Bergenstest--- kind revisions from Werner Skalla

Just one more note, we have written a guide about the Bergenstest with some example tasks and advice on how to proceed. It's in Norwegian only, but all the same it might be helpful. It can be downloaded here:

Bergenstest; help and links. Information from personal experiences.
Norsk språktest and Test i norsk -- høyere nivå (Bergenstesten)

The Språkprøven is a test in Norwegian proficiency and it consists of 4 parts: listening comprehension, reading comprehension, written language use, and oral language use. It measures proficiency at an intermediate level, and can be used for placement in education, and employment settings. In Norway, it is given at least 3 times annually in each fylke.

The more advanced exam is called the "Test i norsk -- høyere nivå." This test measures proficiency which corresponds to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching and assessment. (see - for more information.)

The test has two parts which are independent of each other: an oral part (, made up largely of discussions around a certain topic with an examinator, and the written part ( The written test is aimed at foreign-languagespeakers who need to document their proficiency in Norwegian when they are seeking admission to Norwegian høgskoler and universities. The oral test is often required to document proficiency for job applications and professional licensure, especially for health-related jobs.

The "Test i norsk -- høyere nivå" (written exam) consists of

  • 5 parts: reading comprehension, listening comprehension, grammar, words and expressions, a summary based on an oral conversation or interview, and a written exercise.
  • a final "Skriftlig produktion" (examenees are given 2 hours)

Info about Test i norsk - høyere nivå:

Must score 500 out of 750 for the Bergen Test in both writing and oral. - click area on map.

Info from

  • 1. You need a vocabulary of 500 words to be ready for the Bergenstest?? - certainly not, your vocabulary should certainly be above 2500 words
  • 2. no scores any longer, you can only 'pass', 'not pass' or 'pass well'
  • 3. For english speakers take 1 year or 200-250 hours for an average to learn to pass the exam.
  • 4. The courses they referred to cost 1-2,000 euros.

Description of Test i Norsk

Test to be revised in Oct 2009:

Some questions and answers:

    many words (vocabulary) are needed to be ready for such an exam?-
  • It is difficult to say the amount of words, but it should be more than 1,500. When you would feel comfortable reading Norwegian newspapers (like Aftenposten or Dagbladet), then you have the right level.

    the European Framework defines the level as C1. At that level you're supposed to be fluent and know all the grammar

    Are the main books, workbooks, word list books and CD's of series, "På vei", "Stein på stein", and "Her på berget" any good for aself-learner?

    The level of "Her på Berget" is approximately what is required. 'Her på Berget' chapters with exercises.

    It's possible to use the "Stein på stein" and "Her på berget" for self-study, but it is of course a lot better if you have a teacher to force you to practice the vocabulary, write eassys and to explain the grammar points and reinforce those points with complementary exercises. And you need to listen and write a lot to be prepared for the Bergen test.

    Recommend exercises in 'På Vei' and 'Stein på stein' at:
    The exercises are meant as a supplement to the workbook.

    Oslo and Bergen accents both are used on the listening part.
    Is NRK Radio based on Oslo accent?

    As well as NRK Oslo, locate some "Vestnytt" broadcasting or such, located in the West of Norway.

    As late as autumn 2005 or 2006, the University of Oslo was offering free courses for foreign doctors from outside the European Union to prepare them for the test they would have to pass. One of the "homeworks" at that course, was to listen to a certain program on the radio every day ("Sånn er livet", NRK P2, 10 o'clock in the morning). I presume that the intention was to get used to different dialects (and even the occasional Swede or Dane being interviewed!).

    How many hours of study for an English native average person to pass?

    Before September 2004 or 2005, the restrictions in the national program on how many free lessons (45-minutes hours) a foreigner might be entitled to, said 800 lessons for foreigners with higher education (doctors, lawyers) who were proficient in English. (3000 lessons for the illiterates, to give you a reference point.) But that number of lessons was designed to reach B1-B2 level, not C1 level. Remember as well that 800 lessons were for those already living and learning IN NORWAY, not people studying on their own abroad.

    Do administrators provide, or do you know, of cheap accommodation to do the test in Norway?

    Doubtful, but there are youth hostels like Haraldsheim in Oslo that are cheap - at least compared to hotels.

    Try anker hostel:

    Check out Shelly Daum's list: (also called NorSites.html in Norskklasen files section) in OSLO for reasonable hotels, and in LIVE IN NORWAY, WORK, STUDY IN NORWAY, for hostels.

    Is it known that maybe some tests centres are easier or harder to do the exam?

    No, the test is the same no matter where you are. That's why you the candidates are not allowed to take any papers out of the exam room, and they have to hand in even the rough/draft paper.

    Any tips or patterns in the test that may help me please?

    The grammar and the listening are the most trying points; particularly the listening test that you have to write a summary of afterwards.

    Read Newspapers, listen to the texts (as you'll have to write an summary of an oral text). For listening you can use (web tv) or read while listening at KlarTale (text plus mp3 audio). Check out 'Listening and Reading Sites' on NorSites link (above)

    Make sure you study intensively the free Internet test. Ordering the example material, particularly the cd, is a very good idea as well!

    Level III at University ("Her på berget") is the equivalent of the Bergen test, and a bit easier.

    -- hard to get grade B (or A) both on the oral and on their written exam. -a grade B is maybe more than 500 points?

    There are tasks in which you have to paraphrase a sentence with meaning being the same.

    You will also have to write a composition on some topic (you'll get 3 to choose).

    Search the web for a distance-course for preparation for this test.

    There is a summer school at the University of Oslo & Univ of Bergen each year, so you can try to apply there. See here for more info: Oslo - Bergen: - Summer school is 6 weeks.

    There is also a 3 - week course in Bergen.

    If by that time you will reach the level of Trinn 3, then you have pretty good chances to pass the exam at the end of the school (I don't know what they'll do this year, but for the last years they offered students an option to choose either to take Trinn 3 exam or Bergenstest, they count equally).

    In Bergen:

    Only for advanced students. (Nothing for beginners.) Universitetet i Bergen inviterer viderekomne utenlandske norskstuderende til sommerkurs i norsk språk og kultur fra1. juli til 26. juli 2008. Kurset henvender seg først og fremst til studenter som leser norsk ved utenlandske universiteter og høyskoler, men andre er også velkomne til å søke. All undervisning foregår på norsk. Vi tar derfor ikke opp nybegynnere, og deltakerne må ha gode nok forkunnskaper til å kunne følge forelesninger>gitt på norsk. Alle søkere må legge ved en attest som bekrefter at de har gode nok norskkunnskaper. Om lag 60 studenter får plass på kurset, og kvalifiserte søkere fra ikke-nordiske land vil bli prioritert dersom kurset blir overtegnet.

    Find info about courses preparing for the Bergenstest:

    Some more internet-based courses here:

    Test yourself to get a hint of your level:

    Find something useful here as well:

    Scroll down for example materials:

    It is true that if you can understand perfectly what is in the newspaper, you probably can pass the bergenstest?

    Partly, but you must also pass the "muntlig" (oral) which requires that you have experience getting used to the language in daily conversation og det blir perfekt! Remember that the oral test and the written test are separate exams. For passing the written test, you your speaking abilities won't be tested, but listening comprehension is very important.

    Placement Test:

    I contacted the UiO about level 3..I have to do level 1 and 2 before I can do level 3 and then have to do the course to take the exam, and only in Oslo!?

    Yes, this trinn 3 exam is only in Oslo, and the Norwegian course for doctors also.

    They usually administer the "plaseringstest" first, to find out your level (unless you say that you are a complete beginner), so it's possible to get in the trinn 3 class only.

    The Oral Test has three parts.

    The candidates are tested individually. They are expected to be able to communicate fluently using narrative, explanatory and conversational language. Candidates should be able to display a rich vocabulary and an ability to understand and use idiomatic language.

    'Before the examination begins the candidates get twenty minutes to read a text. The examination starts with the candidate discussing this text without the examiner interrupting (approximately 3-5 minutes); followed by a discussion between candidate and examiner on the content of the text. Finally the candidate is asked to comment upon an image or a graph and answer three questions in relation to the text.'

    About The Bergenstest, by Patience A: - folkeuniversitets examples

    The Bergenstest is also called: Test i norsk - høyere nivå. It was developed at the University of Bergen thus the name: Bergenstest.. - study booklets.

    I took the Bergenstest April 2005 in Oslo and got 500. Every single person I've met here has gotten that score too so I think it must be the average. At the very least it is the score you need to work in the Public Sector here and to take courses at the University.

    Some advice:
    1) Listen to lots of Norwegian. Especially stuff from Bergen and Oslo. Many of my course mates complained loudly that the Bergen accent was very hard to understand (they being used to the Oslo dialect). I'd say a equal percentage of the listening section is with a Bergen accent as with an Oslo accent. Then they toss in a few other ones as well but nothing too extreme.
    2) Write Write Write. I can't say this enough. Write a 200-300 word essay every day/every week as often as you can and get someone to correct it. The more you practice and see your mistakes the better your writing ability will be and that is a major part of the test.

    Some essays I got were
    a) talk about the pros and cons of mobil phones and
    b) fill out this insurance form

    3) If you see some vocabulary you don't know on an old exam - learn it. They often reuse the same words from older tests in a slightly different way.

    4) If you get the chance to take the Bergenstest preparatory class at one of the language schools here in Norway - take it All the other classes I had were pretty worthless (but free!) but the Bergenstestkurs was very good. A thorough relearning of all of Norwegian grammar in about 8 weeks.

    The books I used in that class are:
    Håndbok i grammatikk og språkbruk : norsk for innvandrere - løp A,
    by Høgberg, Eva (book source below)
    Isbn: 8211004607
    Utgivelsesår: 2000 Bokmål Heftet
    Cost: kr 300

    Arbeidsbok til håndbok i grammatikk og språkbruk : norsk for innvandrere -
    løp A by Høgberg, Eva / Langeland, Elisabeth P. (ill)
    ISBN: 8211005840
    Utgivelsesår: 2003
    Språk: Bokmål
    Forlag: Forlaget fag og kultur
    Sidetall: 216
    cost: kr 249

    Handbook and Workbook are available at:
    or at:
    or: - type in title.

    Or, if you are looking for something even more advanced, you could try: Norsk til kontorbruk by Ruth Vatvedt Fjeld,ISBN: 82-15-00389-3

    It's the closest I've found to a Norwegian Manual of Style.
    Type in title - Norsk til kontor - at:
    or at:
    or: -

    More on Bergenstest from Inna K:

    I passed the Bergenstest in December 2005 (the first time). I got 550 points. I cant say that it was easy but nothing is impossible. I had the Fjernundervisning kurs and it helped me a lot. I found a lot of tasks and exercises online.The most difficult for me was to write referat ; 45 minutes is not enough I think. I used a lot of time to prepare for the test and it was not in vain. I wrote a lot of compositions on different topics to prepare myself for skriftlig produksjon and I was lucky at the exam to get one of the topics that I had written at home. Reading and listening comprehension were not very difficult, but I can't say the same about grammatikk, ord og utrykk, men det er bare treningsak. There were some sentences that were in previous tests.
    Find out about bergenstestkurs here: Click on bergenstestkurs in the left menu ny hjemmeside

    A Personal Experience with Bergenstesten from K:

    Bergenstesten is the most difficult exam I've ever done in my life. Do you write good Norwegian?......good is not must write PERFECT Norwegian. I took it in January; I write and read well, but I dont think I did well on the test. It started at 9.00 and ended at 15.00. You get 20 min to interpret a text, and there are a lot of confusing expressions. The time is so short that you lose time if you try to understand everything, and you also have to answer questions. There is 3 texts and one hour to answer, and then you have the expressions part. 30 questions, 20 min to answer. If you dont answer within the given time, you miss.
    You can get more information at
    (Eng) - - (Nor) - 35 courses that fit 'høyere nivå' -|||3
    Improving Norwegian:
    Alternative lærebøker på omtrent samme nivå som "Klar for Norge 4":
    "Her på berget" (2008), Cappelen - med nettsted
    "Det går bra!" (2008, foreløpig utgave), Tapir - med nettsted
    "Lær mer norsk" (gammel, men fortsatt i salg)
    heftene til Wessel og Sæther: "Munn og mæle", "Små og store", "Liv og levnet" osv., Fag og kultur

    For å utvide vokabularet:
    "Visuell ordbok" eller "Mini visuell ordbok" (norsk til engelsk, fransk, tysk og spansk i den største utgava eller norsk til tysk, spansk eller italiensk i en mindre utgave; mini), 2007 og 2008

    For å lære idiomatiske uttrykk:
    "Har det på tunga - og andre språklige bilder" (2003),
    Fag og kultur og "Katta i sekken og andre uttrykk" (2006), Cappelen.
    For å lære preposisjoner:
    "Preposisjoner og partikler i norsk" (1985), Oris forlag
    "Preposisjonsøvelser med svar" (1987), Oris forlag

    Tidligere eksamensoppgaver på sommer-varianten av universitetet, ISS, trinn III og IV (dessverre minus lytteprøven):

    Det er en god idé å oppfriske kunnskapene dine om referater og sammendrag, f.eks. ved hjelp av "Norsk til kontorbruk" av Ruth Vatvedt Fjeld. (link above) Få noen til å hjelpe deg med å lese en tekst høyt, som du må ta notater fra og referere? På NRK radio er det flere programmer som kan være nyttige å høre på eller laste ned som podkast, enten du tar notater og skriver referater, eller bare bruker programmene som lyttetrening ("Sånn er livet", "Verdt å vite", "P2-akademiet" etc.).

    PREPARE FOR BERGENSTEST; Egentlig, bortsett fra å lese 8 timer om dagen, tok jeg trinn 7 på folkeuniversitet, og det var forberedelsen for bergenstesten, faktisk.
    Det tok meg 3 mnd. Og det var nok.
    Det er viktig at du klare å lese fort samtidig som du lærer, det vil si at du må lese og forstå samtidig.
    Det var det eneste utfordringen for meg på eksamenen.
    Men hvis du klarer det, det er bra.
    Også bør du ha et svært bra kunskap i grammatikk pga skriftlige oppgaver.
    Prøv å lære deg hvordan setningenene er oppbygd, adverber er meget viktig når man skriver et referat, prøv å ikke bruke det samme ordet flere ganger.
    Jeg har fortsatt mye å lære, men så lenge du forstår hvordan språket fungerer det går bra.

    Informasjon om språkprøven:
    Folkeuniversitetet -
    Informasjon fra UDI:
    Ny i Norge? -
    Bvo testskole:

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