Around half of Russians pass Latvian language exam

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Just under half of the Russian citizens who have taken the national Latvian language proficiency test have passed so far, the State Educational Content Centrer (VISC) reported on May 18.

Russian citizens must receive a statement regarding the knowledge of the Latvian language at the basic – A2 – level in order to continue to reside and work in Latvia. If this is not done, they will have to leave Latvia until December 2.

During the period from April 11 to May 7, 4,995 citizens of the Russian Federation have taken the national language proficiency test. 4,139 applicants have so far taken the test in Rīga, 257 in Daugavpils, and 599 in Liepāja.

The test was passed on the first try by 49% of the takers, and 51% will have to re-take the test because they have failed to get the required number of points in one or more parts of the test.

The test is deemed successfully completed if the assessment of a person's national language proficiency in each skill — listening, reading, writing, and speaking — is not less than 60% of the maximum score.

Level 2 requires a person to be able to communicate in simple sentences on topics related to familiar situations or personal activity, to read and understand simple household and professional texts, to complete standard documents (e.g. forms, invoices, receipts), to write short texts of personal content, to be perceived and understood, speaking at a natural pace.

In Daugavpils, 128 persons have passed the national language proficiency test at A2 level, while 2,006 Russian citizens have passed the test in Rīga and 306 in Liepāja.

The average score is 73% in the reading part, 71% in the listening part, 67% in the speaking part, and 56% in the writing part, suggesting it is the latter element that is the most problematic for candidates.

Around 9,000 persons for whom the exam is necessary have not applied for it, which means their residence permits will expire on September 1.

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