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Placement Testing

Chinese language placement tests are offered online.

  • First-year and transfer students will receive an email from the Dean's Office when the testing is available (mid-July).  After receiving this notice, the student must log into Moodle and select the New Student Orientation course. In the Placement Exams section of the course, you will find detailed instructions on how to access placement exams. It is important that you complete the language survey that appears at the beginning of the test. Upon completion of the exam, students can register in the designated course during the registration period, unless an oral interview is required. Each test is an adaptive online exam available between mid-July and mid-August. Depending on the language and your score, you may be asked to complete another task, or meet with faculty during orientation. This is one of the reasons it is critical for you to complete the exam early. If an oral interview and additional testing is required, it is typically scheduled during orientation week.
  • Students who are not first-years interested in taking placement exams should contact Jessica Bawgus or Bethanne Seufert  for information and instructions.
  • Students who have AP/IB are also required to take the online placement exam.
  • The Online Placement Test is not a substitute for an official standard achievement test of a foreign language (such as the College Board exam or the International Baccalaureate). Therefore, it does not serve as proof of achievement for the purpose of fulfilling the language requirement. This exam is only intended to assist instructors in placing students in the appropriate Swarthmore course.

    Additional Information
    You will encounter questions in simplified Chinese characters and others in traditional Chinese characters; you will not be able to choose between one character system or the other. This is a deliberate feature of the test, and the Chinese teaching faculty are aware of it. Do not be alarmed by this; just complete the online test to the best of your ability. Following completion of the online placement test, you will be contacted by the Chinese Section concerning two additional components of the placement process to take place later in August: an online essay-writing exercise and an online interview with one or more of the Chinese instructors.   

    Taking the Test

    1.       To begin the placement test, click on the following link (page will open in new window):

    2.       You will need to create an account on the Emmersion system to complete the placement test.

    3.       You will next be taken to a screen where you can select which placement test you are going to take.

    4.       Please provide all the information requested and do not forget to complete the pre-test survey. Your student ID number was provided to you via email on in mid-May and you can also look it up in mySwarthmore. The email that you should provide is your Swarthmore email address (e.g.

    5.       Complete the test and print your results.

    Note:The link will give you access to tests for all of the languages offered at Swarthmore. If you need to take an exam in more than one language, you will need to logout of the testing platform. For each subsequent test, please re-enter the platform by clicking the link and logging in again with the same credentials you used  previously.

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