Language skill level descriptions
Language Services skill level descriptions have six levels that are based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF) skill levels A1–C2 and National Certificates of Language Proficiency (YKI, Yleinen kielitutkinto) skill levels 1–6.
Level 1

Equivalence: CEF A1/YKI 1

SPEAKING
I can interact in a simple way to tell people about myself or my immediate surroundings. I speak slowly and need to pause often. My pronunciation is far from perfect.

LISTENING
I can understand very simple phrases about myself, people I know and things around me when people speak slowly and clearly.

READING
I can understand very simple sentences, for example on notices and forms. I can find simple information in short texts.

WRITING
I can write short, simple messages and notes. I can fill in forms with personal details. I can use some of the basic structures.

Level 2

Equivalence: CEF A2/YKI 2

SPEAKING
I can communicate in routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar topics and activities, asking and answering questions. I can use a series of phrases and sentences to describe in simple terms myself, my family and other people, living conditions and my job. My pronunciation is not necessarily very good, and I do not have enough vocabulary to handle a variety of situations.

LISTENING
I can understand many expressions and words about things that are familiar, e.g. basic personal and family information, shopping and my job. I can get the main points in short, clear and simple messages. I can generally understand what people are talking about if their speech is clear and slow.

READING
I can understand the main points in short, simple texts. I can find specific information I am looking for in simple everyday texts such as leaflets and timetables and I can understand short, simple personal letters and emails on familiar topics.

WRITING
I can write short, simple notes and messages about everyday matters and everyday needs. I can describe myself, my family, my living conditions and my job. I can also describe past actions. I can write a very simple personal letter. I know the basic structures of the language.

Level 3

Equivalence: CEF B1/YKI 3

SPEAKING
I can deal with most situations likely to arise in familiar situations related to work and social life. I have enough vocabulary to manage in familiar everyday situations.

LISTENING
I can understand the main points of clear standard speech on familiar matters. I can catch the main points in TV programmes provided that the speech is relatively slow and clear and the topics are familiar. I may have difficulties in understanding normal speech at length if the topic is unfamiliar.

READING
I can understand texts that contain everyday or job-related language and that do not require expertise in the subject matter. I can recognise significant points and arguments in a text.

WRITING
I can write simple texts on topics that are familiar and answer enquiries briefly. I can write personal letters describing experiences and impressions. I have a sufficient command of the basic structures of the language.

Level 4

Equivalence: CEF B2/YKI 4

SPEAKING
I can handle successfully most communicative tasks and situations related to work and social life and can cope in more unfamiliar situations as well. I can express my ideas and thoughts as coherent entities and support opinions. I can differentiate between formal and informal language. I have a good range of vocabulary for matters connected to my field and most general topics.

LISTENING
I can understand longer stretches of speech and lectures and follow complex lines of argument provided the topic is reasonably familiar. I can understand most TV news and current affairs programmes, missing only some details. I still have some problems understanding fast or dialectal speech.

READING
I can understand texts on general topics, but not necessarily all shades of meaning in them. I can obtain information, ideas and opinions from specialised sources within my field. I can read contemporary prose.

WRITING
I can write clear detailed texts on topics that are familiar to me and express my thoughts coherently. I can write an essay or a report, explain facts and give reasons to support or oppose a particular point. I have a good command of the basic structures of the language, and I can differentiate between formal and informal language.

Level 5

Equivalence: CEF C1/YKI 5

SPEAKING
I speak clearly and fluently about a great number of topics in various situations. I can give a presentation on a topic of my choice, with advance preparation. I have a good command of grammar and vocabulary.

LISTENING
I can follow most lectures, discussions and debates with relative ease. I can understand spoken language even when it is not clearly structured and when ideas and thoughts are not expressed in an explicit way. I can follow most TV programmes and films with ease.

READING
I can understand a wide range of texts, even if they have complex grammar and vocabulary, and literary texts. I can understand specialised language in articles, reports and technical instructions even if they are not in my field.

WRITING
I can write clear and well-structured text and express my points of view at some length. I can write about complex subjects in a letter, an essay or a report, underlining what I think are the most important points. I can write different kinds of texts in a confident and personal style that is appropriate to the reader in mind. I have a good command of grammar and vocabulary, but I may encounter difficulties with some less frequently used words and structures.

Level 6

Vastaavuus: CEF C2/YKI 6

SPEAKING
I speak very fluently and in an appropriate style, and I can communicate fine shades of meaning. I have a sound command of grammar and vocabulary in almost all situations of language usage.

LISTENING
I can understand, without difficulty, any kind of spoken language, both when I hear it live or in the media. I also understand a native speaker who speaks fast if I have some time to get used to the accent.

READING
I can read, without problems, almost all forms of text.

WRITING
I can write clearly and smoothly and in an appropriate style. I can write letters, reports and articles in such a way that the reader can easily find the key points in my text. I can write summaries and reviews of professional and literary texts.

Skill levels and lan­guage tests