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5 Free Language Proficiency Tests

As you may know, LingQ recently launched a free language proficiency test that you can use to evaluate your skills in your target language.

I used the Spanish test numerous times while doing my 90-Day Challenge at LingQ, and although I didn’t always test well at first, I kept at it until I got a better score. That didn’t mean that I suddenly spoke Spanish at an intermediate level just because the test said I did, but it did boost my confidence as my score got better.

I found several other language proficiency tests around the web, and decided to channel my inner polyglot by trying them out in different languages. 

Transparent Language Proficiency Tests

Transparentlanguage.com is serious about their language testing. They claim that U.S. government personnel, military, public libraries, universities, and business executives use their website for their language-learning needs. They also suggest that seriousness doesn’t necessarily equal boring. Transparent Language has created proficiency tests in 15 different languages, and not necessarily in languages that you’d expect. You have the choice of both Latin and Irish, for instance, which is quite unusual.

I decided to give their Swedish test a go since Danish (my native language) and Swedish are pretty similar.

The test starts out with multiple choice grammar questions that are actually pretty hard. The next step is fill-in-the-blanks (you still have multiple-choice options here too). Finally, in the last part of the test, you read a text in your target language and get a couple of questions about the content of the text.

intermediate swedish language tests

It turns out that I am intermediate in Swedish. I was a little disappointed by that mainly because I understand almost everything in Swedish. On the other hand, the tests on Transparent Language seemed somewhat difficult, so I’m glad that I chose the Swedish proficiency test rather than the one in Spanish.

It wasn’t boring, but they’re not kidding about being “serious,” so if you consider yourself an intermediate to advanced learner, you should definitely give them a try. If you are a newbie, get ready to challenge yourself or else stick to something lighter. 

Bridge Online Language Test

Foreignlanguagetest.com has made a really engaging online language test. Currently they only have 3 languages to choose from (English, Portuguese, and Spanish), and they give you 100 questions in 4 different sections (Listening Comprehension, Vocabulary, Grammar, and Reading Comprehension). The test is timed, you have a maximum of 65 minutes, and I found it to be slightly stressful.

There’s a little avatar telling you what to do, which is both eerie (if you circle your cursor around its head, its eyes follow the cursor) and fun at the same time. I wanted to know what the avatar would say about my level of English, so that’s the language I went for.

bridge online language proficiency tests

The Bridge Online Language Test is well-made and broad in that it covers a lot of ground, and it’s professionally done. I recommend doing this test if you have the time to spare. It doesn’t have to take 65 minutes, but it definitely takes more than 20. The only downside is that there are only three languages to choose from, and they might not be the ones you are interested in learning.

Comprehension Language Proficiency Tests

 

Language Level Test

The test at languagelevel.com is almost the exact opposite of the Bridge Test in that they want you to do it very quickly. You get 15 questions that you are expected to answer in about 10 minutes. If it takes you longer than 10 minutes, it affects your score.
I did the test in Spanish, in 12 minutes and 45 seconds. I wanted to see if other tests, like this one, would agree with LingQ that I am now at the Beginner 2 level, and it actually did. Yay! According to the website, being a Beginner 2 means you have:

“An ability to deal with simple, straightforward information and begin to express oneself in familiar contexts. CAN take part in a routine conversation on simple predictable topics.”

This test was a lot of fun to do. All the questions were multiple choice and there was a mix of grammar questions, fill-in-the-blanks, and (strangely enough) cultural questions. I got one question about whether or not it’s customary to tip people in Spain. I had no idea and had to look it up, which affected my time, but at least I learned some general rules about tipping in Spain: Spanish people don’t generally tip, but they do expect tourists to.

Language proficiency tests level result

Sprach Caffe

On the British website Sprachcaffe, which means “language café,” have seven language proficiency tests to choose from. I decided to give German a try.

The test had 70 multiple choice questions and all were pretty easy to understand at my level of German. I got the gist of pretty much everything; however, a lot of them were grammar-related questions and that is not my strong point. The test took quite a while to complete (at least for me), but presumably you won’t mind spending time on your target language.

Sprache Caffe Language Proficiency Tests

It turns out I’m an intermediate in German, which isn’t too bad. I would have loved a better result, but the grammar gets me every time. 

LingQ Proficiency Test

If you haven’t already, you should also give LingQ’s new language proficiency test a try. Beginner levels are multiple choice only, advanced levels are fill-in-the-blank, and intermediate levels are a mix of the two. This mixed approach helps to test beginners’ knowledge of the words themselves and helps advanced learners to understand how to use various words in context.

For the LingQ proficiency test, I decided to give French a try and this was my result.

online language proficiency tests result

I like the LingQ test because it is fast and fun and the avatar grows more the better you score. I also think it’s a very generous test, but that’s great because a good result boosts one’s confidence and motivates you to keep going. 

Language Proficiency Tests Are FUN, FUN, FUN!

All the language tests are fun, and I was surprised at how different they all were in their structure, the questions they asked, and the time expected to spend doing them.

You can either do what I did and try different tests in different languages, or you can try all the tests in one single language to see if you do equally well in all of them.

The best things about these language tests are that they are both entertaining and you can get an idea of your level in a particular language.

Lycka Till – Good Luck – Buena Suerte – Viel Glück – Bonne Chance

 

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12 Comments

  • Lauren
    April 28, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    There’s nothing wrong with intermediate. It took me a long time to get to intermediate in German because of the grammar. What’s wrong with intermediate? Nothing. It’s a good level and will only mean you’ve conquered basics. There’s nothing wrong with it. Kinda makes me feel bad that you’re acting like intermediate is bad.

    • Lykke
      April 29, 2015 at 12:37 am

      No Lauren – not at all, sorry to make you feel that way. It’s just that I had German in school for 6 or 7 years and many words are fairly close to Danish – but it’s like you say. German grammar is tough – I never got the hang of it. Definitely nothing wrong with intermediate. I just thought I’d do better.

  • Peter Rettig
    April 28, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Nice Post! I tried several of the suggested tests for Spanish.
    Like you, I was disappointed with the Transparent Language test as it pegged me as a “Beginner”, while Language Level Test gave me a B1, the Sprach Caffe a 50/72 , and LingQ an Advanced 3 with knowing 35,500 words. (I’ll do the Bridge test, when I’ll have more time!)

    I’ll also add a link to your post in a recent GamesforLanguage post of mine in which I reported on my recent Spanish learning experience.

    • Lykke
      April 29, 2015 at 12:39 am

      Thanks for sharing Peter – that’s awesome. It took a while to go through all the tests, but it was fun. I haven’t been surrounded by most of these languages for a long, long time, so wasn’t sure how I’d do.

  • Javed
    April 28, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    nice one for learning the language

  • Salma
    April 29, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    I took the language level test and I got C2 in French and C1 in English… English is my native language and I only started learning French last year.

    Interesting loool.

    Kind of proves my point however that French is actually a fairly easy language, it’s very precise and specific, whereas with English, sentence structure can be very confusing and trippy, I can only imagine what a pain it could be to learn it as a second language.

    • Lykke
      May 1, 2015 at 4:42 pm

      It took me a while (16 years) but I think I’ve got the hang of it now 😉 But well done in French though – that’s pretty good for someone who just started learning a year ago.

  • Learning English
    May 1, 2015 at 5:42 am

    I was considering myself to ace through some of these but boy was I wrong! The Sprach Caffe gave me 54/72 which was kind of brutal because I consider myself a polygot! I need a beer!

    • Lykke
      May 1, 2015 at 4:40 pm

      You deserve a beer 😉

  • diane
    May 2, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    Thank you for posting, Lykke. I took the LanguageLevelTest for both English and French. Very interesting and fun.

    • Lykke
      May 4, 2015 at 1:25 am

      Thanks for trying them out and reading my blog – they really are fun 🙂

  • Alsadig
    May 5, 2015 at 3:11 am

    they really are fun

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