Frequently Asked Questions on The Certificate Examinations in Polish as a Foreign Language
Do I have to be a student at a Polish language centre to take the state certificate examinations in Polish as a foreign language?
The standard exam requirements are compliant with the guidelines of the Council of Europe, whose goal is to standardize foreign language exams across Europe. All foreigners and Polish citizens who live permanently abroad can take the exam. The only limit is age – in the case ofB1 and B2 tests, only people who on the day of the test have turned 16 are eligible for the exam, and in the case of C2 – 18.
The method of preparation is not formalized, so it does not matter if the candidate participated in a course, read Polish philology or is self-taught. Holders of a master’s degree in Polish philology who have graduated from a Polish university do not need to pass the exam. Their diploma will be automatically considered to constitute a certificate of proficiency.
Which level should I take?
Currently, only three levels of examination are available. Candidates can sit for the basic (B1), general intermediate (B2) or advanced (C2) examination, the level of which are set according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The state certificate examinations in Polish as a foreign language are independent, so you can take the examination of your choice. You can also sit the examinations for a number of levels during the same examination session.
How can I find out what my level of Polish is?
Candidates can take a proficiency test at various sources on the Internet to find out their level of Polish for general purposes in each skill (reading, writing, listening, speaking). For more information and one such test click here!
Where do I register?
The examinations are organized by the State Commission for the Certification of Proficiency in Polish as a Foreign Language, which is composed of representatives from major teaching centres teaching Polish as a foreign language. Candidates must register in approved examination centres in Poland or outside Poland. You can register in one country or in different countries, and there are no time limits. The exams are held in Poland and abroad, in the countries of origin of migrants and in the countries with an active Polish community. Exam sessions are organized three times a year, in the spring, summer and autumn. Registration forms could be sent on-line, by fax or mail. A letter of confirmation would be sent to the candidate after the application form has been received. The examination would be staged if there are at least twenty candidates applying to sit the examination at a particular examination centre. Examination fees should be paid on or before the deadline shown on the letter of confirmation by bank transfer. Information about the date and time of the examination would be sent to candidates by e-mail as well as mail.
After six weeks of the examination, the candidates would receive notification about their results. For those who have passed, they would need to pay an extra €20 for the certificate, and the Commission would issue the certificate upon receiving the payment. Candidates would receive their certificate by registered mail. The certificate is with supplement in English with a detailed description of the results.
Can I register online?
No. Candidates must register with the examination centres.
What is the State Commission for the Certification of Proficiency in Polish as a Foreign Language?
The State Commission for the Certification of Proficiency in Polish as a Foreign Language is an institution controlled by the Bureau for Academic Recognition and International Exchange. The State Commission for the Certification of Proficiency in Polish as a Foreign Language, established on 3 August 2003 by the minister responsible for education and operates pursuant to the Polish Language Act. It is composed of representatives from the biggest Polish academic centres that teach Polish as a second language. The commission fixes the exam dates, the composition of the exam juries, prepares indispensable exam materials, oversees the organization and issues certificates confirming the language competence of the candidate. The commission is responsible for setting dates of examinations, appointing examination boards members, developing examinations materials, monitoring examination and issuing certificates to those who have passed the tests.
What is APPLA?
APPLA is the Association for the Promotion of Polish Language Abroad (APPLA), based in Edinburgh (Scotland), is a non-profit organisation promoting Polish as a heritage or second language, as well as mother tongue. They aim to represent and promote the interests of the Polish language in Scotland, the United Kingdom and the wider world.
What does the exam entail?
The certification exam consists of the following elements:
- Usage of grammar
Sample tests can be found here. On the website of the Commission for the Certification of Proficiency in Polish as a Foreign Language you can find learning materials, references sources for specific levels and a self-assessment test which will be useful especially for those candidates who have never learned in a systematic way.
In order to achieve the certificate, you need obtain a passing grade from each of the written parts and from the oral part. The grading scale is based on the Polish system used in Polish schools and universities (very good – good – sufficient – insufficient). In order to pass, the candidate needs to achieve at least the sufficient mark.
A successfully passed exam can be used to apply for a university course in Polish.
Can I take an examination more than once?
Failed candidates may re-take the examination at the same level after one year
Are the state certificate examinations in Polish as a foreign language valid everywhere?
Yes. The state certificate examinations in Polish as a foreign language receive the recognition enjoyed by all official qualifications awarded by the Polish Ministry of National Education & Sports. This is the only state document that could confirm one’s proficiency in Polish language. Candidates passing the examinations would obtain a certificate indicating the level of their proficiency in Polish.