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Your Guide to the Greek Language Certification Examination

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So, you’ve been learning Greek for a while, and have reached a certain level of fluency. 

Now what?

Learning a new language is mainly a personal journey, but there are certain situations where having a certification could be useful. Through an official Greek test or exam, you can test your knowledge and add a new language to your CV. 

Here’s everything you need to know about getting your Greek language knowledge certified.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Study Strategies in Greek Table of Contents
  1. General Information About the Exam
  2. Examination Sections
  3. A1 Level – Beginner
  4. A2 Level – Elementary
  5. B1 Level – Intermediate
  6. B2 Level – Upper-Intermediate
  7. C1 Level – Advanced
  8. C2 Level – Proficiency
  9. Tips on How to Prepare for the Exam
  10. Conclusion

1. General Information About the Exam

The organization responsible for the Official Greek Assessment Test for Foreigners is The Center of Greek Language (Κέντρο Ελληνικής Γλώσσας).

Students Writing an Exam

The available levels, listed below, correspond to the European Standards:

  • A1: Beginner
  • A2: Elementary
  • B1: Intermediate
  • B2: Upper-Intermediate
  • C1: Advanced
  • C2: Mastery or Proficiency

This Greek examination is offered for the following purposes:

  • Business Purposes. For some jobs, it’s a prerequisite to be certified in the Greek language. The required extent of this knowledge is determined by each job position.
  • Studying Purposes. In order to study in a Greek university, the prerequisite is to hold a B2 certificate or higher.
  • Working for the Public Sector. To apply for a job in the Greek public sector, one must have the C1 certificate or higher.
  • Residence Permit (Long-Lasting). In order to acquire a long-lasting residence permit, one of the prerequisites is to hold at least an A2 Greek knowledge certificate.
  • Specified Business Purposes. Some fields of work, such as taxi-driving and nursing, require at least the A2 Greek knowledge certificate. 

However, you can choose to get your knowledge certified for other reasons.

A Woman Preparing for the Greek Exams

There’s a wide variety of topics referenced in the Greek language proficiency exams, which cover many aspects of everyday life, including:

  • Personal life inside and outside the house
    • Recognition of one’s identity
    • Residence
    • Location, Environment, Flora & Fauna, Weather Conditions
    • Free Time & Entertainment
    • Social Relations
    • Health & Body Condition
  • Everyday life
    • Activities inside the house
    • Activities outside the house (Purchasing Products & Services, Nutrition, Education, Worklife, Public Services, Transportation & Traveling)

The exams take place once a year (most commonly in mid-May). There are many examination centers in Europe, the USA, Canada, South America, North and South Africa, Asia, and Australia.

2. Examination Sections

The Greek language exams can be taken at six possible levels, which we outlined earlier. The number of sections a test has depends on what level it is:

  • Levels A1, A2, B1
    • Four sections (Reading, Listening, Writing, Speaking)
  • Levels B2, C1, C2
    • Five sections (Listening, Reading, Use of Greek, Writing, Speaking)
A Woman Studying Greek
  • Reading 

This part of the Greek proficiency exam aims to check how well a student understands written Greek. Normally, a short passage is given, followed by questions. For the lower levels, these questions may include multiple choices and matching choices, whereas higher levels will have more complicated questions.

  • Listening 

This part of the examination usually includes short dialogues by native speakers. The types and lengths of the dialogues can vary depending on the level of the examination. Normally, there are multiple-choice answers for each question. 

  • Writing 

For beginner levels, students are normally asked to write a letter to a friend or a family member, presenting their opinion about or experience with a specific matter. For more intermediate levels, the writing section might include an essay or a more formal letter. 

  • Speaking 

For the Greek speaking exam, students are assessed in groups of two. Normally, a central question is given, which sets the tone of the discussion. In this section, the students are asked to express their opinion on a variety of everyday matters. 

  • Use of Greek

This is probably the least familiar section to students. It normally includes a two- or three-paragraphs-long passage, where there are gaps. For each gap, the student should choose the most appropriate word from multiple choices. This part is only included in upper-level examinations, mainly because it aims to test a student’s knowledge of special expressions and colloquialisms.

3. A1 Level – Beginner

This is the first examination level, and it includes four sections: Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking. 

Here’s an overview of the exam:

ReadingListeningWritingSpeaking
Parts442N/A
Duration30 minutes25 minutes40 minutes10-12 minutes
MeansN/ACDN/A2 Examiners & 2 Candidates
% Marking (Points)25252525

The main goal of this examination is to test the basic skills in understanding and producing written and oral Greek.

Language Skills

4. A2 Level – Elementary

The next level includes the same sections: Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking.

You can find an overview of the exam below:

ReadingListeningWritingSpeaking
Parts442N/A
Duration30 minutes25 minutes45 minutes12 minutes
MeansN/ACDN/A2 Examiners & 2 Candidates
% Marking (Points)25252525

5. B1 Level – Intermediate

The intermediate level follows the same layout, with the same sections: Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking.

Here’s an overview of the B1 Level examination: 

ReadingListeningWritingSpeaking
Parts422N/A
Duration40 minutes25 minutes55 minutes12 minutes
MeansN/ACDN/A2 Examiners & 2 Candidates
% Marking (Points)25252525

6. B2 Level – Upper-Intermediate

As we’ve already mentioned, a new section is included in this level: Use of Greek, along with Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking.

An overview of the examination is demonstrated below:

ReadingListeningWritingSpeakingUse of Greek
Parts322N/AN/A
Duration45 minutes30 minutes85 minutes15 minutes30 minutes
MeansN/ACDN/A2 Examiners & 2 Candidates3 Examiners
% Marking (Points)2020202020

7. C1 Level – Advanced

This examination is definitely for advanced learners. Although it includes the same sections as the previous level, the students should be comfortable with some native Greek expressions and colloquialisms.

Here’s an overview of the examination:

ReadingListeningWritingSpeakingUse of Greek
Parts422N/AN/A
Duration55 minutes40 minutes100 minutes20 minutes30 minutes
MeansN/ACDN/A2 Examiners & 2 Candidates4 Examiners
% Marking (Points)2020202020

8. C2 Level – Proficiency

This is your chance to shine! 

When you achieve fluency, this is definitely the ultimate examination—and the most difficult. It includes many native expressions and it requires deep knowledge of Greek grammar and its exceptions, as well as fluency in oral speech. 

Find a summary of the complete examination below:

ReadingListeningWritingSpeakingUse of Greek
Parts422N/AN/A
Duration55 minutes40 minutes100 minutes20 minutes30 minutes
MeansN/ACDN/A2 Examiners & 2 Candidates4 Examiners
% Marking (Points)2020202020

9. Tips on How to Prepare for the Exam

A Happy Man Who Got a Good Grade

Preparing for any exam requires much effort and discipline. Here are some useful tips you can use to make this process as easy as possible.

  • Start with the Grammar

Create a notebook with grammar tips and revise your notes regularly. Greek grammar is not very easy, and it includes many exceptions to the various rules, so you should be prepared to study a lot of grammar whilst preparing for the exam.

  • Continue with Vocabulary

Another notebook you should create is a vocabulary notebook. Simply write down all of the unknown words you encounter while studying. For adjectives, it’s good to write down their variations in different genders (male, female, neutral), as well.

  • Read Greek Articles Online

Did you know you can have endless reading practice online? You can find a wide variety of articles on various subjects from Greek websites. Select a theme you like and begin reading articles in Greek! Write down any unknown words and enhance your vocabulary notebook.

  • Read Greek Books

Another great way to improve your reading and comprehension skills is reading Greek books. If you’re a novice Greek learner, start with children’s books, which use much simpler language and vocabulary. 

  • Watch Greek TV Shows

Watching Greek movies and TV shows will improve your listening skills for sure! Actually, we’ve prepared a relevant list for you with the most wonderful Greek movies. Check it out! 

  • MyTeacher – Your Teacher

Did you know that you can have a personal tutor to answer all your questions, without ever leaving your home? With our premium MyTeacher feature, you’ll be assigned a personal teacher who will share with you all the important tips, grammar rules, and native expressions you need to reach fluency. 

  • Do as Many Mock Tests as You Can

Okay, this is obvious. You have to get used to the layout of the examination you’re going to take. So, you should spend some time practicing by doing as many mock tests as you can.

10. Conclusion

Taking a Greek language exam can be useful whether you aim to work in Greece or you just want to certify your knowledge. 

If you need more info about the official Greek examinations, you can always visit the Official Website of Greek Learning; you can also find some sample tests there. However, the website is in Greek, so you should have some basic knowledge to ensure a smooth browsing experience.

Start learning Greek today in a consistent and organized manner by creating a free lifetime account on GreekPod101.com. Tons of free vocabulary lists, YouTube videos, and grammar tips are waiting for you to discover. 

How do you feel about taking a Greek exam now? If you have any questions, let us know in the comments and we’d be happy to help!

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