Language skill levels A1–C2

Get to know the language skill levels A1–C2. You can also take a quiz to assess your current language skills.
Photo: Rainer Paananen. All rights reserved.

European Framework (CEFR) and levels of proficiency

In Finland, the proficiency levels of language courses are classified in the same way as in other EU countries. Before applying for a language course, check which level is the right one for you.  

The levels of language courses are usually categorised with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). In this system, the lowest level is the baseline A1.1 and the highest level is C2.2.  

The starting level of a course is the level from which the course begins, and the target level of the course is the level that the course aims for.  

Sometimes course levels are described in other ways. If the starting level of a course is 0, the course is intended for people who do not speak Finnish at all.  

Information about levels

Starting level 0  

  • No knowledge of Finnish  

Basic level (A1.1–A2.2)  

  • The basic level starts at A1.1 – Basics of language proficiency  
  • Basic level A1.2 – Basics of language proficiency  
  • Basic level A1.3 -–You can manage simple situations not related to work. You write a little.  
  • Basic level A2.1 – You can manage ordinary service situations.  
  • Basic level A2.2 – You understand familiar topics fairly well. You write simple language.  

Intermediate level (B1.1–B2.2)  

  • The intermediate level starts at B1.1 – Moderate language proficiency in normal situations at work and out of work.  
  • Intermediate level B1.2 – Natural communication in normal situations at work and out of work.  
  • Intermediate level B2.1 – Basic level of independent language proficiency.  
  • Intermediate level B2.2 – Functional independent language proficiency.  

Highest level (C)  

  • Highest level C – Skilled or native-level language proficiency. 
  • C level courses also have a more detailed level classification of C1.1, C1.2, C2.1 or C2.2.  

The descriptive text of the levels is from the InfoFinland website.

You can read the descriptions of language proficiency levels in English on Council of Europe's website.

Official certificate of language proficiency I InfoFinland

The assessment of language proficiency uses the level classification of the National Certificate of Language Proficiency. The InfoFinland page has information on how to compare course levels with the language certificate levels.  

You can find the language proficiency level description table below. The table includes a detailed overview of language comprehension and production skills at different levels. The table (in Finnish) can also be found on the website of the Finnish National Agency for Education. It can be used as a support and tool for learning, teaching and evaluation.  

Check also these

Language tests

National Certificates of Language Proficiency (YKI) and the Civil Service Language Proficiency Certificates (VKT)

Two students sit in the front row, one looking at the teacher and the other at a computer.

Language requirements for different professions

Regulated professions and language requirements


Find online learning materials

Explore self study websites and apps for independent study of Finnish.

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