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Language Placement Tests

Kohlburg Hall

Kohlberg Hall, built in 1996, is the home of the department of Modern Languages and Literatures. (Photo Credit: Alina Jara Yupanqui)

Arabic placement exams are taken on the first day of classes.

Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Russian 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 2021 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. The deadline to take the test is August 10. Each test is an adaptive online exam available between mid-July and August 10. 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 Sue McCarthy 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.

Japanese students wishing to take First Year Japanese do not need to take the placement test--simply register for the course. For incoming freshmen and transfer students who hope to place into 2nd, 3rd, or 4th Year Japanese, students will be asked to complete a survey about previous Japanese experience/language study. After receiving your survey, the Japanese instructional staff will be in touch with a link to the online placement exam and further information.  More detailed information will be found in the Dean's email to new and transfer students in mid-July.

For additional information on Spanish, visit the Department of Spanish website.

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