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Language Placement

Chinese Language Placement Test 2024-2025

Who needs to take the Chinese placement test?

All first-year students, transfer students and returning students who have either studied Chinese before or have prior exposure to Mandarin Chinese at home, and plan to fulfill the language requirement and/or would like to continue their study of Chinese. This rule applies to all students in all schools and programs, including graduate programs and professional schools. Students must take the online placement test and the validation test before registering for courses. 

The online placement test is NOT required if

What does the Chinese Language Placement Test look like?

The Chinese placement test includes an online placement test AND validation test. Students must complete both the online placement test and the validation test before their final placement results are posted.

Note: This is a formal exam. Students are not allowed to ask for help during the online test.

How do I take the online portion?

The online placement test site:

After finishing the online placement test between May 1 and July 15, students will receive a tentative placement result on the same site. Please note the tentative result is NOT your final placement. The final result will only be posted after the validation test is completed. Instructions for the validation test will be emailed to you following the completion of the online placement test.

Please note the test result is valid for 12 months, and students are not allowed to retake the test within 12 months.

What are the next steps after the online portion?

After the online portion is completed, you are required to take a validation exam to receive a final placement result. Chinese placement coordinator Prof. Jingjing Ji will email you the instructions and invite you to the Canvas site 2024FA_CHINESE_PLACEMENT. The validation test includes an essay writing section and an oral interview.

What are the timelines for the placement test?

Incoming students should take the online placement test before July 15, 2024. Returning students are encouraged to take the placement test by this deadline to ensure the test results earlier for assembling fall schedules. After the online test, this group of test takers are required to finish the written exam on Canvas by July 31st and will be scheduled for oral interview on either August 1st or 2nd.

In addition to the allocated time for placement tests mentioned above, opportunities to take the placement will also be provided at the end of Fall and Winter quarters, respectively. However, given that many Chinese language courses are sequential, it is highly recommended to take the placement during the summer to ensure good course selection planning for the entire academic year. 

How can I access the test result?

Your final placement result will be posted at after both online portion and the validation test are completed.

Note for students with Chinese AP/IB scores:
The Chinese language program does not recognize AP/IB scores. You are required to take the placement test if you would like to study Chinese at NU and/or satisfy the foreign language requirement of your school.

Please contact the Chinese placement test coordinator, Professor Jingjing Ji (