Chinese Placement Exam

The Chinese language program’s placement test is designed to help incoming students determine what level course to begin at. Questions? Contact the Chinese placement exam advisor.

Exam Open Dates

  • Summer: June 1 - August 25
  • Winter: November 16 - January 10

Take the Chinese Placement Test


Who Needs to Take the Placement Test



You do not need to take a placement test if any of the criteria apply to you:

  • You have little or no Chinese experience and would like to take the beginning level Chinese course. You can proceed to enroll in Chin 1001
  • You have finished an overseas program for Chinese and would like to continue studying Chinese at the next level pre-approved by the GW Chinese Program or by the Study Abroad Office.
  • You are a Chinese native speaker and have attended a Chinese high school or college previously. You need an exemption from the foreign language requirement instead.



You do need to take a placement test if any of the criteria apply to you:

  • You have suspended your study of Chinese for one or more semesters and wish to take a Chinese language course.
  • You are an incoming/transfer student. You have had Chinese experience previously in a high school or elsewhere and wish to continue studying Chinese.
  • You are from a Chinese family background and are able to speak some Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese or another dialect). You may or may not be able to read and write in Chinese and wish to take a Chinese language course.
  • You need to take a Chinese language course and are unsure which level is suitable.



The online exam includes vocabulary, grammar/structure, reading and writing. No dictionaries or online resources are allowed. There is also a question about your Chinese language background or experience.

The exam is available in both simplified and traditional Chinese formats. You may choose whichever format you prefer.


Preparing for the Exam

In preparation for the exam, we recommend that students thoroughly review what they have learned in their studies to date. Some suggestions to make your review productive:

  • Reading: Test yourself on reading passages or main text in the lessons without looking at the glossary or translations. You may also find a different textbook of the same level and read the text to check your comprehension
  • Essay writing (typed): We require students to type Chinese directly on their computers for the placement exam. Practice writing on your keyboard. To make your writing practice more productive, focus on a topic based on the lessons in your textbook, so that you can review the vocabulary and structures.