 384 euros.
  • Compensation is paid for passing the level indicated in the injunction during the specified period.
  • If you apply for compensation for the tuition fee of an Estonian language course, the course must be completed by the time the application is submitted.
  • The educational institution that ran the language course must have an education licence issued by the Ministry of Education and Research, or a corresponding registration in the Estonian Education Information System. The existence of an education licence can be verified in the Estonian Education Information System (EHIS). The education licence must be issued for the language level after which compensation is applied for.
  • You must submit your application for compensation within three months after you find out that you have passed the Estonian language proficiency examination. The time limit for the submission of the application will be counted from the seventh day after delivery of the notice of passing.
  • Compensation will be paid into the bank account indicated in the application within one month after the application and the cost statements have been duly checked and forwarded to the accounts department of Education and Youth Board. If you would like the transfer to be made to a foreign bank account, be sure to provide the full name of the bank and the SWIFT/BIC code.

Application form and documents to be enclosed

To apply for compensation, you must submit a written application. The form is available to download HERE or you may take a hard copy from our information desk (Lõõtsa 4, Tallinn) or from our regional information points.

Along with the application, you must submit:

  • A copy of an identity document (alien’s passport, driving licence, residence permit, ID card). You can also make a copy at our information desk.
  • The original of a document certifying payment of the tuition fee. Documents certifying payment of the tuition fee are cash payment receipts, card payment receipts, original copies of bank payment orders, account statements certified by the bank. Documents certifying payment must comply with the requirements provided for in the Accounting Act §7.
  • A document certifying payment of the tuition fee must indicate for what the tuition fee was paid. Language learning costs are compensated only based on documents that expressly show that payment was made for Estonian language learning. If another natural person has paid the training costs for the compensation applicant, the details of the document certifying payment must indicate the name of the person who learned the language (the recipient of compensation) and that payment was made for Estonian language learning.
  • In addition to a payment order submitted as a document certifying payment, you must submit an invoice from the educational institution, or a certificate that proves that you have received training and that the sums have been paid.
  • A card payment receipt must be accompanied by a certificate issued by the educational institution. The certificate must indicate the training period, total cost of the course, and that the payments made have been credited to the bank account of the educational institution. Payments must be shown by dates and amounts. If another natural person has paid the training costs for the compensation applicant, this must be indicated on the certificate issued by the educational institution.
  • You must also submit a copy of the Language Inspectorate’s injunction.

All documents certifying training costs must be originals or verified with the issuer’s digital signature. Duplicates (unverified copies of cost statements) will not be accepted.

Education and Youth Board has the right to request additional documents to verify compliance of the application with the compensation award conditions.

If false information is provided, Education and Youth Board has the right to reclaim the amount of compensation paid.

You can send your application on by post  Education and Youth Board, Lõõtsa 4, Tallinn, 11415, or e-mail it to harno@harno.ee (in this case, all documents must be supplemented with a digital stamp by the issuer).

Compensation for language learning costs to those who are not eligible for compensation for the costs based on the Citizenship Act or Language Act, but have passed the Estonian language examination at the proficiency level A2, B1, B2, or C1:

  • You can apply for this compensation if you are not eligible for compensation according to the Citizenship Act (applicants for the Republic of Estonia citizenship) or Languages Act (persons who were referred to the language examination by the Language Inspectorate).
  • You have the right to compensation regardless of your citizenship.
  • Only natural persons can apply for compensation. It is not possible to apply for compensation for the language learning costs incurred on employee training under an injunction.
  • Compensation can be applied for by adults (18 years old and older), 17-yr-olds without basic education, and 15 to 17-yr-olds who have basic education and are currently not studying under a programme of higher level education, i.e., general education, vocational secondary education, or higher education.
  • You can apply for compensation if you have passed the Estonian language proficiency examination at level A2, B1, B2, or C1. The examinations must be passed on a lower-to-higher level basis, meaning that if you have passed a higher-level examination and received compensation, you will not be paid compensation when passing a lower level later on. 
  • If you apply for compensation for the tuition fee of an Estonian language course, the course must be completed by the time the application is submitted. Compensation can be paid for language learning costs incurred within 2 years before the proficiency examination after which compensation is applied for.
  • The educational institution that ran the Estonian language course must have an education licence issued by the Ministry of Education and Research, or a corresponding registration in the Estonian Education Information System. The existence of an education licence can be verified in the Estonian Education Information System (EHIS). The education licence must be issued for the Estonian language level after which compensation is applied for.
  • You must submit your application for compensation within six months after you find out that you have passed the Estonian language proficiency examination. The time limit for the submission of the application will be counted from the seventh day after delivery of the notice of passing.
  • The tuition fee paid for Estonian language learning is compensated to the extent of up to 320 euros, once for each Estonian language proficiency examination passed. This means that if you pass the proficiency examination for each language level (A2, B1, B2, C1) and you have received Estonian language training before passing each examination, you can apply for compensation for learning costs for each level once.
  • Compensation will be paid into the bank account indicated in the application within one month after the application and the cost statements have been duly checked and forwarded to the accounts department of Education and Youth Board. If you would like the transfer to be made to a foreign bank account, be sure to provide the full name of the bank and the SWIFT/BIC code.
  • If you have provided false information, Education and Youth Board will have the right to reclaim the amount of compensation paid.
  • Education and Youth Board has the right to request additional documents to verify compliance of the application with the compensation award conditions.

Application form and documents to be enclosed

To apply for compensation, you must submit a written application. The form is available to download HERE or you may take a hard copy from our information desk (Lõõtsa 4, Tallinn) or from our regional information points.

Along with the application, you must submit:

  • A copy of an identity document (alien’s passport, driving licence, residence permit, ID card). You can also make a copy at our information desk.
  • The original of a document certifying payment of the tuition fee. Documents certifying payment of the tuition fee are cash payment receipts, card payment receipts, original copies of bank payment orders, account statements certified by the bank. Documents certifying payment must comply with the requirements provided for in the Accounting Act §7.
  • A document certifying payment of the tuition fee must indicate for what the tuition fee was paid. Language learning costs are compensated only based on documents that expressly show that payment was made for Estonian language learning. If another natural person has paid the training costs for the compensation applicant, the details of the document certifying payment must indicate the name of the person who learned the language (the recipient of compensation), and that payment was made for Estonian language learning.
  • In addition to a payment order submitted as a document certifying payment, you must submit an invoice from the educational institution, or a certificate that proves that you have received training and that the sums have been paid.
  • A card payment receipt must be accompanied by a certificate issued by the educational institution. The certificate must indicate the training period, total cost of the course, and that the payments made have been credited to the bank account of the educational institution. Payments must be shown by dates and amounts.
  • If another natural person has paid the training costs for the compensation applicant, this must be indicated on the certificate issued by the educational institution.

All documents certifying training costs must be originals or verified with the issuer’s digital signature. Duplicates (unverified copies of cost statements) will not be accepted.

Education and Youth Board has the right to request additional documents to verify compliance of the application with the compensation award conditions.

If false information is provided, Education and Youth Board has the right to reclaim the amount of compensation paid.

You can send your application on by post to Education and Youth Board, Lõõtsa 4, Tallinn, 11415, or e-mail it to harno@harno.ee (in this case, all documents must be supplemented with a digital stamp by the issuer).

Juhised Covid-19 perioodil tasemeeksamil osalejale 2021

1. Language skills levels – what are they?

Language skills levels are the six levels of language proficiency (A1–C2) developed by the Council of Europe and described in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. These levels are used to measure foreign language proficiency. Learn more here. Mother tongue proficiency is assessed with the help of other means.

2. Who are Estonian language proficiency examinations for?

These examinations are for the employee whose mother tongue is not Estonian and who needs to prove his/her employer that he/she speaks the Estonian language at the level required at his/her job position. Learn more about Estonian language proficiency requirements at different positions here.

3. Which parts does the examination consist of and how long does the examination last?

The examination consists of four parts: writing, listening, reading, and speaking. Depending on the level, the written part of the examination lasts 2-3 hours and, after a short break, it is followed by speaking. Learn more HERE.

4. Where can I find learning materials and examination sample tests?

You can find learning materials HERE. We also recommend you to visit the language proficiency testing environment TESTEST and the language learning environment KEELEKLIKK. Before the examination we also recommend to attend a free of charge consultation where consultants will answer all your questions.

5. How many points do I need to score to pass the examination?

In order to pass the examination you need to get at least 60 per cent of the total sum of the examination points provided. The score can not be 0 for any of the examination parts (listening, reading, writing, and speaking).

6. Which level of Estonian language proficiency is required to apply for the Estonian citizenship or a long-term residence permit?

At least B1.

7. If I graduated from university (finished basic or secondary school) with the Estonian as the language of instruction, do I still have to take an Estonian language proficiency examination?

No, you do not! If you finished Estonian-medium basic or secondary school or graduated from Estonian-medium university, your Estonian language proficiency is proven by your graduation certificate.

8. Which level do the previously received beginner’s, intermediate and advanced levels of language proficiency (including the levels of basic and secondary school leavers) correspond now?

People who passed the Estonian language proficiency examination before 1 July, 2008 do not have to re-take the examination. Their certificates of Estonian language proficiency correspond to the language levels of the new system as follows:

  • The language proficiency proven with the beginner’s level certificate is considered equal to B1 level of language proficiency.
  • The language proficiency proven with the intermediate level certificate is considered equal to B2 level of language proficiency.
  • The language proficiency proven with the advanced level certificate is considered equal to C1 level of language proficiency.

Learn more here.

9. Why is there no examination for C2 level?

C2 is the highest foreign language proficiency level described in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. This level is equal to the language proficiency at the level of an educated native speaker. Such a high level of proficiency in Estonian as a foreign language cannot be required at any position, and thus there is no examination for C2 level. If you read in a job advertisement that the position requires Estonian language proficiency at C2 level, please turn to the employer for clarification.

10. Does the examination include questions about the culture and history of Estonia?

The texts for reading and listening may include texts about the Estonian culture and history. These texts do not require you to have any previous knowledge of the history or culture, as the information necessary to complete the task is presented in the texts themselves.

11. What if I know nothing about the topics covered in texts for reading and listening?

You do not have to have any previous knowledge of these topics. You can find answers to all questions if you read/listen to the text carefully.

12. Why doesn’t the speaking part of B2/C1 level examination contain other topics besides employment for those who are still studying or are unemployed?

B2/C1 proficiency level examination measures the mastery of the professional Estonian language. That is the reason why the speaking part of the examinations of these levels includes employment-related topics.

13. Why am I not allowed to write in pencil at the examination?

In order to prevent cheating, examinees are allowed to write in the test book only in pen. If you write only in pencil or write in pen above writing in pencil, your work will not be assessed. L

14. When the essay in the Estonian language B2 and C1 proficiency level examination is marked, is the draft considered as an answer?

The draft sheet is meant for the examinee for taking notes, not for writing the examination answers. The draft will not be considered when an unfinished essay is being marked. An examination paper can be marked objectively only based on the text written by the examinee into the examination book at the appropriate place, not based on the draft.

15. Does it make any difference which examination contact point I take my examination at?

No, it does not. Examination test books are the same at all the examination contact points, and the examination procedure is also the same. Do not believe rumours saying that the examination is easier at one or another contact point.

16. How much does it cost to take the examination?

The examination is free of charge.

17. What do the percentage ranges on my certificate / notice of passing / notice of fail mean?

Your results in sub-skills are represented as percentage ranges and verbal assessments:

0% – noncompliant with the level requirements;
1–49% – noncompliant with the level requirements;
50–59% – poor;
60–75% – satisfactory;
76–90% – good;
91–100% – very good.

This means that if your speaking skills were, for example, given the verbal assessment “good”, the results of your sub-skills were between 76 and 90 percent.

18. If I fail the examination, when can I make a new attempt?

If you scored less than 35% of the possible amount of points, you can take the examination again in six months’ time.

19. Am I really not allowed to go to the toilet during the examination?

If during the written part of  the examination you will have a strong need to go to the toilet, you will be allowed to leave the room and you will be escorted to the toilet by a member of the examination panel (from the examination room to the toilet door).

20. I have taken the same proficiency level examination several times, but why does not my result improve?

Just taking the examination cannot improve your result. Your score is improved through learning and active use of the language. If you keep receiving low scores for the reading and listening parts, read newspapers, listen to the radio, and watch television in the Estonian language. If you fail the writing and speaking parts, then use the Estonian language whenever possible – in a shop, office or institution, or when communicating to your Estonian colleagues.  Before you take the examination, we also recommend you to attend language courses of the corresponding level. All these things will certainly help you to improve your examination result.

21. Can I see my examination paper?

Yes, you can see your examination paper at Education and Youth Board. In order to do that you need to submit a corresponding application. Then a representative of the Education and Youth Board will contact you in order to agree on the convenient meeting time. Learn more here.

You will see your examination paper exactly the way you submitted it at the examination. Assessors of the written part do not correct your mistakes, write comments or notes in your work.

22. Can I take the examination if I have vision or hearing disabilities?

An examinee with special needs can take the examination in the form that is suitable for him/her. Learn more here.

23. What do I do if my conversation partner at the speaking part of the examination does not speak any Estonian?

Examiners know what to do in such a situation, and they will allow you to speak more or will talk to you themselves, if the other examinee does not speak Estonian enough.

24. What if my score was calculated wrongly?

Capturing of the answers for the reading and listening parts of the examination is duplicated, and, if necessary, is conducted for the third time as well. That is why you can be absolutely sure that your score is captured correctly. Writing and speaking are also assessed by two assessors, and if their scores differ significantly, the work is assessed for the third time. If you think that your examination paper was not assessed fairly, you have the right to make an appeal.

25. I scored 0 points for one task/both tasks of the writing part. How could it happen if I wrote so much?

Apparently you did not read the writing task carefully. For instance, you had to write a formal letter to your boss, but you wrote an informal letter to a friend. In this case the task itself remained unfulfilled and it could not be assessed.

26. Who controls validity of language proficiency tests?

The Education and Youth Board is a member of the Association of Language Testers in Europe ALTE. ALTE controls validity of Estonian language proficiency tests.

27. Can the examiner interrupt the examinee during the speaking part of the examination?

During the speaking part the examiner interrupts the examinee’s monologue (turn to speak, presentation, etc.) only in the case when the examinee is deviating from the topic of the task too much. Then the examiner has to interfere at a convenient moment and try to make the examinee return to the topic with the help of suggestive questions. Usually such interruption situations occur at B2/C1 level examinations when the examinee starts presenting a learned by heart monologue which has nothing to do with the task the examinee has been given.

28. I sent an appellation to the Ministry of Education and Research as well as an application where I enquire an explanation for my score. However, the decision of the appellation committee did not contain any explanation. Why?

The appellation committee does not give you any explanations or answer your questions.

If you have any other questions, please contact us via e-mail: info@harno.ee.

Language Proficiency Examinations Statistic

Statistics and analysis of the Estonian language proficiency exams in previous years:

Last updated: 21.10.2021