Some universities in Sweden require Swedish language proficiency to enroll. However, others have made education more inclusive by launching English-taught international programs. Thus, depending on the program, you may have to prove either Swedish or English language proficiency by taking tests such as IELTS, Duolingo, TISUS, or SWEDEX.

But if you have to take tests to study there, why do international students even like Sweden? Well, the country is famous for its top-tier education, innovation, and social welfare. If you’re drawn by those same reasons, read on to discover more about the language tests required from international students in Sweden!

What are the Basic Language Requirements Needed in Sweden for International Students?

To be eligible for undergraduate or master’s studies in Sweden, you must have completed studies equivalent to the Swedish high school course “English 6”. However, some programs might require a level of English proficiency corresponding to the Swedish “English 5” or “English 7”.

Meanwhile, to demonstrate ability in the Swedish language, aspiring international students must fulfill the equivalent requirement of Svenska 3 in Swedish upper secondary schools. Thus, the language tests that Swedish universities require from international students match those courses or levels.

Language Tests in Sweden for International Students

In Sweden, the primary language requirements for international students vary based on the course level and language of instruction. After all, it is a non-English speaking country with Swedish as its national language. Thus, although most courses in Swedish universities are tailored to facilitate international students, proficiency in Swedish and English is required.

Swedish Language Tests for International Students

Swedish language proficiency is a requirement for programs offered in the said language. To comply, international students can take the following Swedish language tests:

1. TISUS

TISUS stands for Test in Swedish for University Studies. It serves as a qualifying examination for university and college education in Sweden. Most Swedish universities accept TISUS test scores to assess your proficiency in the Swedish language. Tailored to advanced-level demands, TISUS is shaped based on input from students and educators.

The minimum TISUS score accepted by most universities in Sweden is 3 points. Indeed, institutes such as Lund University, and Uppsala University require a minimum score of three.

2. SWEDEX

SWEDEX is an internationally recognized proficiency certification in Swedish as a foreign language. It is accessible both within Sweden and in several countries abroad. The examination is available at certain levels, including A2, B1, B2, and C1, as SWEDEX is based on the framework provided by the Council of Europe’s CEFR. A Swedex certificate, which you will receive upon test completion, is precious since it is recognized as a widely accepted test in Swedish universities and demonstrates your expertise in the Swedish language.

The SWEDEX test contains speaking, reading, listening, and writing sections to assess proficiency across all language skills. The final grade will be determined by the lowest level achieved in each area. For instance, if you reach C1 in Listening, Reading, and Writing but B2 in Speaking, your overall grade will be B2.

English Language Tests for International Students

You must demonstrate your English language proficiency if you’re applying for English-taught programs. Here are some English language tests you can take as an international student in Sweden:

1. IELTS – International English Language Testing System

IELTS is an English language proficiency test accepted in most institutes worldwide, including Swedish universities. The test is based on four language skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. The test evaluates the proficiency levels of test takers using a 9-band scale, with non-users scoring band 1 and expert users placing band 9.

The required IELTS score for Swedish university admission varies based on level and field. Generally, bachelor’s and master’s programs demand an IELTS 6.5 overall score, with each section scoring at least 5.5. For master’s programs, a higher score is typically required, equivalent to an IELTS 7.0 overall and no section must be below 6. For instance, at Lund University, Stockholm University, and Uppsala University, you need an overall score of 6.5 for most bachelor’s and master’s programs.

2. TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language

TOEFL is among the world’s most recognized English language proficiency tests. It is designed for non-native speakers applying to study or work in countries where English is the primary language of instruction. This test is either internet-based or paper-based, but the latter still involves a computerized speaking portion. With a score range of 0 to 120, it assesses English proficiency in reading, listening, speaking, and writing.

Most bachelor’s programs demand the equivalent of the Swedish upper secondary course English 6, which is a score of 83 in TOEFL, with no section below 17. However, if you’re applying for a master’s, you may need an English proficiency score equivalent to the Swedish English 7. That equivalent is a TOEFL overall score of 90, with no section below 2. For example, Lund University requires an overall score of 83 for bachelor’s and master’s programs except for engineering, science, law, and economics. For the latter programs, you must achieve a total score of 90.

3. DET – Duolingo English Test

DET is an online English language test that assesses reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills. The test is quite adaptive and adjusts question difficulty based on the test taker’s performance. The two-hour test is graded on a scale of 10 to 160. The results are provided within two days of taking the test.

As with the TOEFL, you must achieve the equivalent of the Swedish upper secondary course English 6 to get into most bachelor’s and master’s programs. Thus, you’re good to go if you earn a score of 105 or higher! With master’s courses, you might need a score equal to the Swedish upper secondary course English 7, which is 115 on the DET test.

 

As an international student, you must demonstrate language proficiency in the primary language of instruction to secure admission in any country. Therefore, if you plan to go to Sweden, you must take proficiency tests in Swedish and English, as they will help you better understand your course and communicate effectively with your instructors.

We hope this article has addressed your questions about language tests needed in Sweden. If you want to know about the top Swedish universities for international students, check out this article!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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