The Department of Asian Languages and Cultures schedules placement tests each year.

Chinese

Students who have studied Chinese in the past are strongly encouraged to take the placement exam. The Chinese placement exam will be offered August 12.  Also,  sign up for an oral exam using the link below. We will send you the written exam on the same date as your oral exam.

What to expect with the Chinese placement exam:

Thursday, August 12

Written exam 10-11 AM Central Time , oral exam (ten minute slots) 11:10-noon Central Time

Part 1: Written Exam

At roughly 10 AM on the day of your exam, we will email you a link to the written part of the exam, which will include grammar and reading comprehension questions.

Part 2: Oral Exam: ten minutes

Click here to sign up for a ten minute oral exam between 11:10 AM and noon Central Time . The link above should send you to a Google calendar page. Simply use the arrow keys on the upper left of the screen to scroll forward until you get to the date on which you wish to take the exam (July 16 or August 12). *Beware: Google calendar sometimes displays times according to your computer’s time zone. Please adjust the times to CENTRAL TIME if necessary. Oral exams will be conducted in Chinese, via Zoom. (Information on how to access the Zoom session is on the Google calendar page). Please arrive a few minutes early for your oral exam. When it is your turn, a Chinese instructor will invite you into an individual Zoom room and ask you questions in Chinese. Do your best to answer in Chinese.

There is no need to study for this diagnostic exam. Placement exams are not graded; they are used only to provide information that will help the faculty to place you in the Chinese course most appropriate to your current level of proficiency. Our goal is to place students in courses that will be challenging but not overwhelming.

After you complete the placement exam, you will receive an email notifying you of the results. However, if you feel that you have been placed in a class that is too difficult or too easy, you may switch classes.

Academic Honesty: We trust that you will rely on your own abilities and not refer to any outside sources. The purpose of the exam is to assess your current level of proficiency; it would serve no purpose to misrepresent your abilities.

Contact person: Patricia Anderson (andersonp@macalester.edu)

Japanese

The Japanese placement exam will take place over Zoom on Monday, August 9th from 10AM to 12PM US Central Time. Please sign up for the exam by filling out this Google Form by 1:00PM on Friday, August 6th. We will send you a Zoom link on Sunday, August 8th.

Here is the general format of the exam.

  1. Written Component: The written component will include questions about grammar, a prompt to write a short essay (appropriate for the level being tested), and a section on kanji. This written test will be sent to you at the beginning of the exam as a PDF file. You can either print the PDF and write directly on the test or you can write your answers on a separate piece of paper referring to the questions in the PDF on your screen. Either way, you will be writing all of your answers in your own handwriting. We then ask you to scan or photograph your answers and send them back to us as a PDF or JPG file. Please let us know (suzuki@macalester.edu) if you are unsure of how or if you will be unable to scan/photograph your answers and send them.
  2. Oral Component: while you are completing the written portion, you will be called individually into a breakout room where you will be paired with a Japanese instructor who will take you through an oral interview. The oral interview which will consist of questions in Japanese that you will be expected to answer in Japanese.

Please note that this is a diagnostic exam. It is not meant to signify achievement in learning. The exams are not graded. There is no need to study for this exam. These exams are purely meant to give us the information about your current abilities that we need to place you in the Japanese course within our curriculum that would be the best fit for you: challenging but not overwhelming. This chart gives a rough breakdown of the curriculum.

We also weigh your scores against other information you provide including your past education and your language context on the Google Form. If you feel that the class you are placed in is too difficult or too easy you will be permitted to change classes.

Finally, because this exam must be taken through Zoom, we will be using the honor system, trusting that all of you will take the responsibility for yourselves of completing the exam without referring to any outside sources for answers, full or partial. Moreover, because this is a purely diagnostic exam, remember that it does not serve anyone to misrepresent your current abilities.

We look forward to meeting you on August 9th. 会えるのを楽しみにしています!