The Test of Russian as a Foreign Language – TORFL (Russian: Тест по русскому языку как иностранному or ТРКИ) is a standardised test supervised by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science. The test has six levels, conforming to schema of the Association of Language Testers in Europe, and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

The Test of Russian as a Foreign Language (TORFL) is the first challenge faced by many foreigners seeking to study or work in Russia. To enroll at a Russian university, be eligible for a job in Russia or teach Russian, a certificate verifying the candidate’s knowledge of the Russian language is essential, and the only official document which verifies Russian language skills is the TORFL certificate.

The history of the TORFL testing system dates back to 1992, when it was developed by the Russian government as an internationally accredited method of comparing the level and quality of proficiency in Russian.

Today there are several testing centers in Russia and abroad. The Russian Language Testing Center for foreigners of St. Petersburg State University is authorized to administer the Russian language testing system in St. Petersburg.

There are six levels of language proficiency, from elementary to TORFL-4. The minimum level required to enter Russian higher educational institutions is TORFL-1, but to obtain a bachelor’s or master’s degree candidates must have at least TORFL-2. If the candidate intends to conduct language-related professional activity in Russia as a philolog





Each level is a combination of tests based on five types of language activities:

  • Part 1. Vocabulary & Grammar
  • Part 2. Reading
  • Part 3. Listening
  • Part 4. Writing
  • Part 5. Speaking

The test normally takes place on two separate days:

  • First day: Vocabulary & Grammar (50-90 min.), Reading (45-60 min.) and Writing (50-80 min.)
  • Second day: Listening (25-45 min.) and Speaking (45-60 min.)