OLS Language testing

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The European Commission tests the language skills of students who participate in an Erasmus exchange or traineeship both before and after their stay. The purpose is to help students understand how their language skills improve during their stay. The name of the testing system is Online Linguistic Support (OLS).

OLS language tests are completed independently in unsupervised conditions. The test results are delivered to the students, the Commission and the University of Helsinki International Exchange Services. The results primarily help students assess their own language proficiency and cannot be used as an official language certificate.

Registering to the OLS-system and problem situations

Registering to the OLS-system

You will receive an invitation to the test by email directly from the an Online Linguistic Support (OLS) -portal. The link to the test is only in the first email you receive from the system.

Before you can access the OLS language assessment and courses, you will need to activate your user account. You receive an automated invitation e-mail containing a link and the information needed for logging in.  Click on this link to activate your account. When you have activated the user account, go to the OLS webpage https://app.erasmusplusols.eu and click on the button "Log in"

After that, fill in your personal data, information about your exchange and choose if you want to take part in a language course after the test and in which language(s) (study language, local language or both). This course language selection can be modified until you enter the course for the first time.

Registration problems

If, in your opinion, you have not received an invitation to the test: please check your email spam folder/junk mail tab of your inbox, the header of the massage is  "How good is your (language)? If you still cannot find an invitation, contact International Exchange Services: studentexchange@helsinki.fi

If you find the invitation but you are unable to log in to the system: have you forgotten your  password?  -> get a new password by using the function "Did you forget your password?" By using this function you will receive an email message with the information how to reset your password. Check also your email spam folder/junk mail tab of your inbox for the message. If this still does not work, it is possible that the deadline set for you to enter the test is is already passed -> contact International Exchange Services studentexchange@helsinki.fi

Other problem situations

When you are logged into the OLS system you find answers to frequently asked questions under the link "Help" in the upper right corner of the page. There is also a contact form to the OLS organization.

OLS language testing

Taking the OLS language test before an Erasmus exchange or traineeship is compulsory and one of the conditions for receiving the grant for all those whose studying or working language is one of the following:

Bulgarian, Czech, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish or Swedish

If you study or work during your stay abroad in one of the languages above, you will receive an invitation to a language test approximately two months before the exchange. The test must usually be completed within one month from the invitation or by the deadline indicated on the invitation. This is to ensure that you also have time to complete an OLS language course prior to your exchange, if necessary.

If your studying or working language during your stay is not one of the languages above, you will not receive an invitation to take the test and need not take it. Students whose studying or working language is their native language are also exempted from the test. If you receive an invitation via email and believe you should be exempted on the above grounds, contact International Exchange Services (studentexchange@helsinki.fi).

Your studying or working language is determined by the language you have indicated on your Mobility Online account under Language of instruction at the host university (1. choice). The information on your native language is also double-checked from your application form. You can change the studying language only by submitting a new learning agreement in which at least half the courses are completed in a language other than the one indicated before.

The OLS system sends an automatic invitation to a new test after your exchange or traineeship period. We recommend taking the test also after your exchange or traineeship period although it is not compulsory. If your test result in the first test is C2 or better, you don't receive any invitation to the second test after the exchange.

Facts about the OLS language test

  • You will receive the invitation to take the test via email
  • The test covers grammar and phrases as well as listening and reading comprehension.
  • The assessment is based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).  
  • The test can be completed in about 40–60 minutes.
  • The test must be completed in a single sitting. Before the actual test you can test the technical function of the system. Use that opportunity!
  • The test results are provided in writing and encompass the four areas of language skills on the CEFR scale.
  • Your test results will be reported only to you and the University of Helsinki International Exchange Services. The results do not affect your selection to the target university. 
  • The OLS system sends an automatic invitation to a new test after your exchange period, except if your result is C2 or better.
  • If your test language is German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch or Portuguese and your test result is B1 or lower, you will receive an automatic invitation to the language course in the same language. In that case the language course is compulsory.
  • If your test language is Bulgarian, Danish, Estonian, Greek, Croatian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian or Swedish and your test result is A1, you will get an automatic invitation to the language course in the same language. In that case the language course is compulsory.
  • If your test language is Czech and your test result is A2 or lower, you will get an automatic invitation to the language course in the Czech language. In that case the language course is compulsory.
  • If your test language is Maltese or Irish, there is no language course yet in those languages.
  • If your language test result is on a higher level than the levels mentioned above, the language course is voluntary for you.
  • If your language test result is higher that B1 in any of the languages available, you can choose if you take part in a language course in the study language, the local language (if available) or both. There are courses available on different levels for each language. When you registered in the OLS system you chose in which language(s) you want to take the course. This selection can still be modified until you log in to the course platform for the first time. Please notice that you cannot modify the course language selection after you have entered the course for the first time.

Language tests available and levels of the courses

OLS language course

After completing the OLS language test, you will get the chance to participate in a free online language course.

The OLS language course substitutes for the course in the studying language offered prior to the exchange in the following languages: Bulgarian, English, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Greek, Croatian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Portuguese, Polish, French, Romanian, Swedish, German, Slovak, Slovenian, Danish, Czech, Hungarian and Estonian. This means that if you study in Germany in German, your exchange period cannot include a preparatory German course offered prior to the beginning of the term, but you can take an OLS language course instead.

Facts about the course:

  • If you receive a grade of B1 or lower (German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese), A2 or lower (Czech) or A1 (Bulgarian, Danish, Estonian, Greek, Croatian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, or Swedish) you are automatically invited to the language course in the tested language.
  • If your test grade is better than the above mentioned levels, participation in the language course is recommended, but not compulsory. When registering in the OLS system, you can choose if you participate in the language course in the studying language, the local language (if available) or in both. These choices can be modified until you enter the course for the first time.
  • The course in the study language begins from the level you reached in the test.
  • The course is based on interactive small group teaching. Each group is assigned a teacher and includes students from throughout Europe.  
  • The course must be completed by the end of the exchange period.