Chinese Placement Exam & Back Credit
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 before classes start. The Chinese placement test can also be done on the web.
For the Traditional Chinese placement exam, students may self-enroll here: https://wustl.instructure.com/enroll/XDGJRN
For the Simplified Chinese Placement exam, students may self-enroll here: https://wustl.instructure.com/enroll/K7REKX
After completing the test online you must set up an appointment to take the oral portion of the exam by contacting the Chinese Language Coordinator, Ms. Xia Liang.
Students who test into second-year Chinese and satisfactorily complete (with a grade of B– or better) at least one semester of language study may petition for 3 units of retroactive credit; students who test into third year or above and satisfactorily complete (with a grade of B– or better) at least one semester of language study may petition for 6 units of retroactive credit. Credit is limited to 3 units for testing into second year and 6 units for testing into third year or above.
L04 211 or 213 = 3 units for 102D
L04 360 or 361 = 3 units for 102D and 3 units for 212
Note, courses in the Heritage Chinese track are not equal to courses in the regular Modern Chinese track, and therefore, are not eligible for back credit. Native speakers are not eligible for back credit, so evidence of secondary or post-secondary study of the language is required.
Please note that students with native language proficiency as determined by the Chinese language section, as well as students who enroll in a course below their placement level, are ineligible for retroactive credit units. Students who misrepresent the extent of their background so as to gain entrance to a course at the elementary or intermediate level will be dropped from that course.