There are a couple of websites and books that you can use when practicing for the test:
- YKI demo by University of Jyväskylä
- YKItreenit by Yle Oppiminen.
- KIELO material for figuring out your language level. I just found out about this, and it looks very good.
- Suomikoulut.fi'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 by Marja-Liisa Saunela. Basic level text exercises. It has different texts, dialogues and exercises, but no exhausting grammar explanations or fill-in-the-gaps.
- 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.
- Samalla kartalla 2 by Marja-Liisa Saunela. Intermediate text exercises.
- Last minute Yki tips. A blog post by me.
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. (The next YKI test is on 30.6.2014. The sign-up period is 2.-13.6.2014.)
- 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.