Language Placement Testing

Update April 6, 2020:

We will have placement testing information posted here within the next two weeks.  Thank you for your patience.  Please refrain from emailing us as we are currently inundated with emails.

Due to COVID-19 and current OSU protocols regarding on campus presence we have decided to close our testing center in Hagerty Hall 120. Testing coordinators and Language Program Directors are working to find a solution that would make language placement testing available to students as soon as possible. We will post any updates on our website.


Closed during university holidays: Check University Calendar for specific dates

If you are attending Orientation, please use your Orientation guide for testing times/places.

All others: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Swahili, Arabic and Hebrew (Please bring headphones for Hebrew).

Contact the  IILC coordinator at 292-7060 for more information or contact the appropriate language department directly.

MultiCAT Placement Charts (Spanish, French, German)

Other languages - please check with the appropriate department.

Attention Advisors:  Access language placement charts below:

Spanish Placement Chart

Heritage (Native) Spanish Speakers Placement Information.pdf

French Placement Chart


German Placement Chart


Additional Placement Tests:

Arabic Placement Chart 


This test is designed in three sections to assess students’ Arabic language proficiency.  All students complete section 1; students may be asked to complete subsequent sections if their performance on previous sections is sufficient.  [I.e., any given student may complete only the first, the first and second, or all three sections. Once students have completed all available sections of the exam, they will be able to view test results in the Carmen gradebook.  Advisor Information:  ArabicAdvisorDocsSU17.pdf
Access to the Arabic placement test requires dual verification log-in (BuckeyePass). Please, bring fully charged phone/device/hard token.

Hebrew Placement Chart (Please bring headphones for Hebrew test)


Italian Placement Chart


Swahili Placement Chart



  1. What are the objectives of placement tests?
    The purpose of these tests is to determine which language course best fits the needs of students entering OSU who have previously studied foreign languages.
  2. Who takes the test?

    All students who have had two or more years of the same foreign language in high school must take the language placement test in the language used for unconditional admission to OSU, whether or not they plan to continue language study.

    All Heritage Learners (one who speaks another language elsewhere) who graduated from a high school where the main language of instruction was English should also take a placement test. Heritage Learners may choose to test in their heritage language or a world language that they had two or more years in high school.

  3. Who is responsible for administering the tests?
    The Center for Languages, Literatures and Cultures is responsible for administering the web-based placement tests in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Swahili, Hebrew and Arabic.  If you need to test in another language taught at OSU, please contact the department that oversees that language.
  4. Will I receive EM credit as a result of my Placement test?
    Students receive EM credit based on their placement test scores. For example, if a student places into 1102 in any language, he or she will receive credit for 1101.   A student who places out of 1103 will have completed his or her language requirement.  No elementary language credit is awarded to native speakers, i.e., those whose secondary education was in the foreign language.
  5. When do students take a placement test?
    Students usually take the placement test during Orientation. If for some reason, students are unable to take the test during Orientation, students should contact the Center for Languages, Literatures and Cultures for information about dates and times at or call us at 292-4361. It is strongly advised that you begin your language courses immediately after you have taken the placement test.
  6. How do students find out the test results?
    When students take the placement test above, results are available immediately.  For other languages, contact the department that coordinates this language.
  7. What happens if students are not satisfied with their placement test results?
    Students are asked to contact the appropriate language director to discuss their test results.
  8. What if students have already taken a nationally recognized placement test in a language?
    Students who have successfully passed an Advanced Placement, CLEP, or IB examination are awarded credit and placement proportionate to the score obtained. These students do not normally need to take the OSU placement test, but when going through orientation they should verify that their scores have been received.
  9. What happens to transfer students with college credit in a foreign language?
    These students normally register for the next OSU equivalent course in the sequence. They are not required to take the placement test. Such students should follow the Office of Admissions procedures for transfer credit and contact the Departmental Transfer Credit Coordinator. (Transfer students without language credit, however, must take the placement test.)
  10. When should students take foreign language?
    Most American students take foreign language in 9th and 10th grade, then quit just as they begin to develop usable language skills. They then have a two-year break in language study before entering college. Ideally, students should continue their language study, taking a 3rd or 4th year in 11th and 12th grade. For those who cannot or do not do so, we strongly recommend a review of basic grammar and vocabulary before taking the placement test.
  11. Which foreign language credits count toward degree requirements?
    Answers to this question will depend on the degree-granting unit (e.g., ASC, ENG, BUS, etc.). Students should check with their college advising unit, once they have decided on a major.
  12. Are there circumstances for which the placement test requirement may be waived?
    In the case of students with a learning disability, special arrangements and/or petitions may be initiated through the Office for Disability Services. If students have been out of high school for over five years, the placement test is not required unless students wish to have their language assessed before enrolling in a language course.
  13. How about the regional campuses?
    The same guidelines generally hold true for all OSU campuses.
  14. How many times can students take a placement test in each language?
    Students can only take a placement test once in each language.

Foreign Language EM / Proficiency Testing

For specific information about possible EM/proficiency testing in a language, contact the appropriate department to find out their policies and procedures in this area.