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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

Updated on 11 February 2021

Except for spring 2020, when coronavirus emerged and the tests had to be cancelled, it has been possible to organise the National Certificate of Language Proficiency (YKI) tests on the test days. Because of the cancelled tests and the resulting rescheduling of the registrations made in spring 2020, there are still more interested participants than there are places available, particularly for the intermediate level tests. The Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI) has increased the number of test days so that the test can be taken by as many people as possible even during this exceptional situation.

By following the general safety and hygiene instructions issued by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), efforts have been made to keep sitting the test as safe as possible. The maximum number of candidates recommended by the health authorities (10 people per test situation) applies to the test locations. If necessary, candidates who have registered for the test may have to be rescheduled to another day so that the maximum number of people at the test locations and safety at the test locations can be taken into account.  In some of the test locations, candidates may be divided into smaller groups whose tests start at different times. The educational institution organising the test contacts those who have registered for the test to inform them of the date and time of the test.    

A decision has been made in the YKI system that test registrations can only be rescheduled once, or until the next test date for the same language and level. If you are unable to take the test on the date to which your registration has already been rescheduled (e.g. because of illness) or the test is cancelled because of the public health situation, the educational institution organising the test will return the test fee to you. You must then re-register for the YKI test.

EDUFI continuously monitors the development of the coronavirus situation and the safety instructions issued in response to it. The National Certificate of Language Proficiency system is doing its best to ensure that a maximum number of candidates in need of the YKI certificate can sit the test as soon as possible. For more information on sitting tests in the exceptional situation and tests that may be cancelled, see this website.

If you have any questions, please contact the test centre with which you registered.

If you live abroad and are coming Finland to take the test, please find out in advance the current quarantine and testing recommendations issued by THL and other authorities.

For more information, see the page Travel and the coronavirus pandemic on THL’s website.

Any questions addressed to EDUFI can be sent to yki(at)

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.