Preparing for the Finnish YKI intermediate level (B1) exam requires persistent hard work. However, with proper planning and execution, you can do it! Also, if you live in Finland, you’ll start understanding the world around you, which is great 😃 In this blog, I will share my tips on how you can prepare for the exam!
Ready? Let’s Go 🚀
The preparation can be broken down into two parts:
- Language Foundations
- Prep for Exam
Language foundations are all about building the essential Finnish vocabulary & grammar required for the B1 level. I believe the best way to build your language foundations is by attending Finnish language courses. For example, Omnia offers a good set of courses aimed at different levels. In these courses, you’ll learn vocabulary, grammar & practice speaking Finnish with your peers. The course material is generally the book series Suomen Mestari. You should aim to complete Suomen Mestari 1 & 2 with these courses.
You should not limit yourself to these courses. You can build good vocabulary using mobile-apps such as WordDive. You can learn Finnish from this app during your free time when you’ve taken a coffee break or traveling. I basically completed all the Finnish WordDive courses.
WordDive helps you build a good vocabulary, however in-order to practice speaking, I found FinnishPod101 to be very useful. After listening to the introductory content, I was able to start talking to people at a local coffee and grocery shop.
Another great website that helps improve your reading comprehension is Selkosanomat. It provides news articles written in very simple Finnish along with pictures to help you understand.
Prep for Exam
First, make sure that you register yourself for the exam in-advance because the places tend to get filled up quite fast. On this page, you can find the dates on which the exam is held & registrations open. You can register for the exam using this link.
Once you have a good grasp of the content in Suomen Mestari 1 & 2, the next step is to prepare for the exam. I believe the best way to prepare is to enroll in exam-prep courses. These are generally held a month before the exam and they try to simulate the exam as much as possible. This gives you a good experience of what to expect on the exam day. It also enables you to focus on your performance rather than spending time understanding what needs to be done during the exam. Few YKI exam-prep courses:
By this time, since you have already learnt Suomen Mestari 1 & 2, you can now try to learn Suomen Mestari 3 by yourself. How many chapters should you read? The more, the better. However, you should try to read at-least till chapter 4.
During the exam-prep phase, you should be trying to read, listen, speak, and write Finnish daily as much as possible. You should live and breathe Finnish.
- Listening & Reading: Selkouutiset provides everyday news, in easy Finnish, in video and text format. You should be able to understand what is being said and written in selkouutiset. If you feel like taking more challenges, then try to read Iltalehti. You can also try listening to YLE Arena Radio.
- Speaking & Writing: Try speaking in Finnish daily with your family and family as much as possible. Try describing your home, surroundings, your hobbies, etc.
If you want to give mock exams by yourself, then here are some resources:
It takes approximately 2 months for the results to arrive after the exam. The results arrive by post. When I received the letter, I was very nervous to open it🤞. When I opened it, I was delighted to see that I passed 🎉. My writing level was below 3, but for the citizenship application you need level 3 in two of the sections as described here.
I wish you all the best in your preparation! If you have any questions or need more resources, I’m happy to help. All the best 💪