A reader asks:
I’m interested in your YKI course, but I wanted to ask first about the format of the YKI. Can you explain what the test is like?
Always happy to help! For readers not yet familiar with YKI, this is short for Yleinen kielitutkinto, which is a standardized language examination needed, among other things, when applying for Finnish citizenship.
Now, onto your question: start by taking a look at the official YKI sample tasks. You can find them here: http://ykitesti.solki.jyu.fi/tutustu-testiin/testifin/
If you’re applying for citizenship, you need the intermediate YKI test, so look for “Keskitaso”. The test is composed of four parts, each testing for a different skill (speaking, writing, listening and reading).
The exact format of the test varies from test to test, but the task types should stay the same.
The intermediate speaking test happens in a classroom with other examinees. You’ll be sitting in front of a computer with headphones on, and you’ll hear recorded prompts that you have to react to. There are tasks where you have to react to short prompts in real time and tasks where you have to talk about a topic for a more extended period of time, usually 1–2 minutes. In my online courses, you practice the same type of test at home. However, if you can, it’s great idea to practice this beforehand in a face to face situation, which you can do at many schools that organize Finnish courses. Check out this website for a pretty comprehensive listing of what’s available right now.
In the writing test, you often write two messages, an informal and formal one, and an essay where you express your opinion on an assigned topic. For listening and reading, you have multiple choice questions, correct or false -questions and open enden questions where you write the answer yourself. At least at the moment, the test is not done on a computer, but with a pencil and paper, the old fashioned way.
In my intermediate YKI course, we practice all the different task types and do a practice test on both speaking and writing. You will also receive feedback on your writing and speaking, and learn new vocabulary and grammar that will serve you well in the test, as well as in real life.
My October YKI course still has three spots left, and the early bird price 79 € (normal price 99 €) is still valid until Thursday next week.
The speaking part of the YKI test happens in a classroom that looks something like this.
Photo by janeb13