Japanese Placement Test for Spring 2021


Thank you for your interest in studying Japanese with us here at Brown University. The following FAQ contains a short description of the Japanese placement test. The full description will be on the placement test site.

If you have further questions, please contact Suga sensei. Due to Brown’s effort to reopen during the pandemic, the 2020-2021 academic year will operate on a trimester plan. Please note that only first-year courses will be impacted by this change. Here’s the language sequence for this academic year.


Fall 2020

Spring 2021

Summer 2021


JAPN 100

JAPN 200



JAPN 100

JAPN 200


JAPN 300

JAPN 400



JAPN 500

JAPN 600



JAPN 700

JAPN 800



(prerequisite JAPN 700)





Q1. Who should take the placement test?

A1. Placement tests are required for any student wanting to study Japanese at Brown, with the exception of those students with no prior knowledge of the language and who are planning to enroll in the first-year of instruction. If you are a heritage speaker, please take the test.

Q2. What is the format of the test?

A2. The placement test will be fully online and consists of four parts (Survey, SPOT test, Essay, Interview).

Q3. What is the SPOT test?

A3. The SPOT (Simple Performance-Oriented Test) test was developed at Tsukuba University in Japan. It is used widely in Japan and abroad for level placement purposes, as well as for assessment and diagnosis of test takers’ Japanese proficiency. As of fall 2020, the Brown University Japanese Program has begun using this test as one part of the placement process. To familiarize yourself with the format, please visit: http://ttbj-tsukuba.org/mt/p2_e.html

Q4. What is the essay topic? 

A4. The essay topic will vary depending on your SPOT test results. When you input your test score on our google form, it will take you to your essay question where you will be asked to handwrite your essay, take a photo, and upload it.

Q5. How is the interview conducted online?

A5. After you sign up for an interview timeslot, one of the instructors will talk with you in Japanese via Zoom. The talk will be recorded and assessed to assign you to an appropriately leveled class.

Q6. When am I going to get my results?

A6. For timeliness’ sake, you should plan to complete all steps by November 17th. If you test later, results will usually be available within a week on a rolling basis until January 12th.

We look forward to welcoming you to our Japanese program at Brown this spring.

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