Experts to Assess Citizenship Language Exam, Says Minister ({{commentsTotal}})

Jevgeni Ossinovski
Jevgeni Ossinovski Source: (ERR)

Education Minister Jevgeni Ossinovski, after scoring a 99 out of 100 on the Estonian-language exam required for citizenship his summer, said the next step is for experts to analyze it.

“Despite my good results it is clear that it [the test] is too specific. People in the formal education system or those who have recently left have an advantage in passing the exam,” the minister, who is equally fluent in Estonian and Russian, told ERR radio on Friday.

He said one part of the exam requires the powers of the imagination to be used; instead, he said, it should test the person's ability to get by in everyday situations.

The next step is for University of Tartu experts to assess whether the exam tests education, intelligence and other academic skills over language skills.

Last year, Eesti Päevaleht journalist Rein Sikk took the exam and scored 89 points out of a 100 - not a stellar result for a native speaker who writes for a living. Sikk pointed out the confusing and contradictory instructions and tasks, and also said appealing the results has been made very complicated.

According to his article from March last year, Estonia’s exam for C1 level language skills is one of the most difficult in Europe with its 66 percent failure rate (compared to 45 percent in Latvia and 16 percent in Poland).