Educational Authority

Accreditation Centre for Foreign

Language Examinations

Postal address: 1363 Budapest, Pf. 112.
Customer service (only in person):
1122 Budapest, Maros utca 19-21.
Telephone: +36 (1) 374-2135

Basic Definitions

Accreditation: It is the name of the process through which it is declared whether an examination run by a language examination centre is professional and whether it is theoretically established in general. Accredited language examination centres are the institutions which can organise accredited language examinations and, in case they are successfully taken, can provide the candidates with accredited language certificates.

Accredited language exams: They are language exams conducted at accredited language examination centres. After 1st January 2000, there are several language exams and (if successfully passed) language certificates which are recognised by the state. The holder of such a certificate is granted the allowances mentioned in the section State language exam. The list of the institutions which issue the certificates are listed on our website. Remember that every state language certificate received before 1st January 2000 is automatically considered to be an accredited language exam even after 1st January 2000.

Equivalence: When a foreign examination centre conducts accredited language exams and issues accredited language certificates, then the foreign examination centre is equivalent and thus accredited in Hungary. There is no difference between the Hungarian and the foreign examination centres in the use of their certificates. There can, however, be differences in their exam fees, as the maximum fees at foreign examination centres are not fixed by the Hungarian law.

Language exam, language certificate: A language exam is a measuring of level, when the examination institution measures the level of foreign language competence of candidates. (Only exams recognised and certified by the state are discussed here.) After the measuring process, the institution issues a certificate of the result, i.e., the level of language competence.

Monolingual/bilingual language exam (certificate): When taking a language exam, at the written examination your writing skills and reading comprehension skills are measured. In most cases special written tasks serve to test your grammar and use of the language. At the oral exam your speaking skills are tested as well as your listening skills. (This skill is often tested at the written exam or individually, separated from both parts of the exam.) The main difference between the examinations is the fact that some of them also test your mediation skills between Hungarian and the foreign language (i.e., translations in writing), while others do not. The exams which involve written or oral mediation are bilingual exams. Exams without any mediation tasks are called monolingual. It is also indicated in the certificate whether it is a monolingual or bilingual exam. For most purposes (e.g., for extra points at entrance exams, to substitute school-leaving exams before 2005) both types of certificates are valid, except for the cases when the Exam Regulations of an institution provide differently. It is worth inquiring about at the Department of Education of the institution.

State language exam: Before 1st January 2000, the Centre for Foreign Languages (ITK) was the only institution to conduct language exams recognised by the state. The state granted preferences or allowances for those passing the exam successfully and holding a certificate. The preferences were e.g., in case of performing a certificate, the holder did not have to take a school-leaving exam in foreign languages, was given extra points at the entrance exams, the certificate certified the necessary language competence for college/university degrees, the holder was paid language allowance, etc. There used to be other exams and certificates before 1st January 2000, which the state recognised as “equivalent” to the state language exam. (See the list in the supplements to Decree No. 3/1980 (X.25.) MM)

State recognition (of a language certificate): As the activity of measuring language competence at a language examination centre becomes accredited in Hungary by the process of accreditation, a foreign certificate can become accredited in Hungary during the process of state recognition. Thus, anyone with a foreign language exam who does not want to retake the exam at an accredited examination centre in Hungary, can try and get this certificate accepted in Hungary as an accredited exam. If the certificate was issued by a foreign examination centre which, in the meantime, has become recognised in Hungary i.e., can issue accredited certificates, or by a centre which does not conduct exams in Hungary but is listed among the international exams on our website, the so-called state recognition procedure can be conducted for Ft 10.000 at present, and no additional exam is to be taken.