Get your sweatpants. Bring a towel.
We’re going to do some exercises.
No, we’re not talking about jumping jacks or squats.
We’re talking about Russian exercises.
Language skills are like muscles: If you don’t work them out, they become harder to use and turn into fat!
Well, okay, maybe languages don’t turn into fat. But it does become harder to use your language skills if you haven’t worked them out in a while. That’s why doing your exercises is so important!
How to Use Online Exercises to Improve Your Russian
Exercises are meant to be used in conjunction with other learning methods. They’re like the unit test you used to get in school to make sure you remember everything.
Use them to:
- Supplement other learning methods. Exercises aren’t necessarily meant to be used on their own to learn Russian. They work best as a companion to Russian textbooks, listening practice sessions and any other ways you like to learn.
- Test yourself on specific topics. To gauge your progress, do some exercises before you study a topic, then do them again right after. Use your improvement to home in on specific problem areas.
- Recap after a study session. A great way to drill information into your mind is by making exercises a part of your study session. Spend about five minutes doing some exercises after you study to further reinforce the topic or concept you were learning.
- Keep things fresh in your mind. Do you still remember everything you learned a month ago? Two months ago? Doing exercises on topics you’ve already covered can help keep them in the forefront of your mind so you don’t forget them.
How to Type in Russian
In order to complete a few of the exercises on our list below, you’ll need to type in Russian.
The first thing you’ll want to do is download a Russian language pack.
Locating the correct keys may take some time, but you can make Russian typing a lot easier by buying a special keyboard (search for “English Russian keyboard” for more options), or just getting Russian letter stickers to add to your current keyboard.
On mobile devices, you should be able to add the Russian keyboard through your device’s keyboard preferences (usually in the “languages”) section.
Some browsers, programs and add-ons (like Gmail, for instance) allow you to change the input language. How you do this will vary based on what you’re using.
Not sure how to get it to work in the browser? Don’t worry, there’s another option: Use an online Russian typing program, like one of these:
- TypeIt’s Russian virtual keyboard
- The Automatic Cyrillic Converter
- The Latin to Cyrillic Converter (this one works in the way that’s closest to having an actual Russian keyboard)
However you do it, we recommend that you don’t skip this step! If you’re learning Russian, being able to use it online and on your computer will be useful in the long run.
Now that you know how to type in Russian, it’s time to get that workout started!
7 Online Russian Exercise Resources to Work Up a Sweat
Learn Russian is like a robust interactive Russian textbook with 100 lessons that will take you from complete beginner to advanced Russian user. As you make your way through the lessons, the program tracks your progress and gives you a clear sense of what you’ve learned well and what can still use some drilling.
The exercises here are part of the core learning method: Each lesson begins with a brief introduction to the topic and new vocabulary words, then leads right into the drills.
Exercises are varied and test different aspects of your Russian learning, so you’ll get plenty of practice in on every new topic you learn. Learn Russian will have you dragging and dropping words into the right spots, matching words to pictures, writing in your own answers, using audio to answer and much more. It’s an engaging and effective way to retain information you’ve learned!
Once you’ve completed all the lessons in one unit, take the unit test to see how well you’ve learned the information!
Although it’s not as comprehensive as our first resource, Russian Mentor offers intermediate and advanced learners indispensable assistance with tricky verb conjugations and other trouble areas including particles, pronouns, adjectives, the transitive voice, names, numbers and participles.
The exercises here are simple and to the point, but effective. Each set contains questions accompanied by two input boxes. Write your answer (usually the correct form of a word) in the box on the left, then press the “?” to see the correct answer appear in the box on the right. You’ll either see “Правильно!” (“Correct!”), or a prompt to write “да” (“yes”) if you give up.
These exercises are limited in scope and focused on a few key topics, so use them when you’re studying the subjects we listed above.
If you prefer your exercises to involve more senses and if you’d like to get your learning and practice in the same place, FluentU is the right resource for you. Using interactive videos and adaptive quizzes, FluentU hones your Russian skills through listening, watching and reading.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Just a quick look will give you an idea of the variety of Russian-language content available on FluentU:
Didn’t catch something? Go back and listen again. Missed a word? FluentU makes native Russian videos approachable through interactive captions. Tap or click on any word to see a definition, in-context usage examples, audio pronunciation, helpful images and more.
Access a complete interactive transcript of every video under the Dialogue tab and easily review words and phrases with audio under Vocab.
Don’t stop there, though! Use FluentU’s quizzes to actively practice all the vocabulary in any video. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.
Best of all, FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning, then recommends videos and examples based on your studies to create a 100% personalized experience.
We’ve recommended Russian for Free before, and with good reason: The website boasts a huge range of lessons, vocab and grammar information and Russian learning tips and games. Unsurprisingly, they also have a pretty great exercise section!
The exercises here are specifically focused on noun and adjective cases. Depending on your learning level, you can choose your difficulty level by only testing one gender at a time, or mixing things up for a challenge.
Exercises are presented with a drop-down menu of choices, and a text box below each question lets you know if you got it right or not. A counter on the top left keeps track of how many you got right on the first try. Got a low number? You’ll probably want to study the case again.
These exercises act as a good supplement for learning cases. Study a case, then head to Russian for Free to test your skills in actually forming it. Although the exercises are divided into “beginner,” “intermediate” and “advanced,” we recommend that you be at least at intermediate level before you attempt them.
“Golosa” (George Washington University)
This collection of quizzes is presented through Quia, and covers a nice range of beginner-level conversational topics like the weather, asking for directions, hobbies and other essentials for those just starting out with the language.
These exercises are meant to accompany Book 2 of the “Голоса” (“Golosa” [Voices]) workbook. This means that it’s meant to be done in a classroom with a teacher to check your answers, and as a result, the exercises in this resource are typically free-form and can’t be checked.
Still, this is a great resource if you’re trying to actually use the language in conversation, as it will prompt you to start writing more and using the concepts you’ve learned to form correct sentences.
Just a caveat: The quizzes don’t allow you to copy and paste—this is done to prevent cheating, but it can exclude you if you rely on the virtual keyboards we linked to earlier in this post.
If you prefer being able to check your answers, head over to the exercises for Book 1 of the “Golosa” series, which is also available online for free.
These exercises are more traditional in nature and offer multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank questions that do offer the correct answer to check your own against.
The content here is even more beginner-friendly, covering common words and phrases, some grammar concepts and translation exercises.
“The Case Book for Russian” (University of Chicago)
Don’t be scared away by the old design. This oldie but goodie has a wide range of excellent exercises for really getting those tenses and grammar points down.
The exercises here work a bit differently from others: Instead of choosing the correct form of a word, you’re given a full sentence and asked to mark any words that are in a particular case.
The beauty of this resource is in the translations. Each exercise offers the option to see a literal, word-for-word translation of the question and a natural translation. This, and the format of the questions, makes this a good resource for anyone transitioning from beginner to intermediate, as it will introduce you to the different cases without asking you to actually form them by yourself yet.
Please note that some exercises in levels II and III (and the entire “unmarked Russian” section) don’t load.
Learn Russian from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) thanks to this resource! Although the university has moved on to a shiny new locked website design, this resource is still available online for free for anyone to use.
This first-year beginner-friendly resource is like an entire online textbook. Listen to audio clips, use PDF study guides and flashcards and, of course, complete exercises on this awesome website.
Exercises cover every possible aspect of Russian learning: Listening comprehension, reading and writing cursive, writing out answers, fill-in-the-blank (with the Cyrillic letters right there in the quiz for you to click on—no special keyboard necessary!) and so much more.
With this resource, you get to experience a college-level course and a free online textbook in one! All that’s missing is the teacher.
Whew. Breathe in, breathe out. Do some stretches. Have you worked up a sweat with all this exercising?
Remember to work out your Russian muscles regularly with the resources in this post!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Russian with real-world videos.