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Placement

Online placement exams are available in nearly every language taught at Northwestern.  In most cases, if you plan to continue studying a language you started in high school or that you speak at home, you should plan to take the placement exam in that language.  If you have taken the Advanced Placement exam in a language, check here to determine whether your score may have satisfied the language requirement.  If you have questions about placement or opportunities in a particular language, write directly to the placement coordinator in the relevant department.

Incoming first-year students must take the language placement exam by June 11.  Students admitted after June 11 should contact the placement coordinator for assistance.

Find the placement test information relevant to your language of interest:

Arabic

Take the online Arabic placement exam.
For more information, contact: mena-languages@northwestern.edu

Chinese

Firstly, take the online Chinese placement exam.
You will then be directed to take the validation test online, which comprises a handwritten essay and an oral interview.

For more information, visit the Chinese language placement page.

For questions, contact Prof. Chin-Hung Chang: chin-hung.chang@northwestern.edu

Czech

To inquire about the Czech placement exam or to arrange for one, contact Prof. Elisabeth Elliott: eelliott@northwestern.edu

French

Take the online French placement exam.
For more information, contact Prof. Aude Raymond: araymond@northwestern.edu

German

Take the online German placement exam.
For more information, contact Prof. Franziska Lys: flys@northwestern.edu

Ancient Greek

To inquire about the Ancient Greek placement exam or to arrange for one, contact Prof. Ryan Platte: ryan.platte@northwestern.edu

Hebrew

Take the online Hebrew placement exam.
For more information, contact Prof.  Hanna Tzuker Seltzer: hanna.seltzer@northwestern.edu 

Hindi-Urdu

The Hindi written placement exam will be offered via Zoom. Please check the Hindi/Urdu language placement exam page for specific dates and times for the exam. 

Please email Prof. Rami Nair rnair@northwestern.edu about your intention to take the exam (including the date), and you will receive a Zoom link for the exam. Oral validation exam will be conducted by a separate Zoom appointment. ​Be sure to bring a picture ID to the test, and have your Northwestern ID handy as well.


The Urdu written placement exam will be offered via Zoom. Please check the Hindi/Urdu language placement exam page for specific dates and times for the exam. 

Please email Prof. David Boyk davidboyk@northwestern.edu about your intention to take the exam (including the date), and you will receive a Zoom link for the exam. Oral validation exam will be conducted by a separate Zoom appointment. ​Be sure to bring a picture ID to the test, and have your Northwestern ID handy as well. 

Italian

Take the online Italian placement exam.
For more information, contact Prof. Paola Morgavi: p-morgavi@northwestern.edu

Japanese

Take the online Japanese placement exam.
For more information, contact Prof. Junko Sato: jsato@northwestern.edu

Korean

Take the online Korean placement exam.

For more information, visit the Korean language placement page.

For questions, contact Prof. Ihnhee Kim: Ihnhee.Kim@northwestern.edu

Latin

Take the online Latin placement exam.
For more information, contact Prof. Francesca Tataranni: f-tataranni@northwestern.edu

Persian

To inquire about the Persian placement exam or to arrange for one, contact the Director of the MENA Language Programs, Prof. Franziska Lys: flys@northwestern.edu

Polish

Take the online Polish placement exam.
For more information, contact Prof. Elisabeth Elliott: eelliott@northwestern.edu

Portuguese

Take the online Portuguese placement exam.
After they have taken the online Placement text, students will receive an email for a Zoom Interview. They will be reassessed during this interview.
For more information, contact Prof. Ana Thomé Williams:  ana-williams@northwestern.edu

Russian

Take the online Russian placement exam.
For more information, contact Prof. Elisabeth Elliott: eelliott@northwestern.edu

Spanish

Take the online Spanish placement exam.
For more information, contact Prof. Shannon Millikin: s-millikin@northwestern.edu

Swahili

Take the online Swahili placement exam.
For more information, contact Prof. Peter Mwangi: peter.mwangi@northwestern.edu

Turkish

To inquire about the Turkish placement exam or to arrange for one, contact Prof. Oya Topçuoğlu: oya.topcuoglu@northwestern.edu

 

How DO I TAKE THE PLACEMENT EXAM?

  1. To begin, you will need a Northwestern University Network ID (NetID) and password to gain access to the testing system.
  2. After logging in to the system for the first time, you will be asked to complete a short profile, which also requests your student ID number.
  3. After completing the profile information, you will be presented with a list of available language tests.
  4. After selecting a placement exam, you will review the testing agreement that affirms your adherence to the Northwestern honor code and then begin the exam. Some departments make a practice exam available which you should feel free to take.
  5. You must finalize the exam if you wish it to be reviewed by a placement coordinator. After finalizing your exam, you will receive a confirmation number that can either be printed out or written down.

HOW LONG ARE MY PLACEMENT RESULTS VALID?

Each language department determines the length of validity of its Placement exam.

Students participating in summer, semester or year-long language programs in the U.S. or abroad are generally required to retake the placement exam.

Students should contact the particular department for advising, especially if continuing language study after a break in language study.

Valid 1 year

Chinese, Czech, French, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, Urdu.

Valid 1.5 years

Latin (Each case is evaluated individually), Portuguese, Spanish

Valid 2 years

Arabic (if Placement grade is B or above)
Hebrew (if Placement grade is B or above)
Turkish (if Placement grade is B or above)

Valid 4 years

German
Placement results in Czech, Polish, Turkish, and Russian that demonstrate native or near-native proficiency levels remain valid the entire four years.

Contact the departments, for information regarding test validity of Ancient Greek (classics@northwestern.edu) and Swahili (african-studies@northwestern.edu).

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