Foreign Language Placement Testing

Please call 292-4361 (Center for Languages, Literatures and Cultures) for information about Foreign Language Placement Testing Sessions or check out their detailed webpage.

1. What are the objectives of the Placement and Proficiency Tests?

The purpose of the language Placement and Proficiency Tests is to determine which language course (elementary or intermediate: 1101, 1102, 1103) best fits the needs of students entering Ohio State with previous coursework in foreign languages.

2. Who takes the test?

All students whose last foreign language class was in junior and/or senior high school must take the language Placement Test in the language used for unconditional admission, whether or not they plan to continue language study at Ohio State.

3. Who is responsible for the tests?

Presently, the Center for Languages, Literatures and Cultures is responsible for German tests delivered by computer. 

4. What does a Placement Test include?

The German Placement Test is a computerized exam that takes approximately 30 minutes and includes multiple choice questions on grammar, vocabulary and reading. There is no listening section on the computerized placement tests. Requests for exceptions to the computerized format may be made through the Office for Disability Services.

5. How do you know what course you've placed into?

For German, placement into a course is made according to both placement test score and number of years of high school study, as shown below.

OSU Foreign Language Placement Testing Table
Yrs of HS StudyPlacement Exam ScoreGerman Course
10 - 12.41101.01 or 1101.51
112.5 - 211102.01 or 1102.51
121.1 - 321103.01 or 1103.51
133+Contact Department
20 - 12.41101.01 or 1101.51
212.5 - 211102.01 or 1102.51
221.1 - 321103.01 or 1103.51
233+Contact Department
30 - 61101.01 or 1101.51
36.1 - 211102.01 or 1102.51
321.1 - 321103.01 or 1103.51
333+Contact Department
40 - 61101.01 or 1101.51
46.1 - 211102.01 or 1102.51
421.1 - 321103.01 or 1103.51
433+Contact Department
  • Information on all German Individualized Instruction courses (xxxx.51) is available on the German I.I. Web page or in 120 Hagerty Hall, 292-7060.

6. When do students take a Placement Test?

Students should take the Placement Test during the Orientation Program. If for some reason students did not take the test at Orientation, they may take it the first week of the semester of registration. The test score remains valid for one year, and the test may not be re-taken during that time except by special arrangement.

7. How do students find out the test results?

When students take the German computerized language Placement Tests, results are obtained immediately in the Center for Languages, Literatures and Cultures, and any EM credits earned are forwarded to the Registrar the beginning of the following semester. The results (in form of a computer print out) should be retained by the students as a permanent, official OSU record.

8. What happens if students take an examination intending to obtain EM (examination) credit only and some time later decide to study the language?

The EM credit initially awarded remains on the record, but some students may have lost a significant portion of their language proficiency in the intervening period. If students' skills in the language drop to a point where they must be placed in a class lower than that for which they qualified earlier, such students would register for that class as auditors. In doing so, an arrangement should be worked out with the instructor to ensure that helpful informal evaluation standards are employed during the semester.

9. What happens if students find that placement is unsatisfactory?

Although our examination/evaluation procedure has proven to be reliable, occasionally students may be placed in a course that they find to be too easy, i.e., their placement is too low. Should you feel your placement is too high, you can seek permission to drop back and audit a lower course. In both cases,  contact the language director.

10. What if students have already taken an Advanced Placement Exam in a language?

Students who have successfully passed the Advanced Placement Examination are awarded credit and placement proportionate to the score obtained. These students do not normally need to take the OSU placement test, but when going through orientation should verify that their scores have been received.

11. What happens to transfer students with college credit in a foreign language?

These students will register for the next OSU equivalent course in the sequence. They should not take the Placement Test. Such students should follow the Office of Admissions procedures for transfer credit and contact the Departmental Transfer Credit Coordinator. (Transfer students without language credit, however, must take the Placement Test if their last foreign language class was in junior and/or senior high school.)

12. Which foreign language credits count toward degree requirements?

Answers to this question will depend on the degree-granting unit (e.g., ASC, ENG, BUS, etc.). Students should check with their college offices once they have decided on a major.

13. Are there circumstances for which the Placement Test requirement may be waived?

  1. In the case of students with a learning disability, special arrangements and/or petitions may be initiated through the Office for Disability Services.
  2. If the students have been out of high school for over five years or are 22 years of age or older, the Placement Test need not to be taken unless they wish to begin at a level higher than 1101.