Medical Swedish C1 exam

What is PYS?

PYS medicin is a Swedish language exam testing CEFR level C1 (Common European Frame of Reference for Languages). Proficiency in level C1 is required for physicians, nurses, dentists and other healthcare professionals applying for a licence to practise in the Swedish healthcare sector, through the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen). PYS is accepted by said authority as a validation of your language level.

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As of 2019, we only offer the exam upon request from organisations such as schools or hospitals.


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Who may take the exam?

The exam is open to any healthcare professional who is not a native speaker of Swedish, and with a medical licence issued outside Sweden. Each part of the exam is designed for practical use and adapted for the different roles of medical doctors, nurses and dentists. Proving your Swedish language skills on level C1 is one necessary step to obtain your Swedish medical licence, and a PYS certificate is accepted as a valid proof. You will be able to pass the PYS exam only if your language skills are on level C1 or above, according to the CEFR definitions.

Why PYS?

The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) demands proof of your Swedish language skills on level C1 before they can approve your application. PYS is a language test with a medical focus, which means that you can demonstrate you knowledge of Swedish within the medical field. This means learning the necessary language skills for your exam will also prepare you for your professional career in Sweden. Showing a prospective employer a PYS certificate will assure them you will be able to function professionally within your field.

What does the exam look like?

The exam consists of five parts, where you are asked to show your Swedish language skills through the following exercises.

  1. Reading comprehension. Read longer texts from Socialstyrelsen, and answer questions related to rules and guidelines, within a limited timeframe.
  2. Listening comprehension. Listen to formal and informal workplace dialogues, medical advice, and general news related to health and medicine, and answer questions related to professional life and expertise.
  3. Spoken interaction. Conduct a mock patient call, through speaking to a patient without any prior preparation. You are required to ask about their symptoms, provide details about their diagnosis, give advice and discuss medical issues.
  4. Medical records. Write medical records according to professional practice, as from information given from a sound recording of a conversation between a patient and their doctor.
  5. Essay. Write an argumentative and explanatory text about a medical phenomenon, aimed to an audience of the general public.

What is the exam like?

The exam is currently being partially remodelled, but roughly follows the same structure as the sample test below. Please note that there will be a number of minor differences the sample test and the real exam. This sample has been redacted to avoid any illegal use.

PYS example


Frequently asked questions about PYS

Writing the exam takes one day. We start at 9 am and finish around 7 pm. Assessment and marking takes approximately three weeks.

The exam is produced and developed by Emil Molander at PYS validering.

C1 is the name of a language skill level. The levels have been developed by the European Council and is referred to as CEFR (Common European Frame of Reference for Languages). Read more about level C1.

Those who pass the exam will receive a certificate stating the content and level of the exam, and the name of the test taker. This certificate can be used to apply for a medical license to Socialstyrelsen.

Approximately three weeks after the test you will receive an email with the result. If you fail the oral or written parts you will also receive written comments why it has been assessed as a fail. Those who fail the test may try again. If you have passed at least two out of five parts, you may retake the failed parts only, twice in one year.

Socialstyrelsen doesn’t review language tests or keep lists of approved exams, apart from TISUS. According to the ordinance HSLF-FS 2016:64 medical license can be approved to those who pass an exam of CEFR level C1. All of those who have passed PYS and applied for a medical license so far have had their applications approved, which is why we state that Socialstyrelsen accepts this exam. The Swedish institute however, publish PYS as a validation option on their website about language tests. På Svenska institutets hemsida kan du dock läsa om PYS som ett exempel på test i svenska språket.

If you represent an organisation that would like to buy the exam for multiple test takers, we can arrange for the test to be taken at any location, in Sweden or elsewhere. Please contact us directly in that case.

Both TISUS and PYS validate a C1 language level, and you can apply for a medical license using a pass certificate from either exam. The difference is that PYS is focused on medical Swedish, which is a good preparation for your work in Sweden. In order to pass PYS you will need to be able to read and understand texts from Socialstyrelsen, consult patients and write medical records, skills that are necessary when you practise professionally. This is not tested in TISUS. 

You will need to read, write and speak a lot! C1 is an advanced level and requires an ability to use the language in a flexible manner. A good way to prepare is to take a course, for example our preparatory online course of medical Swedish


PYS dates


The exam is only given upon request from an organisation.


The price is 3500 SEK (VAT included).

A re-take of failed parts (when at least two parts are passed) is 2000 SEK.


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