Russian Certificate TRKI-2: understanding it, preparing for it and (maybe) passing it
Exactly today, one week ago, I was sitting in a classroom at Liden & Denz Institute in Saint Petersburg. I was taking the first two parts of the Russian Certificate TRKI-2. Let’s say that these last weeks have not been easy for me, as for most foreign students who were attending classes at L&D and had to constantly keep track of measures taken by governments to face the global crisis caused by COVID-19. Most flights all over the world are constantly being canceled and last week I was scared to remain stuck in Russia while my visa was about to expire.
That’s why I’m very thankful to all the staff of the school for having guaranteed me their constant support and comprehension. Most of all, I’m grateful to my teachers, Lyuba and Zlata, who encouraged me throughout this last month every time I felt I wasn’t prepared enough to pass this exam. These last weeks have been stressful for everyone at the school, but both teachers and staff have been showing their professionalism to ensure each student’s safety and well being.
Structure of the exam
The Russian Certificate TRKI-2 corresponds to the B2 level of CEFR. During the exam, language skills are tested in all aspects, e.g. Listening, Speaking, Grammar and Vocabulary, Reading and Writing. To pass the exam, you need a specific preparation, mainly because some parts of it such as the formal letter require a specific form of writing. Let’s see all parts of the exam:
- Listening: you have to listen to different recordings about various themes and choose the correct answer
- Speaking: the spoken part of the examination is divided into many different tasks:
describing a short scene: the examiner gives you a sheet where you can take notes while watching a short fragment from a film. Your goal here is to remember as many details as possible and to understand at least the general idea of dialogues between characters so that you will be able to tell a short oral resume to your examination;
informational call: you read the description of a job you would theoretically like to apply for. You call their office (AKA your examiner ) and your goal is to receive as many information as possible by asking questions about the position;
intonation: on a sheet are written around five sentences, which you have to read using the correct intonation, depending on the emotion that a given sentence should express ( sadness, excitement, anger and so on..). A similar task is the one that usually comes afterward, where your examiner tells you a given situation and also specifies what emotion you should communicate through your answer. Here’s an example:
выразите радость (Express happiness)
– Вы выиграли стипендию в вашем университете (You’ve won a scholarship offered by your university).
Opposite adjectives: another task is that of answering to given sentences pronounced by your examiner by using opposite adjectives;
The final part of the oral exam is the Monologue, which aims to test your ability to fluently discuss a certain theme, usually an issue in modern society.
- Grammar and Vocabulary: 150 questions on various aspects such as participle, gerund, rection of verbs, etc…
- Reading: you receive three texts. Each one of them has a given number of questions you have to answer. In my case, the first text was about the foundation of Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow whereas the second dealt with the ethical responsibilities of scientists to society (it was quite hard). The third text was a biographical fragment from the life of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg.
- Writing: you need to write three letters: the first two can contain between 50 and 70 words. The first one is usually a letter where you should make suggestions to a friend after reading from 4 to 5 given adverts of tour agencies, schools, hotels, restaurants, etc. The second typology is usually that of the formal letter ( благодарениe, жалоба, заявление, etc.). For the third letter, you need to write 100-150 words, here you may find a similar situation to the following one: you are an affirmed translator who works with important publishers, the son/daughter of a friend of yours is interested in studying translation at university and is asking you to explain him, what personal qualities, academic results, personal interests, etc. a good translator should own.
Don’t panic, you will not take all the parts of the exam on the same day. Exams are usually conceived in a way that allows you to do Listening and Speaking on a separate day from Grammar/Vocabulary, Reading and Writing. At Liden & Denz, you can usually book your exam until a week before the date when you would like to undergo it. I suggest you discuss with your teachers before deciding to try the Russian Certificate TRKI-2. Remember to bring with you your ID card, because you will have to show it to the camera since the Speaking part of the exam will be recorded.
As for personal suggestions, I would stress the importance of writing as much as you can and being constantly immersed in the language. Moreover, it would be great if you had a qualified, native speaker to prepare you properly and correct your written texts.
Check out all the possibilities that Liden & Denz’s Team offers you, to ensure a successful outcome!
Also, consider joining an online Russian course, in case you didn’t have the possibility now to go to Russia or Latvia.