After a break related to the pandemic, the Center for Testing Russian as a Foreign Language for Citizens of foreign countries has resumed work at Baikal State University. Similar centers exist in many Russian universities. The main testing center is located at the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUDN).
The BSU center was opened in 2019. In 2021, ten people passed language testing in it, and in 2022, ten graduates also completed the testing procedure.
"Graduates of the preparatory faculty or bachelor's degree are most interested in testing, i.e. those who are completing their studies and are going to enter the master's program. In previous years, a foreigner entering a Russian university had to provide a certificate of language proficiency testing. However, now, due to a number of reasons, passing the test is not the main condition. Now those who want to build a career in their homeland mainly take the test. For foreigners who are going to get a solid job, having a test certificate is a serious indicator," says Anna Litovkina, Dean of the International Faculty of BSU.
"The students were very worried because the exam is difficult. It was necessary to check the level of proficiency in all types of speech activity. The lexico-grammatical test alone has 165 questions. These are parts of speech – the noun and all forms of the verb, which often cause difficulties for foreign students. I highly appreciate the work of my colleagues. Despite the fact that we have been on distance learning for a long time, the level of training of our graduates is very high," says Anna Litovkina.
In addition, students had to take an audition test. Materials were provided from Moscow. As Anna Litovkina explained, the students watched a fragment of a Russian film. In addition, they listened to interviews with a famous Russian musician, advertising information and dialogues. BSU teachers found this task very difficult. Nevertheless, the students coped with it perfectly.
In listening, interviews with various creative people are often used: artists, theater figures, musicians. There is quite a complex professional vocabulary used there. The speaking test was also difficult. For example, the children had to explain the role of space in human life, talk about new scientific achievements and developments, what is the peculiarity of their national cuisine and its difference from Russian. All this required students to have a certain language training. In the written part, students prepared a complaint for a given situation and retold the text using synonymous vocabulary.