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 June 14, 2019)

There are various options for satisfying the General Education language requirement. Let us know if you have any questions.

 

The Chinese Proficiency Test requires that you demonstrate satisfactory performance in listening comprehension, reading comprehension, and writing in order to fulfill the General Education language requirement. (Speaking is optional and will not count towards your grade on the exam.) You must pass all three skills. Superior performance in one skill does not compensate for inadequate performance in another skill. No academic credit is awarded. To schedule an appointment, contact Melissa Minarik at the Testing Center at least 5 business days before your desired test date.

 

The Chinese Placement Test serves only to determine which of our Mandarin courses a learner of the language should enroll in. If you are a native speaker of Chinese, DO NOT TAKE THIS TEST unless you want to enroll in a Chinese course. This test does NOT fulfill the Gen Ed language requirement.

 

The Japanese and Korean Placement Tests 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. Both tests will be offered on Friday morning, August 23, 2019. You must register in advance. Strong performance will fulfill the General Education language requirement. No academic credit is awarded. If  you cannot test on August 23, the next opportunity will be in January 2020.

 

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. There is no fee to take the test in a group setting. The next opportunity to take one of these tests in a group setting will be Tuesday, August 27 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in Foellinger Auditorium. Registration is required.

  • If you are a new freshman or new transfer student, you must earn a qualifying score on the placement test in order to sit for the proficiency test. There is no fee to take the group-administered proficiency test.

  • If you are a continuing sophomore, junior, or senior who wishes to take the group-administered French or Spanish proficiency exam for either course placement or course proficiency credit, you will register online. If the form tells you that you are not eligible, contact Debbie Kraybill for assistance. There is no fee to take the group-administered test.

  • 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 the Testing Center's fees for re-scheduling.

 

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

 

Chinese

The placement and proficiency tests are 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 placement test serves ONLY to determine which Chinese class you should enroll in. Students who place out of our Chinese language program automatically fulfill the language requirement. Students who place out of the 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).
  • The proficiency test serves ONLY to determine whether you have fulfilled the General Education "Language Other Than English" requirement; strong performance on the proficiency test does not earn you academic credit or tell you which course to enroll in.

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, you can 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 strong performance can fulfill the General Education language requirement.

Korean

This 2-hour online test is administered in a computer lab in the Foreign Languages Building. 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. Strong performance on this test does not earn academic credit, but it can fulfill your General Education language requirement. If you do not place 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, you can 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 proficiency 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 language proficiency exam if you:

  • are a graduate student.
  • are a new student who 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 to get credit for the third-level course. "Credit" includes AP credit, IB credit, community college credit, and Illinois course credit.
  • have taken the proficiency exam on a previous occasion.
  • are not actively enrolled at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for the current semester.
  • are enrolled at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as an exchange student or another type of non-degree student.