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Incoming First-Year & Transfer Students

Language Placement Testing

Fall Quarter Language Placement Tests

For incoming students who missed the Language Advising period on September 7th:

  • Arabic and Hebrew paper tests may be available through the Languages & Literatures Department. Please consult the testing information below for testing and registration guidance or contact langlit@du.edu.
  • Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian and Spanish tests are available online and can still be taken. Follow the instructions below and contact langlit@du.edu for language advising.
  • Non-native English speaking international students who are directly admitted to the University, please contact the English Language Center for information regarding the English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA).

What is the language placement test?

The Common Curriculum requires that undergraduate students complete the elementary sequence of a language or take one four-credit course at their level if they place beyond the elementary sequence (level 2001 or higher). The placement test determines which language class is appropriate for the student’s language level. Alternatively, students may choose to start a new language and complete the first-year sequence in that language (levels 1001, 1002, and 1003). To satisfy the foreign language requirement, students must take and pass level 1003 or higher and will take 4, 8, or 12 language credits. For more information on common curriculum and specific major requirements, check the bulletin and/or contact Academic Advising.

How the language placement process works
  • Use the Language Requirement Flowchart to determine which language placement test(s) to take.
  • Take the placement test (see below for more details):
    • Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish: Take the online placement test.
    • Latin and Russian: Print the placement test and send it to the Center for World Languages and Cultures.
    • Arabic and Hebrew: Take the placement test at Sturm Hall during Discoveries Week.
  • Review your score with the Foreign Language Advising Guide.
  • Meet with a language faculty advisor during the scheduled language placement time during Discoveries Week who will go over your score and determine the best language class for you.
  • Register for your language class.
Who takes the language placement test?
  • All incoming undergraduate students who know or have studied one of the languages offered at DU and plan to continue that study are required to take the language placement test prior to class registration to place them properly in that language’s curriculum.
    • Students who know or have studied one of the languages offered at DU and hope to study another language at DU are strongly advised to take the placement test for the language they already know or have studied. In the event that there is a scheduling or other conflict with the student’s chosen beginning language class, the placement results give the student an option to register in the previously studied language.
    • Students who have not studied one of the languages offered at DU do not need to take a placement test and should register for the first course in the elementary sequence (1001) of the language they wish to study.
  • Non-native English speaking international students who are directly admitted to the University will take the English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA) through the English Language Center to be placed for the Common Curriculum language requirement.
Is anyone exempt from the language requirement?

Students are exempt from the language requirement in the following degree programs:

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering (BSCpE)
  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE)
  • Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME)
  • Bachelor of Music (BM) students may choose between eight credits in one foreign language or eight credits in Scientific Inquiry: The Natural and Physical World (SI). BM students who choose the foreign language option must take the placement test unless they have not previously studied the language, in which case they register for the 1001 level of the language of their choice.

PLEASE NOTE: 

  • The placement test is designed to place you into the appropriate level based on what you know of the language without the support of outside materials. Do not use dictionaries, verb books or other materials for the test. The use of outside materials can result in incorrect placement.
  • You may take the tests for more than one language.
  • Even though DU may award you credit hours based on your AP or IB scores in a particular language, you still have a language requirement (unless your degree program is exempt) and will still need to take the placement test to place you in a DU language class.
  • Check the computer-based placement test Frequently Asked Questions.
  • International students should direct questions to the English Language Center.

Placement Test Details by Language

Arabic and Hebrew

Placement tests for Arabic and Hebrew are completed at Sturm Hall during the language advising session on Wednesday, September 7, 2016, during Discoveries Week.

Arabic registration and testing guidelines:
  • If you have never studied Arabic, please register for Arabic 1001.
  • If you speak Arabic but do not have experience reading or writing in Arabic, please register for Arabic 1001.
  • If you have not had formal instruction in Arabic, please register for Arabic 1001.
  • If you have had formal instruction and are able to read and write in Arabic, you must take the placement test and speak with a faculty advisor before registering during Discoveries Week.
  • Native speakers who can speak, read, and write Arabic fluently may not enroll in 1000 and 2000 level Arabic language classes.
Hebrew registration and testing guidelines:
  • If you have never studied Hebrew, please register for Hebrew 1001.
  • If your Hebrew knowledge is based on preparation for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration, please register for Hebrew 1001.
  • If your Hebrew knowledge is based on having attended a Jewish Day School until grade 6-8, please register for Hebrew 1001.
  • If you have had any other Hebrew experience, e.g. an Ulpan in Israel, Hebrew studies in a public High School, a Gap year in Israel, etc. and/or any other question, please contact Prof. Sari Havis, sari.havis@du.edu, for further information.
Chinese

This test is offered through the Canvas learning management system. Complete the test by June 17, 2016.

The Chinese placement test is a multiple-choice test that will take 15-45 minutes depending on your knowledge of the language. If you get disconnected , simply return to the website. If you are using the same device, it should resume your quiz. If not, reenter your name, ID and e-mail address exactly as you did before. You will need to start the test over Complete the test by June 17, 2016.

  • Go to the Chinese Placement test website.
  • Complete the multiple choice questions.
  • Write and bring a copy of an essay (instructions at the end of the placement test) to the language advising period during Discoveries Week.
  • At the end of the test, you will receive instructions regarding advising. Read this section carefully. 
  • Your score will be recorded and sent to the registrar.
French, German and Spanish

This test is a multiple-choice, computer-adaptive test that will take 15-45 minutes depending on your knowledge of the language. If you get disconnected or forget to print your placement results, simply return to the web site, reenter your name, ID and e-mail address exactly as you did before, and press "resume." This will take you back to the test results or let you continue the test. Complete the test by June 17, 2016.

  • Log on to the placement testing website.
  • The password is "lang246."
  • At the end of the test, you will receive instructions regarding advising. Read this section carefully. 
  • Print and keep a copy of your language placement score.
  • Your first score will be recorded and sent to the registrar. However, if you score a 0, retake the test, and your second score will be recorded.
Italian

This test includes listening comprehension, grammar, reading comprehension and writing. You must complete the test in one sitting and will have only one hour to complete it. Complete the test by June 17, 2016.

  • Before you begin, make sure you have functioning headphones or speakers.
  • Log on to the Italian Placement Test.
  • At the end of the test, you will receive instructions regarding advisement.
Japanese
  • Take the アンケート Survey
  • Complete the J-CAT Japanese Language Test. The test is online, free and takes about 1 hour. If you feel that the test was not a true measure of your Japanese language ability, feel free to retake the test.
  • Email your official score report PDF file with your name and 87* ID number to Japanese Program Coordinator Shaughnessy-sensei. After your Survey and J-CAT results have been received, you will hear back from the Japanese program by email regarding your placement in the Japanese language program.
  • Enroll in the appropriate Japanese class ASAP to ensure your spot in the program.

Please complete the test by June 17, 2016.

Latin and Russian

Please read the following instructions and click the links below to access PDFs of the Chinese, Latin, and Russian Placement Tests. Complete and submit the test by June 17, 2016.

  • Print the placement test below.
  • Carefully follow all directions on each section of the test.
  • Do not use dictionaries, grammar references, or other help while taking the test. This can result in incorrect placement and course scheduling complications.
  • Type or clearly hand-write your answers.
  • Return the test to the Center for World Languages and Cultures by June 17, 2016. You may submit your completed test through email or physical mail:
    • Scan and email: cwlc@du.edu
    • Mail: 2150 E. Evans Avenue, 336, Denver, CO 80208
  • Come to your assigned language advising session during Discoveries Week to retrieve your score and complete any follow-up placement questions.

Incoming and Transfer Students Enrolling after Fall Quarter

Incoming and transfer students enrolling for the first time in the winter, spring or summer quarters do not have a dedicated day for testing or advising. Please follow the instructions below to complete your placement tests and get the advising you need to register.

Arabic and Hebrew

Please contact the CWLC to arrange an appointment to take these exams as they are not available online. You must complete the placement exam and speak with a language faculty advisor before registering for a language class. To speak with a language faculty advisor, please contact the Languages and Literatures department.

Arabic registration and testing guidelines:
  • If you have never studied Arabic, please register for Arabic 1001.
  • If you speak Arabic but do not have experience reading or writing in Arabic, please register for Arabic 1001.
  • If you have not had formal instruction in Arabic, please register for Arabic 1001.
  • If you have had formal instruction and are able to read and write in Arabic, you must take the placement test and speak with a faculty advisor before registering during Discoveries Week.
  • Native speakers who can speak, read, and write Arabic fluently may not enroll in 1000 and 2000 level Arabic language classes.
Hebrew registration and testing guidelines:
  • If you have never studied Hebrew, please register for Hebrew 1001.
  • If your Hebrew knowledge is based on preparation for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration, please register for Hebrew 1001.
  • If your Hebrew knowledge is based on having attended a Jewish Day School until grade 6-8, please register for Hebrew 1001.
  • If you have had any other Hebrew experience, e.g. an Ulpan in Israel, Hebrew studies in a public High School, a Gap year in Israel, etc. and/or any other question, please contact Prof. Sari Havis, sari.havis@du.edu, for further information.
Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian and Spanish

To take and submit the placement test, please follow the directions above. You must complete and submit the placement exam and speak with a language faculty advisor before registering for a language class. To speak with a language faculty advisor, please contact the Languages and Literatures department.

Additional Undergraduate Language Requirements

If you are an INTS undergraduate student who needs to demonstrate second year language proficiency as part of your degree requirement, you may take the language test once per quarter. Please email us at cwlc@du.edu and we will give you instructions.