College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Placement Exams

These exams are designed to help you determine the correct course for beginning your language study at KU, if you already have experience in a foreign language. These placement exams focus on your abilities and knowledge of the language, rather than the amount of prior coursework. While some of the exams are offered online, the process of determining the proper placement will include a conversation with a placement advisor about your language background. If you are newly enrolling at KU, you will meet with that advisor during on-campus orientation and enrollment.

  • French, German, Russian or Spanish (password: gojayhawks). These exams must be completed one week prior to your arrival on campus for orientation as they are a crucial component in your enrollment process. Those students failing to take the exams prior to arriving on campus may be unable to sign up for a foreign language course until the add/drop period at the beginning of the semester.
  • Chinese, Japanese or Korean. Accessed using your KU online ID. At the end of the exam you will be given a preliminary placement, which you should use to register for a specific course. During the first week of classes, you will meet with a placement advisor to determine the accuracy of the placement. If it is determined that another course would be more appropriate, you will be allowed to transfer to that course.
  • For all other languages, contact your language coordinator or the department offering that language for more information.

Students currently enrolled at KU may take these exams at their convenience. The results of the exam should be taken to the department offering the language to determine proper course placement.

For Proficiency Exams, please click here.



Our Statement on Diversity in support of Rock Chalk Invisible Hawk and the University of Kansas Black Student Union’s efforts to combat racism.
The School of Languages & Cultures serves as a gateway to understanding the diversity of the world, through learning languages, literatures, and cultures, past and present. Through its research and teaching, the SLLC offers students opportunities for deep engagement with a wide range of languages, literatures, and cultures that provide the knowledge and skills to interact with and understand the world. The faculty and students who teach, research, and learn in the SLLC consider issues of diversity fundamental to all of our work. The study of others' languages, literatures, and cultures enables us to develop deep empathy and perspective informs the way that we approach issues before us, whether on a personal, local, regional, national, or global scale. Therefore take it as axiomatic that the SLLC stands for a campus that is committed to the meaningful sharing, contemplation, and discussion of ideas that emerge from multiple cultural perspectives and experiences. We continually rededicate ourselves to the principle of diversity. We strive to create an atmosphere where all students and faculty feel comfortable and welcome to express their views as well as work together to solve conflict. Further, we view our mission as a center of diversity on a flagship campus as requiring us to lead by example.

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