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Lesson Transcript


Michael: What are some common Hebrew proficiency tests?
Lenny: And how do I choose the right one for me?
Michael: At HebrewPod101.com, we hear these questions often. Imagine the following scenario: Emma, a college student, is talking to her college friend Keren about her attempts to motivate herself to study Hebrew harder. She says,
"I have to take the YAEL exam."
Emma Eisenberg: .אני מוכרחה לעשות בחינת יע"ל (Ani mukhrakha la'asot b'khinat Ya'el.)
Emma Eisenberg: .אני מוכרחה לעשות בחינת יע"ל (Ani mukhrakha la'asot b'khinat Ya'el.)
Keren Cohen: ?בחינת ידע בעברית (B'khinat yeda be-Ivrit?)
Michael: Once more with the English translation.
Emma Eisenberg: .אני מוכרחה לעשות בחינת יע"ל (Ani mukhrakha la'asot b'khinat Ya'el.)
Michael: "I have to take the YAEL exam."
Keren Cohen: ?בחינת ידע בעברית (B'khinat yeda be-Ivrit?)
Michael: "The Hebrew Proficiency Test?"

Lesson focus

Michael: For many people studying Hebrew, one of the primary goals after finally mastering the language is to spend time in Israel. To others, it would either mean studying or finding a job there. If you're currently studying Hebrew and also wish to use the language for future endeavors, obtaining proof of your language proficiency can provide several benefits. And what better way to measure your fluency in Hebrew than by taking the Hebrew Proficiency Test?
Michael: The Hebrew Proficiency Test or
Lenny: בחינת ידע בעברית (B'khinat yeda be-Ivrit)
Michael: is a proficiency exam designed to evaluate non-native speakers in their ability to comprehend Hebrew and express themselves using the language. One of its primary aims is to assess the Hebrew proficiency of individuals who wish to pursue higher education at any university in Israel. Students who take the Israeli university entrance exam called the Psychometric Entrance Test or
Lenny: הבחינה הפסיכומטרית (Ha-B'khina ha-Psikhometrit)
Michael: are also required to take the YAEL Test. You can take the Hebrew Proficiency Test as a stand-alone exam, or along with the Psychometric Entrance Test‚ in which case, you won't have to pay a separate fee.
Michael: Now, let's take a look at how the Hebrew Proficiency Test works. It is composed of four sections, the first three containing multiple-choice questions, and the fourth being an open-format writing test at the end. The multiple-choice section contains three types of questions. The first one is "sentence completion," or
Lenny: השלמת משפט (hashlamat mishpat )
Michael: Here, you will be asked to complete sentences that are missing a word or group of words. This section is designed to assess your vocabulary skills, as well as your ability to understand prepositions and verb conjugation. The second type of questions are "restatement questions," or
Lenny: חידוש (khidush)
Michael: Here, you will be provided with sentences followed by four possible ways to rephrase them. The focus here is to find out how good your knowledge of vocabulary and syntax is, as well as your comprehension of different sentence structures. Finally, you have questions that deal with "reading comprehension" or
Lenny: הבנת הנקרא (havanat ha'nikra)
Michael: In this section, you will be asked questions regarding the content of a text.
The final section of the exam is the "writing section" or
Lenny: כְּתִיבָה (k'tiva)
Michael: This part of the exam is designed to assess your academic writing ability in the Hebrew language. Here, you will be asked to write a short essay within 15 minutes. Your grade in this section will be based on the relevance of what you have written, the vocabulary you use, and how coherent and organized your ideas are.
Michael: Are there any other Hebrew proficiency exams aside from the Hebrew Proficiency Test? Well, you can also actually take the ECL Exam, which is administered by the European Consortium for the Certificate of Attainment in Modern Languages.
Michael: This is an international examination system that evaluates the listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills of an individual for various European languages, including Hebrew. The test consists of four levels of competence and it includes tests also for
Lenny: הַקשָׁבָה (hakshava)
Michael: or "listening," and
Lenny: דיבור (dibur)
Michael: or "speaking."
Michael: In this lesson, we had a look at two major Hebrew proficiency tests, which are
Lenny: בחינת ידע בעברית (B'khinat yeda be-Ivrit)
Michael: and the ECL.
Michael: The websites of each of these tests will be linked in the lesson notes so you can find further information about them. These are just two of the few Hebrew language proficiency tests, but in case you wish to apply at any university or workplace in Israel, it's good to check first what is required so you know exactly which test to take.


Michael: That's all for this lesson. Do you have any more questions? We're here to answer them!
Lenny: להתראות! (lehitra'ot!)
Michael: See you soon!