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National certificates of language proficiency


A National certificate of language proficiency,or a YKI certificate, is a certificate of language proficiency for adults that allows you to prove your language skills in an officially recognised way. YKI examinations evaluate skills in common language in practical situations, meaning that they require no knowledge of specialty language or specific industry jargon.

National certificates of language proficiency and the coronavirus

Dated 11.6.2020

Because of the coronavirus situation, YKI tests were not arranged during 18.3.–23.5.2020. Currently it nonetheless appears that the next YKI tests can be arranged in August 2020.

When arranging the tests, the general safety and hygiene instructions that help prevent the spread of infection, issued by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), will be followed. Arranging the tests in a safe manner may, for example, affect how many participants can take a certain test at a time.

As YKI tests could not be arranged in the spring, registrations for tests in many languages were transferred to the exams in August. Because of cancelled exams and the transferred registrations that followed, many locations have more interested participants than available places, especially for intermediate level Finnish.

The Finnish National Agency for Education has increased both locations and dates for August to manage the queue that formed as exams were cancelled. The Finnish National Agency for Education will follow the development of the coronavirus situation and any safety instructions issued during the summer. The YKI system does its best so that as many participants needing a YKI certificate as possible can take the test as soon as possible from August onwards.             

The YKI system for National certificates of language proficiency is the Finnish government's official system for language proficiency testing. A YKI certificate can be used for many purposes, such as:

  • applying for a job or a university
  • applying for Finnish citizenship (certificates in Finnish and Swedish)
  • demonstrating your language skills for an employer

National certificates of language proficiency in general

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What is a National certificate of language proficiency?

On this page we have gathered frequently asked questions about the YKI examination system.

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Registration for YKI tests

You can register for a national language proficiency test by first searching a test centre. Read more here.

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Examination days and test centres

YKI national language proficiency tests are arranged in multiple locations around Finland. If you wish to take part in a test, you must register online during an appropriate registration period.

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Demonstrating your language proficiency when applying for Finnish citizenship

To acquire citizenship in Finland you need to prove that you have at least a satisfactory written and spoken proficiency in Finnish or Swedish. Read more about demonstrating your language proficiency here.

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Learning materials to practice and prepare

Before taking a YKI test, you may practise your skills online. Familiarise yourself with our learning materials here.

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Comparability between National language proficiency certificates and Civil serv…

See our tables on this page to learn how the proficiency levels of the National language proficiency certificates match with the skill levels of the Civil service language proficiency certificates.