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

Chinese Placement Exam

All students who are not total beginners are required to take a two-part placement exam. This exam is designed to assess your current level of proficiency in Mandarin and to allow the faculty to place you in an appropriate language class – one that will be challenging but not overwhelming. You need not study for this exam.

The Chinese placement exam has two parts. Students must take both:
1. Part 1: Online Reading and Grammar Exam (Please follow this link).
2. Part 2: In-person oral interview. To schedule your 10-minute oral interview, please contact Professor Yang (xyang@macalester.edu).

After you have completed both the written and the oral parts of the exam, you will receive an email informing you of your placement.

Japanese Placement Exam

The exam is scheduled for August 22, 2022, 10-noon CDT on Zoom.  To register and receive information, send an email to Satoko Suzuki (suzuki@macalester.edu).

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.
  2. Oral Component:  The oral interview 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.

If you feel that the class you are placed in is too difficult or too easy you will be permitted to change classes.