All students entering the Chinese Language Program must be placed in courses appropriate to their existing level of ability. The elementary courses are designed for true beginners who have minimal or no background in the subject.
For those who have substantial aural-oral proficiency but with little or no ability in reading and writing, special courses--Chinese for Heritage Speakers (106, 107 and 206, 207)--are available, and admission to these courses is through a placement test. Students who have any previous exposure to the Chinese language, except through enrollment in Washington University courses, are required to take the placement test before enrolling in any language course above the elementary level. In addition, students returning from a non-Washington University study abroad must also take the placement test, even if they were enrolled in Chinese classes on campus before going abroad. Because it is very important for both students and instructors that students are in the classes they are best suited for and which will help them the most to learn Chinese, there will be no exceptions to this requirement.
The placement test is comprised of five parts: listening comprehension, grammar, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and the oral interview. For reading, students have the option of simplified or traditional character version of text. It takes approximately 2 hours to complete. You do not need to prepare for this test, since it is designed solely as a means to determine your language proficiency.
The placement test is regularly administered each fall on the Friday before classes start. The test can also be done on the web. The website is http://asapps.artsci.wustl.edu/flpe/Examination After you take the test online, you must set up an appointment with one of the Chinese language faculty. Be sure to note your exam results. Those interested in taking the placement test should contact the Chinese Language Coordinator, Ms. Xia Liang for more information.