SFI Test information
- Kurs A – learn the Latin – English alphabet
- Kurs B – Mottagningsgrupp or beginners group
- Kurs C – Middle course
- Kurs D – Final course
Practice Kurs D test:
There are 4 levels to SFI: A, B, C, and D. I started at B Kurs (B Course) which is for beginners that have no Swedish language experience but know the Latin / English alphabet. The Swedish language only adds three more letters to the traditional twenty-six letters we use in the US. The extra three letters are Åå, Ää, and Öö. The letter W is not really used, but acknowledged. Some Swedish names use the letter and maybe some old, old, old words if I remember correctly. If you look in a Swedish dictionary there is no W tab. It goes straight from V to X. And if you ask a Swede about a website it’s said as vvv not but spelled www.
Every 6 weeks there is the National SFI Test for every kurs. I am not sure about Kurs A since I did not have to take that class. The test focuses on three different areas. They are listening, reading, and writing. Each of the three areas is taken in timed intervals and you cannot use notes or a dictionary.
The listening test is the most difficult for me because of the different dialects or pronunciations as in any language. For example someone from New York has a different way to pronounce things than someone from Texas. You are given a test booklet for the hearing test. Then the teacher plays a CD and the answers are multiple choice. You will listen to different scenarios and check the right answer. On the Kurs B test there was a person ordering food in a restaurant. It was a conversation between the waiter and the customer about what’s on the menu and what they actually order. Then, you have to choose the right answer based on what you heard. You get to hear the conversation twice. The hearing test was 40 minutes.
The reading test was also in a booklet. There are a variety of things to read and answer comprehensive questions about. It is also a multiple choice test. On the Kurs B test there was a bus station schedule and I had to answer questions about times, cities and bus fares. There were also flyers or short e-mails to read and answer questions about. Kurs D was much more difficult of course. I had to read a news article that was a full page and put events in order or choose major themes from a list. There were also graphs and charts or party invitations to understand. It’s all based on comprehension of what is being read. The Kurs B test was 50 minutes.
The writing test is one essay question with several important points to answer. You may be asked: Talk about a party that you have been to in the past. When did it start, who was there, what was your favorite part, and who was there? The booklet has two lined pages for you to write your mini essay. Kurs D was a little different. There were two essay questions to complete in 60 minutes. What was relayed to me was that it’s very important to answer all the parts of the question. They are looking for comprehension of what is asked of you to write about.
If you want to prepare for these tests I would recommend practice writing. During my SFI classes I checked out children’s books, watched the nightly news (because they speak slow and clear), and watched English movies with Swedish subtitles. Good Luck with your tests!