Placement & Proficiency
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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 (last updated September 18, 2017)

Proficiency exams for French 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. The next test will be offered in January 2018.  Once a room, date, and time have been assigned, an online registration form will be made available. Registration is required; you can't just show up and ask to be admitted. 

  • 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. There is no fee to take these tests.
  • If you are a continuing sophomore, junior, or senior who wishes to take the French or Spanish proficiency exam in January 2018 for either course placement or course proficiency credit, please contact Debbie Kraybill and ask 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 French or 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. These are NOT proficiency tests in that demonstrating language proficiency in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean DOES NOT earn you course credit. It can, however, fulfill the General Education LOTE requirement.

  • If you wish to register for a Chinese course prior to being able to take the Chinese Placement Test, you should enroll in the class that you believe best corresponds to your skills level (see below), and then the Chinese Placement Test will determine whether you should stay in that class or move to a different level.
  • CHIN 201-202 = elementary courses for those with no Chinese language background
  • CHIN 203-204 = intermediate courses for those who have completed the equivalent of two semesters of college-level Chinese
  • CHIN 221-222 = elementary courses for those with some Chinese language background (e.g., heritage speakers); this course teaches only spoken Mandarin
  • CHIN 241-242 = intermediate courses for those with some background in spoken Mandarin who have completed the equivalent of two semesters of college-level Chinese; this course teaches reading and writing of Chinese characters
  • CHIN 305-306 = advanced courses for those who have completed the equivalent of four semesters of college-level Chinese
  • CHIN 407 = an introduction to literary, philosophical, and historical texts; prerequisite is the completion of two or more semesters of college-level Chinese
  • CHIN 440 = a fourth-year course for those who have completed the equivalent of Advanced Chinese (CHIN 306) or higher

 

Are you interested in a less commonly studied language?  Click here for more information.

Chinese

This test is designed to evaluate your  reading, writing, listening comprehension, and speaking skills in Mandarin Chinese 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 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. If you don't do well, your academic record will remain unchanged.

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 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. If you don't do well, your academic record will remain unchanged.

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.