The Language Center administers placement tests to all students who intend to continue studying a foreign language at Stanford. The purpose of testing is diagnostic: it assesses students' current language abilities in order to match them to the course most suitable for that level. Accurate initial placement is a key factor in successfully learning a foreign language. Placement exams in each language consist of both written and oral components.
All written portions test grammatical features as well as the ability to write connected discourse and to read authentic prose material. After completing the written portion of the examination, all Stanford students proceed to the oral interview portion. The combined results of both written and oral components of the placement exam determine the most appropriate language course for the student who decides to continue studying that language, whether to fulfill the language requirement or for personal or professional interest. Proficiency testing measures what students are able to do with the language.
Remember these tests are for placement purposes, and are not achievement tests. They are not graded in the traditional sense, but used to match you to an appropriate level where you can be an effective learner. Your placement results will be known to you and to members of the Language Center who direct placement testing. They will not be reported to all members of the department, to the Registrar, or recorded on your transcript.
While taking any placement test, remember that you are subject to the Stanford Honor Code and Fundamental Standard. Specifically, you are not permitted to receive outside assistance on these examinations. "Outside assistance" means, among other things, the use of books, notes, dictionaries, grammar books, spell checkers, grammar checkers, translation tools, cutting and pasting foreign language items from the web, and composing items in writing before speaking.
It is very important that you do your best on this exam and that you do not receive any help with it. In order to make good judgments about your language placement in Stanford programs, we need good information about your level and knowledge.
All students with any prior exposure (such as formal study or home background) to a language they intend to continue studying at Stanford must take a placement test in that language before enrolling in a course. Students may not self-place into language courses and must enroll according to their placement results.
The testing schedules and procedures vary by language. For more information on the schedule and procedures for a specific language, please click on the appropriate link for that language on the right side of this page. If you have further questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org