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Language Placement Testing

The School of Languages and Cultures provides fully-online language placement testing in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Russian, and Spanish. It's available on a continuous basis 24/7/365. No advance registration is necessary. For testing in Arabic and American Sign Language, see below.

Questions? Please email

Who should take the placement test?

  • Students who have had 2 years or more of high school study of a language must take a placement test or complete a placement interview in order to determine their first course in a language sequence. Students should wait until they receive their Placement Test scores to enroll in the correct level. They should not request overrides before they take the test. 
  • Students who have had less than 2 years of high school study, or for whom it has been 3 years or more since their last language course may sit for a placement test or may begin at 10100. NOTE: If students opt to enroll in 10100, they should indicate in the comments of their registration override request one of the following: “3 years or more since language” or “less than two years of language.”
  • Students may only sit for a placement exam once in any language.

Who should NOT take the placement test?

  • Students with no previous study of a language should not sit for a placement exam and should contact their advisor for permission to enroll in 10100. On their registration override request, students must indicate in the comments: “No previous knowledge of the language.” NOTE: if instructors detect that students are not true beginners, and 101 is not their appropriate level, they will remove students from the course and place them in the appropriate level, if room is available.
  • Students with advanced credit (transfer, dual credit, AP)
  • Students who are enrolled in or have completed a course in a language at Purdue may not sit for a placement exam.

Results and Registration

  • After successful completion of the placement test, prerequisites will be loaded to your academic record, and you should be able to enroll in your placement course ca. 15 minutes following your exam.
  • Students who place into Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, or Russian Level I (10100) should contact their advisor for a “departmental permission override” request in order to be able to register. In the comments of their override request, they should state “Took placement test and placed into level 1.”


  • There is a $35 rate for placement in each language for Purdue students.
  • Charges appear on account through the Bursar’s Office sometime after testing
  • Students who are Pell Grant eligible will receive a waiver and will not be charged.
  • Purdue graduate students, faculty, and staff are exempt.

Testing, Placement, and Credit

  • No advance registration is necessary
  • Placement results provided at the conclusion of the test
  • Test scores are loaded to students’ academic records within one hour following testing providing prerequisites
  • Earn departmental credit for courses skipped in the 10100, 10200, 20100, and 20200 sequence by completing your placement course with a C- or higher or a P on the WL campus.
  • Departmental Credit Policy

Requirements for Taking the Test

  • A computer, Mac or PC, with a webcam
  • Fast and reliable internet connection
  • Valid photo ID like Purdue ID, driver's license, or passport
  • A quiet space where you can be alone
  • Willingness to allow the testing system to videotape you as you take the test (The video will be erased as soon as it is reviewed.)
  • If you meet these requirements, click the button below to download the test instructions.
test manual

American Sign Language

  • Testing is by appointment:  Contact Robin Shay 
  • The test will be conducted in ASL and includes a demonstration of basic signs and conversation.
  • Results will determine placement in ASL 101 or 102 (placement in ASL 201 and 202 is not an option).

Arabic Language

Advanced Credit

Course Information

Important Information For Native and Heritage Speakers