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Placement and Challenge Exam Information

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Do you need to take a Placement Exam? 

Did you study another language in High School?  Do you already speak another language?

If you have not studied a language at CSUSB, then you will need to take a Placement Exam. 

Want to check for sure? 

Complete this questionnaire to find out if you need to take a Placement exam to study a language at CSUSB. 

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Placement Exam Registration

No appointment required.

The Placement Exam is completed online, so you can choose the day when it is most convenient for you. 

Once you register, instructions will be sent to your CSUSB email.  Please complete the exam immediately after receiving the instructions email.

For Chinese or Korean Challenge By Exam credit (CBE), you need to register for a Challenge Exam. See below for details.

Challenge By Exam Credit is available for Arabic, French, Japanese, or Spanish if you score high enough in the Placement Exam and complete the steps required.  See below for details. 

Results

  • You will receive an email (at your school email address) once the results become available.
  • Results for Placement exams are sent the same day if possible. Otherwise, they are usually sent within 1 business day after your exam.
  • The results will indicate whether you have the option to receive credit for a course.
  • If you place into a 2nd year course (2111-2114), please refer to your results email for permit instructions.

Your Results email does not indicate automatic enrollment or dropping of a course. It is only a notification of your results.

Quarter to Semester Equivalent

If you took your placement exam in the quarter system and need to determine the semester course in which you are eligible to enroll, please refer to the Lower Division Q2S Course Conversion Guide. Please contact CAL Advising for further assistance.

Testing Alternatives

You do NOT need to take the placement exam if:

  • You are beginning at a language for which you have NOT studied in the past five years and are NOT a heritage/native speaker (exposed to a language other than English at home). You may begin in the 1111 course.
  • You have already taken a college level world language course at CSUSB. Visit the CAL Advising Center in UH-203 if you have questions about the next course.  You may also request an appointment via email.

Want to check? Complete this questionnaire to find out if you need to take a Placement exam.

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Policies and Recommendations

  • Do not wait until your last term to take the exam if you are pursuing challenge by exam (CBE) credit. 
  • You must be a regularly matriculated student to take the exam.
  • If you choose to challenge a course, when CBE credit is processed, any materials fee for the course will be automatically applied to your account. This helps to cover the cost of the exam.
  • You are NOT allowed a retake. Note that you are expected to use proper grammar and appropriate accents. Please do your best.
  • If you would like to study a language which have studied before or you are a heritage/native speaker (exposed to a language other than English at home), then you must take the placement exam.
  • All steps listed for a particular challenge exam below must be completed by the deadlines listed to receive CBE credit.
  • Credit by Examination (CBE) may not be used to fulfill the minimum residence requirements.
  • If taking the exam in person, you must bring your Coyote ID to the exam. You will NOT be allowed to take the exam without your Coyote ID.
  • If taking the exam in person, arrive 5-10 minutes BEFORE your exam time to check in. If you do not arrive on time for check-in, you will have to take the test at a later time.
  • For the placement test, familiarize yourself with a Sample Test.  This is a sample and does not represent the full test or length of the exam.  Once clicked, scroll to "Avant PLACE Sample Tests" and click on the desired language. You will not receive a score at the end.
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American Sign Language (ASL)

Please contact the ASL Instructor, Matt Marquis.

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Arabic

You may take an Arabic Placement exam that will determine your level for your next Arabic course.  It will place you in ARAB 1111, ARAB 1112 or 2nd year (choice of ARAB 2111, ARAB 2112, ARAB 2113, or ARAB 2114).  Please see below for details.

Arabic Placement Exam

The Placement Exam is completed online, so you can choose the day when it is most convenient for you. 

Once you register, instructions will be sent to your CSUSB email.  Please complete the exam immediately.

This test takes approximately 1 hour and takes place online until further notice.

The Arabic Placement exam consists of writing and speaking sections.  To experience how the assessment flows and the types of questions, feel free to review the Test Taker Guide or Sample Test. Once clicked, scroll to "Avant PLACE Sample Tests" and click on Arabic. You will not receive a score at the end of the sample test.

You will receive an email with the official results of your Placement exam once they become available. 

Arabic Challenge By Exam Credit

Credit for ARAB 1112 is available if all of the following are completed:

  1. Take an Arabic Placement Exam and place higher than ARAB 1112.
  2. After you register for the course in which you were placed, complete the CBE Form.  The CBE Form must be completed by the 4th week of the semester that you are enrolled.  You will be required to provide:
    1. Copy of your placement results
    2. Course information for which you are enrolled (number, section, instructor, etc.)
  3. Complete and pass a 2nd year Arabic course. The course must be completed at least one semester before graduation.

Once the above steps are completed correctly, the 3 units credit for ARAB 1112 will be processed the following term.  When CBE credit is processed, any materials fee for the course will be automatically applied to your account. This helps to cover the cost of the exam.

There are no other Arabic courses available to challenge for credit.

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Chinese

You may take a Chinese Placement exam that will determine your level for your next Chinese course.  It will place you in CHIN 1111, CHIN 1112, CHIN 2111, or CHIN 2112

Chinese Placement Exam

The Placement Exam is completed online, so you can choose the day when it is most convenient for you. 

Once you register, instructions will be sent to your CSUSB email. Please complete the exam immediately.

This test takes approximately 1 hour and takes place online until further notice.

This is only for placement.  If you would like credit by exam, please read below for the steps to challenge by exam.

The Chinese Placement Exam consists of reading and writing sections.  To experience how the assessment flows and the types of questions, feel free to review the Test Taker Guide or Sample Test. Once clicked, scroll to "Avant PLACE Sample Tests" and click on Mandarin (Simplified) or Mandarin (Traditional). You will not receive a score at the end of the sample test.

You will receive an email with the official results of your Placement exam once they become available. 

Chinese Challenge Exam

The Chinese Challenge Exam credit is offered during week 1 of Fall and Spring semesters. Additional dates may be added. Registration is typically open 2 weeks before the exam date.

The next Chinese Challenge Exam is scheduled online:

  • Between noon, Wednesday, June 15, 2022, and noon, Wednesday, June 15, 2022
  • Between noon, Thursday, July 7, 2022, and noon, Monday, July 11, 2022

After you register, you will receive an Adobe Sign document and instructions to install and use the Lockdown Browser for the exam.

This test takes approximately 1 hour and takes place online until further notice.

The Chinese Challenge Exam consists of reading, writing and speaking sections.  To experience how the assessment flows and the types of questions, feel free to review the Test Taker Guide or Sample Test. Once clicked, scroll to "Avant PLACE Sample Tests" and click on Mandarin (Simplified) or Mandarin (Traditional). You will not receive a score at the end of the sample test.

You will receive an email with the official results of your Challenge exam once they become available. 

Chinese Challenge By Exam Steps

Credit for CHIN 1112 is available if all of the following are completed:

  1. Sign up for a Chinese Challenge Exam offered during the first week of the semester.  When signing up, you must select "Challenge By Exam credit". 
  2. Complete the Challenge By Exam Form provided during the exam.
  3. Pass the Chinese Challenge Exam by placing higher than CHIN 1112.

Once the above steps are completed correctly, the 3 units credit for CHIN 1112 should appear in your PAWS report by week 9.  When CBE credit is processed, any materials fee for the course will be automatically applied to your account. This helps to cover the cost of the exam.

Note: If you took the exam later in the semester, the 3 units credit for CHIN 1112 will appear in your PAWS report next semester, week 9.  

There are no other Chinese courses available to challenge for credit. Students may also request course credit in Chinese through alternative tests (see the Office of the Registrar page on Test Credit).

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French

You may take a French Placement exam that will determine your level for your next French course.  It will place you in FREN 1111, FREN 1112 or 2nd year (choice of FREN 2111, FREN 2112, FREN 2113, or FREN 2114).

French Placement Exam

The Placement Exam is completed online, so you can choose the day when it is most convenient for you. 

Once you register, instructions will be sent to your CSUSB email.  Please complete the exam immediately.

This test takes approximately 1 hour and takes place online until further notice.

The French Placement Exam consists of four sections: Reading, Contextualized Grammar, and Writing. To experience how the assessment flows and the types of questions, feel free to review the Test Taker Guide or Sample Test. Once clicked, scroll to "Avant PLACE Sample Tests" and click on French. You will not receive a score at the end of the sample test.

You will receive an email with the official results of your Placement exam once they become available. 

French Challenge By Exam Credit

Credit for FREN 1112 is available if all of the following are completed:

  1. Take a French Placement Exam and place higher than FREN 1112.
  2. After you register for the course in which you were placed, complete the CBE Form.  The CBE Form must be completed by the 4th week of the semester that you are enrolled.  You will be required to provide:
    1. Copy of your placement results
    2. Course information for which you are enrolled (number, section, instructor, etc.)
  3. Complete and pass a 2nd year French course. The course must be completed at least one semester before graduation.

Once the above steps are completed correctly, the 3 units credit for FREN 1112 will be processed the following term.  When CBE credit is processed, any materials fee for the course will be automatically applied to your account. This helps to cover the cost of the exam.

There are no other French courses available to challenge for credit.  Students may also request course credit in French through alternative tests (see the Office of the Registrar page on Test Credit).

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Japanese

You may take a Japanese Placement exam that will determine your level for your next Japanese course.  It will place you in JAPN 1111, JAPN 1112 or 2nd year (choice of JAPN 2111 or JAPN 2112).

Japanese Placement Exam

The Placement Exam is completed online, so you can choose the day when it is most convenient for you. 

Once you register, instructions will be sent to your CSUSB email.  Please complete the exam immediately.

 

This test takes approximately 1 hour and takes place online until further notice. 

The Japanese Placement Exam consists of four sections: Reading, Contextualized Grammar, and Writing. To experience how the assessment flows and the types of questions, feel free to review the Test Taker Guide or Sample Test. Once clicked, scroll to "Avant PLACE Sample Tests" and click on Japanese. You will not receive a score at the end of the sample test.

You will receive an email with the official results of your Placement exam once they become available. 

Japanese Challenge By Exam Credit

Credit for JAPN 1112 is available if all of the following are completed:

  1. Take a Japanese Placement Exam and place higher than JAPN 1112.
  2. After you register for the course in which you were placed, complete the CBE Form.  The CBE Form must be completed by the 4th week of the semester that you are enrolled.  You will be required to provide:
    1. Copy of your placement results
    2. Course information for which you are enrolled (number, section, instructor, etc.)
  3. Complete and pass a 2nd year Japanese course. The course must be completed at least one semester before graduation.

Once the above steps are completed correctly, the 3 units credit for JAPN 1112 will be processed the following term.  When CBE credit is processed, any materials fee for the course will be automatically applied to your account. This helps to cover the cost of the exam.

There are no other Japanese courses available to challenge for credit.  Students may also request course credit in Japanese through alternative tests (see the Office of the Registrar page on Test Credit).

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Korean

You may take a Korean Placement exam that will determine your level for your next Korean course.  It will place you in KOR 1111, KOR 1112, KOR 2111, or KOR 2112

Korean Placement Exam

The Placement Exam is completed online, so you can choose the day when it is most convenient for you. 

Once you register, instructions will be sent to your CSUSB email.  Please complete the exam immediately.

This test takes approximately 3 hours and takes place online until further notice.

This is only for placement.  If you would like credit by exam, please read below for the steps to challenge by exam.

The Korean Placement Exam consists of four sections: Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. To experience how the assessment flows and the types of questions, feel free to review the Test Taker Guide or Sample Test. Under "Avant STAMP 4S Sample Tests," click on Korean. You will not receive a score at the end of the sample test.

You will receive an email with the official results of your Placement exam once they become available. 

Korean Challenge By Exam Credit

Korean Challenge Exam

The Korean Challenge Exam credit is offered during week 1 of Fall and Spring semesters. Additional dates may be added. Registration is typically open 2 weeks before the exam date.

The next Korean Challenge Exam is scheduled online:

  • Between noon, Wednesday, June 15, 2022, and noon, Wednesday, June 15, 2022
  • Between noon, Thursday, July 7, 2022, and noon, Monday, July 11, 2022

After you register, you will receive an Adobe Sign document and instructions to install and use the Lockdown Browser for the exam.

This test takes approximately 1 hour and takes place online until further notice.

The Korean Placement Exam consists of four sections: Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. To experience how the assessment flows and the types of questions, feel free to review the Test Taker Guide or Sample Test. Under "Avant STAMP 4S Sample Tests," click on Korean. You will not receive a score at the end of the sample test.

You will receive an email with the official results of your Challenge exam once they become available.

Korean Challenge By Exam Steps 

Credit for KOR 1112 is available if all of the following are completed:

  1. Sign up for a Korean Challenge Exam offered during the first week of the semester.  When signing up, you must select "Challenge By Exam credit".
  2. Complete the Challenge By Exam Form provided during the exam.
  3. Pass the Korean Challenge Exam by placing higher than KOR 1112.

Once the above steps are completed correctly, the 3 units credit for KOR 1112 should appear in your PAWS report by week 9.  When CBE credit is processed, any materials fee for the course will be automatically applied to your account. This helps to cover the cost of the exam.

Note: If you took the exam later in the semester, the 3 units credit for KOR 1112 will appear in your PAWS report next semester, week 9.  

There are no other Korean courses available to challenge for credit.

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Spanish

You may take a Spanish Placement exam that will determine your level for your next Spanish course.  It will place you in SPAN 1111, SPAN 1112, SPAN 2111, or SPAN 2112

Spanish Placement Exam

The Placement Exam is completed online, so you can choose the day when it is most convenient for you. 

Once you register, instructions will be sent to your CSUSB email.  Please complete the exam immediately.

This test takes approximately 1 hour and takes place online until further notice. 

The Spanish Placement Exam consists of three sections: Reading, Contextualized Grammar, and Writing. To experience how the assessment flows and the types of questions, feel free to review the Test Taker Guide or Sample Test. Once clicked, scroll to "Avant PLACE Sample Tests" and click on Spanish. You will not receive a score at the end of the sample test. 

You will receive an email with the official results of your Placement exam once they become available. 

Spanish Challenge By Exam Credit

Credit for SPAN 1112 is available if all of the following are completed:

  1. Take a Spanish Placement Exam and place higher than SPAN 1112.
  2. After you register for the course in which you were placed, complete the CBE Form.  The CBE Form must be completed by the 4th week of the semester that you are enrolled.  You will be required to provide:
    1. Copy of your placement results
    2. Course information for which you are enrolled (number, section, instructor, etc.)
  3. Complete and pass a 2nd year Spanish course. The course must be completed at least one semester before graduation.

Once the above steps are completed correctly, the 3 units credit for SPAN 1112 will be processed the following term.  When CBE credit is processed, any materials fee for the course will be automatically applied to your account. This helps to cover the cost of the exam.

There are no other Spanish courses available to challenge for credit.  Students may request course credit in Spanish through alternative tests (see the Office of the Registrar page on Test Credit).