Placement & Proficiency
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For more info

For questions or information, 
please contact:

Placement & Proficiency
(217) 244-4437
pnp@illinois.edu


OFFICE HOURS

Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

LOTE ("Language Other Than English") Departmental Proficiency Exams

Proficiency exams for French, German, and Spanish are offered in a group setting at the beginning of each fall and spring semester and are open to both new students and continuing students. Registration is required.

  • If you are a new freshman or new transfer student, you need to have earned a qualifying score on the placement test in order to attempt the proficiency test. Please use the online registration form, which will be available in mid-June. There is no fee to take these tests.
  • If you are a continuing sophomore, junior, or senior who wishes to take the French, German, or Spanish proficiency exam in August or next January for either course placement or course proficiency credit, please contact Debbie Kraybill and request to be added to the registration list. There is no fee to take one of these tests.
  • If you are a continuing sophomore, junior, or senior who wishes to take the Spanish Proficiency Exam at any point other than the August or January group test administration, you may contact Debbie Kraybill and make arrangements to take the exam at the Testing Center. Please note that you are responsible for all costs, including the $25 proctoring fee and Testing Center's fees for re-scheduling.

 

Placement tests for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean are offered on campus (not online) at the beginning of each fall and spring semester and are open to both new students and continuing students. Please note that these are not proficiency tests. Demonstrating language proficiency in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean can fulfill the Gen Ed LOTE requirement, but it DOES NOT earn you course proficiency credit in these languages.


 

Chinese

This test is designed to evaluate Chinese listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills, and to evaluate those skills independent of Chinese regional dialect, skill level, or character set (i.e., either simplified or traditional). The test does NOT award academic credit, but the results do count toward fulfillment of the UIUC General Education LOTE (foreign language) requirement. Results from the test provide authorization for placement either into a specific UIUC Chinese language class or completely out of the UIUC Chinese language program. Students who pass out of the UIUC Chinese language program but who want to continue their study of Chinese language may take CHIN 407 (Introduction to Classical Chinese) or CHIN 408 (Readings in Literary Chinese).

French

This test consists of 88 multiple-choice questions that primarily assess your vocabulary, grammar, writing knowledge, and reading comprehension abilities. It covers material through the fourth level. There is no listening comprehension section, no speaking, and no essay. If you don't do well, nothing will be reported on your academic record. If you do well (answering at least 78% of the questions correctly), you will earn either 4 hours for FR 103 or 8 hours for FR 103 and FR 104.

German

This test consists of 100 cloze items that primarily assess your vocabulary, grammar, writing knowledge, and cultural knowledge. It covers material through the fourth level. With cloze tests, you see a passage that has various words whose second half has been deleted. Your task is to complete the words, using accurate spelling and grammar, so that the passage reads correctly and coherently. There is no listening comprehension section, no speaking, and no essay. If you don't do well, nothing will be reported on your academic record. If you do well (correctly completing at least 75% of the items), you will earn either 4 hours for GER 103 or 8 hours for GER 103 and GER 104.

Japanese

This 90-minute test consists of an oral interview (approximately 10-15 minutes), a short essay (15 minutes) and 107 multiple-choice questions that primarily assess your vocabulary, grammar, reading comprehension, and writing knowledge (60 minutes). The written test is a paper-and-pencil test. Please budget at least two hours for testing; due to the number of test-takers, it is not possible to guarantee how soon you will be finished. The Japanese Placement Test does NOT award academic credit, but the results can count toward fulfillment of the UIUC General Education LOTE (foreign language) requirement.

Korean

This 2-hour online test is administered in a computer lab in the FLB. It is semi-adaptive, which means that your score on one part determines which part you do next. There are 6 parts assessing vocabulary, grammar, reading comprehension, listening comprehension, and writing ability. There is also a speaking part that tests your oral ability from the elementary through the advanced level. Although the writing tasks are shown on screen, you will hand-write your responses. This test does NOT award course proficiency credit. Rather, if you do very well and demonstrate proficiency in the Korean language by successfully completing all parts of the test, you could fulfill your General Education LOTE requirement. If you do not pass out of all Korean language courses, an appropriate Korean course will be recommended for you.

Spanish

This 70-minute test consists of 57 multiple-choice questions that primarily assess your vocabulary, grammar, writing knowledge, and reading comprehension abilities. It covers material through the fourth level. There is no listening comprehension section, no speaking, and no essay. If you don't do well, nothing will be reported on your academic record. If you do well (answering at least 62% of the questions correctly), you will earn either 4 hours for SPAN 130 or 8 hours for SPAN 130 and SPAN 141.

Any other language:

Click here for more information. 

Who should take a LOTE exam?

Even if you fulfilled your General Education language requirement, you may want to consider taking a LOTE proficiency exam because you might earn up to 8 hours of credit towards your graduation requirements. 

You MAY NOT take a LOTE proficiency exam if you:

  • are a new student and did not score high enough on the Placement Test to qualify for the proficiency exam (you would need special permission from the School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics).
  • have already earned higher-level college credit in the language.  This means, for example, that if you already have credit for a fourth-level course, you cannot take a proficiency exam for a third-level course.  "Credit" includes AP credit, IB credit, community college credit, and Urbana course credit.
  • have taken the proficiency exam on a previous occasion.
  • are not actively enrolled at Urbana for the current semester.
  • are enrolled at Urbana as an exchange student or another type of non-degree student.
  • are a graduate student.