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Students with prior knowledge of a language who have not taken the College Entrance Examination Board Advanced Placement Examination (AP Exam) and would like to continue their language studies, will have to take a language placement exam to determine appropriate placement. Departments teaching this subjects use the results of these exams to help plan an appropriate academic program.

Language placement exams are given over the summer or during Wildcat Welcome.

Placement Procedures

Placement exams for the following 11 languages are available online: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Russian, Spanish, and Swahili.

You are required to take the placement exams before you arrive on campus except for Russian and Japanese, which are available only during New Student Week and by appointment.

For information on placement tests in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Czech, Ancient Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Persian (Farsi), Polish, Portuguese or Turkish, contact the respective language placement coordinators. Please consult individual departments or the list on page 6 in the brochure Everything You Need To Know About Learning Languages at Northwestern.

As a rule, online placement tests should be taken as early as possible; however, incoming first year students should not attempt to take an online language placement test until a supported test date (for August or September prior to the fall quarter) is announced on the “New Student & Family Programs” web page, which is posted during the summer.

How To Take The Test Online

To begin, you will need a Northwestern University Network ID (NetID) and password to gain access to the testing system. After logging in to the system for the first time, you will be asked to complete a short profile, which also requests your student ID number. After completing the profile information, you will be presented with a list of available language tests. After selecting a test, you will review the testing agreement that affirms your adherence to the Northwestern honor code and then begin the test. Some departments make a practice test available which you should feel free to take.

You must finalize the test if you wish it to be reviewed by a placement coordinator. After finalizing your test, you will receive a confirmation number that can either be printed out or written down.

Access the online placement exams and view the instructions.

Access placement results.

For technical support, please email   or call 847/491-3101 (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. CDT).

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