Sunday, November 11, 2012

YKI test

A lot of foreigners end up taking the YKI test at some point of their lives. Most often the test level is intermediate, because that is one of the ways to prove your language skills when applying for the Finnish citizenship.

There are a couple of websites and books that you can use when practicing for the test:

  • YKI demo by University of Jyväskylä (This is a brand new website!)
  • YKItreenit by Yle Oppiminen.
  • KIELO material for figuring out your language level. I just found out about this, and it looks very good. 
  •'s YKI exercises.
  • Koti Suomessa This one is a brand new learning site. For some reason it says itsearviointi, self evaluation, but this part of the website is actually all about preparing for the Yki test. 
  • Samalla kartalla book series by Marja-Liisa Saunela. It has different level texts, dialogues and exercises, but no exhausting grammar explanations.
  • Harjoitus tekee mestarin 4  by Marja-Liisa Saunela. I like this one a lot. It has reading comprehension texts, grammar and vocabulary exercises and also a very nice selection of different writing samples and phrases.
  • Last minute Yki tips. A blog post by me.
  • Mistakes to avoid in the speaking exam. A blog post by me.

Here's a blog post about taking the YKI test. The grammar isn't part of the exam anymore, but otherwise your YKI experience will be pretty much like described. Here's another blog by a student who prepared for the YKI test in the spring 2015. (Yes, she passed the exam!)

This is my rough translation of the instructions for the test participants, with some additions of my own. 

Before the exam:

  • Listen and speak Finnish as much as you can. Practice and review the basics.
  • Be aware that the instructions of the exam are in Finnish.
  • Choose the date of the test, where you want to take it and sign up. You should first contact the test organizer and make sure there's room for you. After that you can fill in the application and send it to the test organizer. 
  • Pay the exam fee. (I couldn't find instructions for this, but I'm sure you'll find it out later.)
  • Make sure you'll have a pencil, eraser and an official ID document with you in the test. No dictionaries.
  • Rest and eat well before the exam. It will be a long day, though you will be able to eat and use the bathroom between the parts of the exam.
  • You might want to take a wrist watch with you to the exam, if it makes you comfortable to know exactly how many minutes or seconds you have left to speak or prepare for the task. 

In the exam:

  • Be on time. If you arrive late, you cannot attend the exam. Show your ID to the supervisor. The basic and intermediate level exams take 3,5 - 4 hours and the advanced level test will be about 5-6 hours.
  • The exam takes place in two parts: Reading comprehension and writing in a classroom, and speaking and listening comprehension in a language studio.
  • Don't be shy in the language studio. Speak clearly and loudly. Avoid short yes/no answers, though it is important to always say something. An actual human being will listen and evaluate your performance a couple of weeks later, so it's important that s/he can hear your voice instead of the person sitting next to you.
  • Listen and read the instructions carefully and do what you are asked to do. Use your time wisely so that you'll have time to do all the tasks.
  • Do the easy tasks first so you'll have time for the difficult ones.  Don't leave any blanks.

After the exam:

  • You'll get the certificate approximately in two months. There's important information on both sides of the certificate, so if you're taking copies, make sure to copy both sides. 

Good luck! Onnea kokeeseen! 

Feel free to contact me if you are interested in private lessons via Skype.
Here are all the posts I've written about Yki. 

(Oh, since this is the most viewed post in my blog, I'm also advertising my e-book Opas koululaisen vanhemmille, an easy Finnish e-book for a schoolkid's parents.)


  1. Thanks... Do u know how may we know the result? i mean is there anyway of knowing it faster than the mail comes to your house?

  2. Good info.for everyone who is going for YKI test. Wishing all good luck!
    I have given my exam on April 6th 2013. Fingers crossed and waiting for the results.

  3. Hi, I gave the exam at 6th April 2013. I passed it, I am so happy....

    1. Jee, onneksi olkoon! :)

  4. Dear Hanna, thank You so much!

  5. Hi, i used this site as reference when i was preparing for YKI test and i passed:) thanks so much for this wonderful tutorials!

    1. Vau, onneksi olkoon! Tosi kiva kuulla, että tästä blogista on ollut hyötyä. :)

  6. My yki-test went well too. Thanks a lot :)

    I wrote a summary in here:

  7. I am having a test this coming sat. felt nervous :(. Any tips for the usually Q's?

    1. Sorry, I don't have any tips. Sleep well before the exam! :)

  8. So I'm going to do the test tomorrow (invitation came during my vacation) and on it says that I got two papers when I applied for it (no I didn't) and that I should read them before the test. Any idea what that could be? I've given up on finding that info online... Thanks in advance!

    1. Oh no, I don't. Just remember to have your ID with you, and a pencil etc. Onnea kokeeseen!

  9. HI Hanna! i am plannig to take YKI test in near future...have been reading your is very helpful thanks...could you please add more sample material for writing. it would b great.thanks

    1. The book Harjoitus tekee mestarin 4 has really good writing samples at the end of the book.

  10. I took the YKI testi last October 20, 2014 after studying Finnish in Salpaus Lahti for 3 months only Monday - Friday. Before that I just studied by myself for 2 months. My Finnish husband prefers to only speak to me in English hence it felt really difficult to learn. Anyway, I received the post from Jyväskylän Yliopisto today and I passed got 3 p. ymmärtäminen - 4 puhuminen - 3 tekstin ymmärtäminen - 4 kirjoittaminen. I am so over the moon right now ! I never thought it is possible to pass the YKI testi considering my Finnish socialization skills is next to none :-)

  11. Is there anyone failed the test? sounds everyone passed and everyone I know who actually took the test all passed

  12. Hello! Do you know how long the texts in the kirjoittaminen part are supposed to be? I can't find this information anywhere.

  13. Hello,
    Could you give me some links and tips to practice writing AND tips to listen better, especially in the test? Thanks! :)

  14. I hope you will keep writing more posts.

  15. Hello , i have i have a certificate of hoiva avustaja in finish , do I need to do yki testi ?

  16. Is it ammatillinen perustutkinto, and did you complete the degree in Finnish?