Russian Proficiency Assessment

A couple of days ago, I took a Russian Proficiency test (for fun!) to determine my skill with the language. The test divided proficiency into five categories (Functional, Intermediate, Upper Intermediate, Advanced and Professional), with two mini-levels per category. The test covered reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in separate sections, each section having approx. 30 questions. This morning, I finally got the results of that assessment back.

And my estimated proficiency level in Russian is…


Intermediate/Upper intermediate (4-5)!


Honestly, I’m surprised I’ve gotten this far in just two years of study, given that so far my Russian classes have been slow-moving and non-intensive. It must be a combination of that and the more intensive Russian work I’ve been trying to do on my own time. Regardless of how my proficiency level came to be, the results are very encouraging. It means I’m doing something right. And  hopefully, if I continue to study Russian at this pace (perhaps intensifying when/where needed), I’ll be able to reach the professional level (C1-CEFRL) one day.

Other test notes:


  • reading and vocabulary. Reading Russian articles from Kommersant, Twitter feeds and miscellaneous blogs each day appears to be helping. I also try to read at least two books in Russian per month to pick up vocabulary.
  • writing. Russian grammar isn’t too bad…at least for me.


  • speaking. I can ask/answer questions, give directions, discuss some stuff etc. but struggle with spontaneous conversation. Accent, however, is not an issue – I speak without a trace of an American accent and in fact sound like a native Russian speaker. I might be able to fix the speaking issues if I can find a way to do one-on-one speaking sessions with a native speaker (preferably taking place in the physical world). It’s better than the classroom setting, where I spend 3/4 of my time listening to the other students make mistakes. My last conversation partner moved to another state a few months ago and I haven’t been able to find a new one since.
  • listening. My comprehension is inversely related to the speed of the speaker.  Simple fix: increase my exposure to the spoken word through Russian podcasts, radio and movies.

Today is a happy day indeed! 🙂



  1. Wow, congrats! 😀 Your hard work is paying off!

    Btw, what was the test you used? Was it something available online or was it an offline test? I’m always on the lookout for a good free online level test 🙂 Hoping to do the TORFL for real someday.


          • Any level would be fine at the moment, I think. It just would be nice to get tested on a recognized exam, and then make plans for the future from there. The university in Nizhny said they’re going to do a level test, so I’m looking forward to that. In all of my formal RU studies, I’ve only taken Russian 101, 102, and 301, and that somehow turned into a dual language degree (one being Russian) and a Russian studies minor. Isn’t that funny? I don’t even know how well or poorly I speak it.

            My reading is definitely nowhere near your level and that’s something I’d like to improve. I can only dream of reading an entire book in the language :p


            • “I’ve only taken Russian 101, 102, and 301, and that somehow turned into a dual language degree (one being Russian) and a Russian studies minor. Isn’t that funny?”
              No, that’s impressive. What was the other language?
              As for your reading goals –
              “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
              -Walt Disney
              Just keep studying the way you’ve been studying, and one day soon you’ll read an entire book in Russian!

              Liked by 1 person

            • My ultimate goal in – I guess – my overall language studies track is to score a Level 3 on the TORFL, which would enable me to “Participate professionally in philology, translation and interpreting, editing, journalism, diplomatic service and management in a Russian speaking environment; receive diplomas, bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D degrees in these fields (except specialist’s degrees and Master of Arts degree in Philology)”, according to Wikipedia. I don’t know what I’d score on the TORFL if I took it now, probably a Basic or Level 1 lol 😛
              I tell you, it’s the speaking and listening!!!

              Liked by 1 person

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