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How to test your Thai Language ability

I must have counted over 100 different blogs from people in Thailand who try to explain the Thai language. Some a real linguist type people for whom I can't understand there English let alone get much out of what there trying to say. Others are pretty basic. But you'd think with all those bloggers and Thai language websites out there that some one would have written something about how to test your Thai language ability. Alas I'm here to help.

Doing a search on the Internet the only thing I could find (searching in English) was the Thai language competency test that the government runs each year. This in fact is a grade 6 exam and not much help for those at other levels. In fact the highest exam that the government has for foreign Thai language learners is this grade 6 exam. Not very helpful if you were in fact at a higher level than this. Though I must admit, to actually pass an exam at a higher level than grade 6 would be extremely difficult. See the Thai language exams are full of language about the monarchy and Pali and therefore become difficult unless you want to read every single course syllabus in the Thai language, if you don't mind doing that go ahead but it ain't for me, I went through school once and could care less about doing it again. Another point would be for what benefit would it to be able to speak Thai at a higher grade than  grade 6 level. Honestly most of what I learned in High School was a complete waste of time things like Romeo and Juliet bored the hell out of me I think reading a book about something that interests you is more beneficial.

So not to get off track I have a link here where you can test your Thai skills.One thing you should know about these tests, they arn't perfect but they are good practice. For most Thai's, they don't score much above 55% for their level of Thai language ability. Pretty poor I must admit then again I got C's in English the whole way through school so it's about the same really.

The tests are designed for Thai's and they ask some really weired questions and the question style you'll have to learn in order to answer the questions to the Thai language tests as well. If I were you start with the grade 1 exams and move up. I got to grade 5 and scored 60% but then when I got to grade 6 I scored 50%. Well half the questions I didn't even understand what they were trying to ask of me which is probably why i scored low on the grade 6 exam.

How to test your Thai Language ability

Here's an example of the grade 1 exam test question for Thai language.

คำถาม :     คำใดแปลว่า กลางคืน (Which word below means night time)

ตัวเลือกที่ 1 :     ทิวา

ตัวเลือกที่ 2 :     ราตรี

This question is really basic, the answer is number 2 ราตรี. I actually had to think about it for a quick second though, but think about how you say goodnight ราตรีสวัดิ์. See not hard at all right? lol.

I like how all the tests are timed as well, whatever you do don't get the old girlfriend to help you out with them either, in fact do the tests when she's not around. As soon as my girl saw what I was doing she was all like commenting and annoying the hell out of me laughing when I got a question wrong, not a very good test environment for testing anything let alone testing your ability in the Thai Language.

Well If you do the tests on Thai language please come back here and comment let me know how you did, I'd love to see someone come back and say that they got 80% on the grade 10 exam, after looking at it, I don't think I'd ever be there because the thai language books are sooo bloody boring. Good luck and let me know how you go.

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About Chris

Chris founded LivingThai.org in 2011 and has received over 3 million visitors. He has lived here for over 10 years and speaks reads and writes very good Thai.

6 Responses to How to test your Thai Language ability

  1. Jef October 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    Actually, the P.6 test doesn’t exist anymore and has been replaced by a level test that tests up to the university level of a native speaker (and starts at P.1). So, in my opinion, the government test is the best test.

    • Chris October 23, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

      Thanks Jef for your comment. I disagree however with your statement though didn’t know that it now goes to a university level so I’ll look into that now and update the article. I did find some information on the updated exams and the first exam assumes the speaker can’t read or write thai. If you look at these exams the first level B1 you must know how to read Thai. Just like a person who finishes grade 1. Secondly the tests I pointed to have 12 levels the goverment test as 6. Obviously there is 12 years of schooling so why would there only be 6 exams. Makes no sense to me. The reading exams only have 48 questions, umm have you ever sat in an english test with only 48 questions? My grade 10 english reading and comprehension exam was 4 hours long! The tests I pointed to will give you a better accurate picture of your Thai ability than what the governement tests will. If people want a piece of paper from the government to say how great they are sure go pay the 2000 baht for the yearly administered test. But if you want to compare yourself to a Thai persons ability try the link I gave you. What the exams can’t do though is test your speaking ability, in our countries this is done by the classroom teacher. Though I don’t think it really matters much, if you can pass a grade 6 exam then i’m sure your speaking ablitity is up to par.

  2. Mina December 27, 2011 at 8:28 am #

    Phew, tried a few of those and… failed. For one ป. 1 I got 75%, the other 50%. I didn’t understand anything on the ป. 6 tests so I didn’t even try those.
    I’d like to do the ป.6 test though… do you happen to know where it’s possible to do it (and get the certificate)? (and also get books/eventually tutoring to have a chance to pass)
    I guess it would be interesting to look a little bit more into this… as my speaking abilities/everyday language is quite ok now.
    Anyways, thanks for the links… fun thing to do.

  3. jb March 6, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

    Just got 75 on p6. Some of the questions seem rather pedantic.

  4. jb March 7, 2014 at 2:44 am #

    Got 29 right of 50 at m2 level – pass. Tried m3 level, started to struggle, only about 40% correct – fail!

    It’s the best sight I’ve seen for measuring your level.

    • jb March 7, 2014 at 2:57 am #

      Best site (not sight).
      English – fail!

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