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First state certificate examinations in Polish as a foreign language took place in Poland and abroad in 2004. As a result, having passed such examinations, learners of Polish as a foreign language can obtain a certificate indicating the level of their proficiency in Polish. Since 2004, B1, B2 and C2 examinations have been organized at least 3 times a year (in spring, summer and autumn). The examinations are staged by the State Commission for the Certification of Proficiency in Polish as a Foreign Language.

Examination requirement standards and rules of procedure are based on the latest recommendations of the Council of Europe aiming at the standardization of foreign language proficiency testing across Europe. In 2008, ALTE (Association for Language Testers in Europe) audited the state certificate examinations in Polish as a foreign language with the aim to confirm their consistency with the guidelines of the Council of Europe. The State Certification Commission is currently working on the introduction of examinations for the remaining proficiency levels (A1, A2 and C1).