The Department of Asian Languages and Cultures schedules placement tests each year.  Students who still need to schedule the exam(s) should follow below:

Chinese

Students who have studied Chinese in the past are strongly encouraged to take the placement exam. Students who missed the group exam should contact Patricia Anderson (andersonp@macalester.edu) to make special arrangements.

What to expect with the Chinese placement exam:

Part 1: Written Exam: this includes grammar and reading comprehension questions.

Part 2: Oral Exam: ten minutes

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.

Japanese

Students who missed the Japanese placement exam session should contact Ritsuko Narita (narita@macalester.edu) to make special arrangements.

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.