Certificate Examinations in Polish as a Foreign Language

The Certificate Examinations in Polish as a Foreign Language (In Polish: Egzaminy Certyfikatowe z Języka Polskiego Jako Obcego), also known as State Certificate Examinations in Polish as a Foreign Language (In Polish: Państwowe Egzaminy Certyfikatowe z Języka Polskiego Jako Obcego), are standardised tests of Polish language proficiency for non-native Polish speakers. The candidates who wish to study or work in Poland, and want to prove their polish may sit for this examination. The examinations are managed and conducted by the State Commission for the Certification of Proficiency in Polish as a Foreign Language. The State Commission sets the exam date, materials, and issues the certificate to candidates who pass the exam. The exam was conducted for the first time in Poland and in other foreign countries in 2004. 

The exams are staged on 3 language proficiency levels:

Basic level-B1
General intermediate level B2
Advanced-C2

These levels are determined as per the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. 

The following facets of language competence are evaluated during the examinations:
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Listening Comprehension
  • Accuracy/Grammar in Use
  • Writing
  • Speaking.
Candidates who pass the exams are given a certificate that indicates the proficiency level of the candidate in Polish language. A certificate in Polish as a foreign language is the only state document that confirms the proficiency in the Polish language.

The exams are held thrice every year- in spring, summer and autumn. 

Eligibility Criteria

All Polish as well as international citizens permanently residing abroad can appear for the exam, except that candidates taking the B1 and B2 levels of the exam must be at least 16 years old and those who appear for the C2 exam must be 18 years old or above.

Structure of Examination

The examination comprises of 5 sub-tests that are further split up into 2 parts:
  • Written
  • Oral
At all levels, the structure of the written part is the same, varying only in terms of level of difficulty.  

Written Examination

The written exam duration is 225 minutes.

The written exam consists of-

Part A: Listening Comprehension 

In this part, a recording is played one or two times and candidates are required to complete the tasks while listening. Candidates are required to either tick the right answer or fill in the gaps, or answer text related question. 
  • No. of tasks: 4-5
  • Duration: 30 minutes

Part B: Accuracy/Grammar in Use 

This part evaluates the candidates’ ability to use grammatical structures appropriately.  In this part, small text are given and candidates are required to find out the right and appropriate grammatical form and mark the correct answer, or write down the correct grammatical form.
  • No. of tasks: 8-10
  • Duration: 60 minutes

Part C: Reading Comprehension 

In this part, texts in the form of single sentences or paragraph are given, and candidates are required to tick or given an apt answer to questions related to the given texts.  This part assesses the candidates’ ability to read and understand the essence and specific information of the text. 
  • No. of tasks: 4-5
  • Duration: 45 minutes

Part D: Writing 

In this part, candidates are required to select one out of the 4 sets of tasks and write a text on the selected topic. This part basically tests the writing skills of the candidate. 
  • Duration: 90 minutes

Oral Examination

Part E: Oral Communication 

The oral exam tests only oral communication. In this exam, candidates are required to make oral statements on different written and graphical materials given. Candidates must select one out of the 3 sets given. Each set comprises of 2-3 tasks. 

Levels of Proficiency

Level B1: Basic

Task A: Consists of a scene that is depicted on a photograph. Candidate is required to describe a photograph
Task B: Candidate is required to speak on a given topic. 
Task C: Consists of a Situational dialogue.
  • Preparation time: 5 minutes
  • Examination Time: 15 minutes

Level B2: General Intermediate

Task A: Consists of a set of visual materials. Candidates are required to describe them.
Task B: A text is given and candidates are required to express their point of view on the content of the text.
Task C: Consists of a monologue, Candidates are required to speak on a given topic.
  • Preparation time: 7 minutes
  • Examination Time: 15 minutes

Level C2: Advanced

Task A: Consists of a short presentation on the basis of graphic or written materials on which the candidate gives his/her response.
Task B: Consists of a text and candidates are required to sum-up the text and state their opinion on it. 
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Examination Time: 15 minutes

Registration 

Candidates can register for the examinations either online, or by fax or mail. To fill the form online, click here.
After the candidate has filled the application form, a confirmation of registration will be sent to the candidate.  The date and time of examination are intimated via email or mail.

Fees

The exam fees must be paid on or before the deadline mentioned on the letter of confirmation by bank transfer. The examination fees are:
  • Basic level (B1): €60.00
  • Intermediate level (B2): €80.00
  • Advanced level (C2): €100.00
Candidates who have passed the examination are required to pay an additional fee of about €20 for the certificate. To know more about the payment details, click here

Scoring 

Examinations are evaluated by the examination commissions appointed by the State Commission. Each examination comprises of 5 sub-tests carrying equal value of 40 points. Therefore, the maximum point of the examination is 200.
Candidates in order to pass the exam are required to get a score of at least 60% of points, i.e. 24 points, in each of 5 sub-tests. Every sub-test is evaluated by 2 examiners who check the exam on certain parameters and award points 1 to 4. The parameters are:
  • Task completion: The content, form, length and composition
  • Grammar accuracy
  • Vocabulary
  • Register
  • Spelling and punctuation
  • Pronunciation and fluency:  Only for Part E
Each examiner can give a maximum 20 points.

Parts A, B and C of the examination are evaluate in a form of multiple choice or open tasks that requires to select the correct answer or writing down an apt grammatical form. Part D and E of the examination are evaluated with the use of partial assessment criteria. 

Examination marks are given as per the following scale:

 Grade  Points  Percentage
 Excellent  189.6-200  94.8-100%
 Very Good  169.6-189.5  84.8-95.75%
 Good  149.6-169.5  74.8-84.75%
 Satisfactory  120-149.5  60-74.75%
 Fail  0-119  0-59.5%

Candidates who could not pass the examination can re-take the exam at the same level after 1 year.

Results

About 6 weeks after the exam, candidates will get the result notification. Candidates who pass the examination will receive a certificate that confirms the proficiency in Polish as a foreign language at a given level. The certificate is issued upon the payment of the certificate fee.  Candidates would get the certificate by registered mail.

Special Arrangements

Candidates having special needs can apply for the exams, and special arrangements, such as extending the exam duration, or use of specialised devices etc. are arranged for them.
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