Information on the Placement Exam, Proficiency Exam and Credit-by-Exam

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Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Exam Information

What types of exams are given?


there are three exams: (1) placement exam, (2) proficiency/competency exam, (3) credit by exam. They serve different purposes, as follows:

  1. Placement exam: For students with some background in Mandarin Chinese, this test helps determine a student’s language level and the appropriate course to enroll in. There is no fee for this exam. No course units are given for taking this exam.  
  2. Proficiency/competency exam: This is a testing-out exam. For students who are already proficient in Chinese and want to satisfy the UA foreign language requirement, this is the exam to take. Passing this exam with a 4th semester proficiency will satisfy the foreign language requirement. There is no fee for this exam. No course units are given for taking this exam.
  3. *Credit by exam: Students who achieve a passing score on this exam can receive course credit. Credits can be earned as follows: CHN 101 (5 units), CHN 102 (10 units), CHN 201 (15 units), or CHN 202 (20 units). Credit by exam is not available beyond CHN 202. There is a fee for this exam. UA registration policies also apply.


The Japanese exam is a combined placement/proficiency exam.


The Korean exam is a combined placement/proficiency exam.

What are the exams like?


Placement exam

This consists of multiple-choice questions, in traditional and simplified characters, a short composition, and an oral interview in Chinese. The objective of this exam is place the student in an appropriate course. Time allowed: two hours.

Proficiency/competency exam:

This consists of a translation and a long composition (you will be asked to write on a particular topic). Both traditional and simplified characters will be provided in the test. You can write in either traditional or simplified characters. Time allowed: two hours.

Credit by exam:

The exam is similar to the final exam of CHN 101, 102, 201, or 202, depending on the level you are testing for. Time allowed: two hours. See below for more information about credit by exam.


The Japanese placement/proficiency exam is offered twice a semester. The first one is offered two days before the first day of school. The second one is offered on the third day of the first week of school. The latter is only for students who have a legitimate time conflict on the first day. Time allowed: Two hours.

It consists of listening comprehension questions, multiple-choice grammar questions, reading comprehension questions, writing a short essay, and an oral interview in Japanese.


The Korean placement exam consists of grammar, reading comprehension, and writing questions in addition to an oral interview in Korean.

When are the exams given? How often are they given? How long do they last?

All exams are offered once a semester, two days before the first day of class.
Time allowed: Two hours.

What should I bring to the exam?

A pencil and your ID.

When and how will I know the results?


For both exams, you will be given the results immediately afterwards by the instructor who gives the exam.


The results will be emailed to you within a couple of days after the exam by the program director



         The results will be emailed to you within a couple of days after the exam.


Who can I contact if I have further questions?


For questions about the placement and or proficiency exam, contact Hongyi Jia, Jia (


Contact Mariko Karatsu, Ph.D. (


Please contact Sojung Chun at

Information on getting course credits for Chinese, Japanese, or Korean

How do I sign up for ‘credit-by-exam’?

Credit by exams are scheduled by appointment only.

Step 1

Follow the procedure specified in the link

Here is the form that you will need.

Step 2

After the department has been notified by the Bursar’s Office that the fee has been
paid, you can then contact the language faculty members to schedule an appointment
for the exam.