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Language Placement

Japanese Language Placement Test 2023-2024

Who needs to take the Japanese placement test?

  1. Students who want to use Japanese to satisfy Weinberg’s and the School of Communication’s two-year foreign language requirement.
  2. Students who want to study Japanese at Northwestern and have prior knowledge of Japanese. Students who know some Japanese and some Hiragana/Katakana must take the Japanese placement test.
  3. Students who have come back from study abroad, and need to be placed into the appropriate level of Japanese or need to earn specific Japanese language credits.

The above apply to all students in all schools and programs, including graduate and professional schools. Transfer students are also required to take the Japanese placement exam before registering for Japanese courses.

What will the Japanese placement test look like?
The Japanese placement test has four sections. The kanji, grammar, and reading comprehension sections are taken on a website, and the final short essay section is completed by hand. Some students, including those who would like to use Japanese to fulfill their school’s foreign language requirement, may be required to take an oral proficiency test for validation after the written placement test. If this is the case, Professor Sato will explain how to sign up for an exam slot after you finish the writing portion.

How do I take the Japanese placement test?
Both online and essay writing tests are administered in University Hall 102 during the Wildcat Welcome week.

  1. Go to the online placement test site, and

 - If you already took JAPANESE 121-3 at Northwestern University and passed it, choose the
Level II Test. Otherwise, start with the Level I Test.

- After filling out the questionnaires, you will have two hours to complete the entire Level I
test and one and a half hours for the Level II test. You may not receive a placement if you
spend more than the specified time on each test. Be mindful of the time.

- While taking the test, save it as often as you can.

- You can take the test only once.

  1. Once you finish the online portion of the placement test, go to Professor Sato, the exam proctor, to get an essay writing paper.
  2. After that, follow an instruction given by Professor Sato.

When and where will the Japanese placement test take place?

September 13, 2023, 12:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.*
University Hall 102**

* You do not have to sign up for the online test; just show up.
** Please bring a laptop computer if you can.

Where and when will the placement test results be posted?
The final placement results will be posted online at the same site where you took the online exam by 12:00 p.m. on September 14, 2023, unless different arrangements are made with Professor Sato.

If you would like to have a tentative placement during the summer:
Send an email to Professor Sato at least two weeks before the time you need a tentative placement.

The tentative placement is for your reference.  You cannot use it to get into a certain class. 

Note for students with Japanese AP scores:
You are all required to take the placement test during the times designated above if you would like to study Japanese at NU and/or satisfy the foreign language requirement of your school.

Please contact Professor Junko Sato(さとう先生)at