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
E-mail: info.nyak@oh.gov.hu

Basic Definitions

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 examiner issues a certificate of the result i.e. the level of language competence.

State language exam: Before the 1st January 2000, the Centre for Foreign Language 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 preference were eg. 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/universty degrees, the holder was paid language allowance etc.
There used to be other exams and certificated before the 1st January 2000, which the state recognised ”equivalent” to the state language exam. /See the list in the supplements to No. 3/1980 MM decree./

Certified Language exams: After the 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 above mentioned allowances. The list of the institutions which issue the certificates are listed on our Web-site. Remember that every state language certificate received before the 1st January 2000, is automatically considered to be a certified language exam even after 1st January 2000.

Accreditation: It is the name of the process through which the Board entitled by the state declares whether an examination run by a language centre is professional and whether it is theoretically established in general. It is important to remember that during the accreditation it is not language certificates that are approved or diapproved, but the Board conducts an investigation on the request of the language centre, and issues a licence. Certified language centres are the institutions which can organise certified language examinations and, in case they are successfully taken, can give the candidates certified language certificates.

Accredited language exam: They are language exams conducted at certified language centres.

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

Nationalisation (of a language certficate): As the activity of measuring language competence at a language centre becomes certified in Hungary by the process of accreditation, a foreign certificate can become certified in Hungary during the process of nationalisation.Thus anyone with a foreign language exam who does not want to retake the exam at a certified exam centre in Hungary, can try and get this certificate accepted in Hungary as a certified exam. If the certificate was issued by a foreign centre which, in the meantime, has become equalised in Hungary i.e. can issue certified certificates, or at a centre which does not conduct exams in Hungary but is well-known by the Board (and is listed among the international exams on our Web-site, which was collected by the Board), the so called nationalisation procedure can be conducted for Ft 5.000 at present, and no additional exam is to be taken.

Monolingual/bilingual language exam (certificate): When taking a language exam, at the written examination your writing skill and reading comprehension skill 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 (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 (extra points at entrance exams, to substitute school-leaving exams before 2005) both types of certificates are valid, except for the cases when the Curriculum and Exam Rules of an institution provide differently. It is worth inquiring about at the Department of Education of the institution.