Language Placement Examinations Policies                                 

Placement Policies on AP and SAT II scores 

Chinese

AP and SAT II Subject Test cannot be used to satisfy the Columbia College or School of General Studies foreign language requirement.

Japanese

A score of 5 on the Japanese Advanced Placement exam, or a score of 780-800 on the SAT II Subject Test in Japanese, satisfies the Columbia College and the School of General Studies foreign language requirement. Students without AP or SAT II scores, as well as those who wish to continue their study of Japanese at Columbia, must take the department’s placement exam during Orientation.

Korean

A score of 780-800 on the SAT II Subject Test in Korean, satisfies the Columbia College and the School of General Studies foreign language requirement. Students without SAT II scores, as well as those who wish to continue their study of Korean at Columbia, must take the departmental placement exam during Orientation.

Tibetan

AP and SAT II Subject Test are not applicable.

Vietnamese

AP and SAT II Subject Test are not applicable.

General

  1. Placement exams should be administered in a standard manner to all students: written and oral.
  2. The placement exam will be used to place students in appropriate levels.
  3. All students who want to take a course other than Introductory A or First Year I level should take a placement exam.
  4. Students who did not pass a placement exam in the current semester cannot retake the exam until the following semester. Those students should wait at least five months between taking placement exams.
  5. Students who passed a placement exam, but did not take a language course for more than six months, should retake a placement exam to decide on their appropriate level.
  6. Students who had taken a language course at EALAC more than six months ago and wish to continue to study at EALAC, should take a placement exam to be placed at the appropriate level.
  7. Students who had taken a language course, received a C or lower, and wish to continue to the second semester should take a placement exam. Student who received a C+ or lower, and wish to advance to the next level should take a placement exam. In other words, a student needs to achieve a final grade of B- or above to advance to the next level.
  8. Students who studied Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tibetan, or Vietnamese elsewhere and wish to take a language course at EALAC, should take a placement exam.
  9. Results will be available after 4 p.m. on the day of the exam.
  10. Chinese only: Students who have a high school or college diploma from a country where Chinese is the official language of instruction can be exempted from the two-year foreign language requirement.

 

Date of Examinations

Fall semester

  1. Thursday prior to the first day of the fall semester
  2. Make-up test: on the Friday of the first week

Spring semester

  1. Friday prior to the first day of the spring semester
  2. Make-up test: on the Friday of the first week

Exception: For those who are graduating in December but need to take a placement exam, please contact the appropriate language program director.

Online Examinations

Online examinations are not offered for Chinese, Japanese, or Korean.

Format of Examinations

Chinese, Japanese, and Korean all have the same format for the placement exam (2.5 hours plus oral component).

  1. Written test: listening, grammar, vocabulary, reading and writing
  2. Oral test (used as a reference only)

 

Reporting of Results

Only the language program directors will report students’ results to the appropriate school via email:

  • to deans for Columbia College, the language placement results for students taking the exam to test out of the CC requirement should be sent to CC in a timely fashion (approximately two weeks from the date of the first examination).
  • to advisors for Columbia Engineering
  • to registrar for Barnard
  • to advisors for General Studies
  • to coordinator for School of International Public Affairs
  • to associate director for Teachers College

Updated January 2015.