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Language Placement Testing

A world language placement test determines which language course best fits the needs of students entering OSU with previous world language study. The test does not have any impact on your admission to OSU or GRE score. You cannot “fail” a world language placement test. 

The CLLC offers three types of language placement exams:

For placement tests in other languages offered by OSU, please contact the appropriate departments.


To be able to access the exams you must be a current or incoming student at OSU and have an active OSU name.# and password. Without OSU login credentials, you will be unable to access placement exams. 

Please note that you should not be taking a language placement if you: 

  • Already have credit or a mark (as in a failing grade or an incomplete) for a college-level course in the world language for which you are testing; 
  • Are currently enrolled in a college-level (Dual Credit, AP, CCP, etc.) language course in the same language for which you are testing; 
  • Would like to start learning language at Ohio State but have not studied/have no knowledge of it. In this case, you will enroll in the beginners’ level language course. You should still take a placement test in the language you have had at least two years of instruction in high school. 

Placement Test scores for MultiCAT exams may require up to 7 business days to be posted to student records. Carmen tests require up to 14 business days for initial results of auto-graded exams, and results needing verification or manual grading may take longer.

Academic integrity is essential to maintaining an environment that fosters excellence in teaching, research, and other educational and scholarly activities. Thus, students are expected to complete the CLLC World Language Placement Exams in accordance with the OSU Code of Student Conduct. It is your responsibility to review this document carefully before proceeding with language placement testing so you are informed. Please note that we are required to report any suspicions of alleged misconduct. Review more information about Student Academic Misconduct here.

Student Life Disability Services - Testing Accommodations 

If you would like to request placement exam accommodations, you will need to submit an application and documentation to Student Life Disability Services (SLDS) prior to taking the exam.  Please allow 2-3 business days for processing. OSU cannot allow for retroactive application of SLDS accommodations. These must be documented prior to attempting to test. Please contact SLDS for more information. 

Contact cllc@osu.edu with any questions.


MultiCAT Placement Charts

Carmen Placement Test Charts

Hebrew Chart95.58 KB
Italian Chart108.46 KB

Please contact Larysa Stepanova.1



The purpose of these tests is to determine which language course best fits the needs of students entering OSU who have previously studied world languages.  The test does not have any impact on your admission to OSU or GRE score.

All students who have had two or more years of the same world language other than Spanish in high school must take the language placement test whether or not they plan to continue language study. All students who have had at least one year of middle or high school Spanish will need to take the Spanish placement exam.

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.

The Center for Languages, Literatures and Cultures (cllc@osu.edu) is responsible for administering the web-based placement tests in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Swahili, Hebrew, Russian, Latin, Somali, Korean, ASL and Arabic.  If you need to test in another language taught at OSU, please contact the department that oversees that language.

Before August 22, 2023

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 their language requirement.  No elementary language credit is awarded to native speakers, i.e., those whose secondary education was in the world language.


Effective August 22, 2023

Students do not receive EM credit based on their placement test scores. Their placement test indicates what level language course they can take, but it is not credit-bearing. NO EM credit is granted for placement tests. Placement tests can still be used to fulfill the GE requirement, for example if a student places out of 1103 they have fulfilled their world language GE requirement, but no credit is awarded. If you would like to test for credit, please reach out to the department of the language you are taking for an EM test. We cannot guarantee that a department with have an EM test for you to take.

Many students take the placement test during Orientation. If you do not take it during orientation, many world language placement tests are available online. Please read this page thoroughly and then refer to the instructional PDF above listed under the language you plan to test for. Contact the cllc@osu.edu or call at 292-4361 if you have any questions. It is strongly advised that you begin your language courses immediately after you have taken the placement test.

When students take the placement test above, results are available immediately.  For other languages, contact the department that coordinates this language.

Students are asked to contact the appropriate language director to discuss their test results.

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.

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.)

*There are exceptions to this rule. If you are are unsure please email cllc@osu.edu with the context on your situation.

Most American students take world 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.

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.

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.

The same guidelines generally hold true for all OSU campuses.

Students can only take a placement test once in each language.

If you are a Spanish Heritage speaker please contact the CLLC at cllc@osu.edu. All other world languages should refer to our Validation for World Language page found here

No. Do not contact the CLLC because we do not control the Buckeyelink prompts. If an academic advisor in your program has determined that you no longer need the test, the prompt will remain until it automatically falls off when the semester begins.

World 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. Reminder: EM credits are associated with courses above (not including) 1103 only (they aren’t awarded for courses in the 1101-1103 series.)