Language Placement Exams

If you are interested in enrolling in a language course at the University of Oklahoma, you may be required to take a language placement exam first.

  • • Students who have studied 2 or more years of the target language within the past 5 years take a language placement   exam onsite in the Language Learning Center prior to enrolling.

  • • Students who have studied for fewer than 2 years or who have not studied the language for over 5 years have the option to either take the exam or sign the Statement of Background waiver.

  • • Are you a native or heritage speaker? Please see the departmental Native Speaker Policy here.


The LLC offers onsite computerized language placement exams in the following languages:

  • French
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • German

Written placement exams for Japanese and Portuguese are also available onsite. These exams include a listening section.

Statement of Background

If you have studied a language for fewer than 2 years within the past 5 years, you have the option to either take a language placement exam or sign the Statement of Background waiver. Click on the link below to view and sign the waiver if you are eligible.


  • • Who should take the placement exam?
  •   Anyone who has studied a language more than two years, less than five years ago must take the placement exam for   that language if they wish to take courses in that language.

  • • If I took foreign language courses at another university do I still need to take the placement exam?
  •   If your course is not transferred as an equivalent course you must take the placement exam. For upper division   courses, you may consult with a language advisor for course equivalency. In order to check if your course may transfer   transfers, visit the course equivalency database.

  • • How long does the placement exam take?
  •   That depends on how much you know. The exam generally takes anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes so plan your time   accordingly. The number of questions will vary.

  • • Do I get credit hours for taking the exam?
  •   No, in order to get credit hours for the 1000 level courses you must take the CLEP exam. For higher courses, advanced   standing exams are offered through the department.

  • • What does the exam cover?
  •   The exams test your knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. For the computerized exams, all questions are multiple   choice and there is no audio. For the Japanese and Russian exams, writing skills are tested and the Japanese exam   includes an oral interview.

  • • How often may I take the exam?
  •   Placement exams may be taken once each year.

  • • How long are my results valid?
  •   Results are valid for one year for placement into a language course. If you fulfill degree requirements, this result is good   for your academic career at OU.

  • • Does the lab offer any materials to help prepare for the exam or how can I prepare for the exam?
  •   The lab does not have any specific preparation materials for this exam. There are many resources available from the lab home page that have tips for basic grammar review. You may also want to look at the books used by the first and second year courses. These books will cover the types of grammar exercises in the exam.

  • • If I just want to take the first level course do I still need to take the exam?
  •   If you have taken more than two years of the language less than five years ago, you need to take the exam. This is a   departmental regulation. If you have not taken the language, you may sign a waiver available at the lab stating that you   have not previously studied this language.

  • • Do I need to make an appointment?
  •   Appointments are not necessary unless you cannot take the exam during a scheduled times. Times are scheduled   during each enrollment period and are posted throughout Kaufman Hall.

  • • If I have already taken a language course at OU, can I take the placement test in that language?
  •   No. The placement exam is used as a first time placement tool. Once you have taken classes, you are not eligible to   place out of the following courses with the placement exam.

  • • How long does it take for my results to be posted and my enrollment stops to be removed?
  •   Enrollment stops are generally cleared by the following work day during semester enrollment or by that afternoon   provided the exam is finished before the cut off time for exams. Scores are posted to student records on a weekly basis.

  • • How many hours can I place out of by taking the placement exam?
  •   The placement test allows you to place out of the 2113 level courses. If you score extremely high you will be advised to   take an advanced standing exam which will allow you to test out of additional upper-level courses.

  • • When do I get my results?
  •   Immediately after finishing the exam you will be told your score as well as your placement level. Also offered is an   optional e-mail score sheet.