Language Placement Exams

Chinese Placement Test for Spring 2021

This is a short introduction to the Chinese Placement Test. Here you can find out whether you should take the test while you entertain the idea of taking a Chinese class. You will also get a general idea of what the test is going to look like. The test will become available on November 9. You can access the test by clicking on the links on the websites of the Department of East Asian Studies (link is below) or the Center for Language Studies.   If you have any questions regarding the test, contact Lung-Hua Hu (胡老师).


Placement Test (Simplified Version)                         Placement Test (Traditional Version)


Below is a table showing what courses we will be offering throughout the three semesters during the academic year of 2020-2021.

  Fall 2020 Spring 2021 Summer 2021

CHIN 0100

CHIN 0200  
CHIN 0300  
CHIN 0400  
CHIN 0350    
CHIN 0450    
CHIN 0500    
CHIN 0600    
CHIN 0700    
CHIN 0800    
CHIN 0920D Business Chinese    
CHIN 0920H Language and Culture    


I. Do I need to take this test? 

●      No, if you have taken Chinese at Brown and received a passing grade.  You will be able to take the next level up and do not need to take this test.  

●      No, if you have taken a Chinese course at Brown and attended an ‘accredited’ summer program in 2020.  An ‘accredited’ summer program is normally one of the following: IUP (Inter-University Program), PiB (Princeton in Beijing), HBA (Harvard Beijing Academy), Middlebury College Summer Chinese School, any CET program in China or Taiwan, ICLP (in Taiwan), Chinese Language Center at National Cheng Kung University (in Taiwan).  If you attended a program that is not listed here, please contact the Study Abroad Advisor, Prof. Wenhui Chen, who will help you evaluate your proficiency level.

If you received a passing grade from one of the summer programs above, you will be able to skip a level and register for the next level up. However, you need to write to the instructor to receive an Override Code to do that.

●      Yes, if you have never taken any Chinese courses at Brown but have received formal Chinese language training elsewhere.

●      Yes, if you have never taken any Chinese courses at Brown but you come from a Chinese-speaking family or environment.

II. What is the test like?

●      The test will be administered through Canvas, using Google Forms.  A Brown email address is required to log in.

●      There will be six sections in the test.  You can choose your preferred style between Traditional and Simplified characters.  You have unlimited time to complete the test but once submitted, you cannot retake the test.  No external assistance is allowed during the test.  This includes any online resources, family, etc.

1.     Section 1 is a background information questionnaire.

2.     Section 2 is a vocabulary and grammar test.  The questions will be rendered in the form of multiple-choice questions.

3.     Section 3 is a reading comprehension test.  You will be asked to read a few short paragraphs, and then answer multiple-choice questions. 

4.     Section 4 is a character recognition test.  You will be asked to read five sentences written in Chinese characters and then videotape yourself reading aloud those sentences. Instructions will be available in the test.

5.     Section 5 is an oral test.  You will watch an assigned video clip and then give a gist of the clip in one minute.

6.     Section 6 is a short essay.  A topic will be assigned and you will HANDWRITE the essay.  Write between 100-150 characters or as many as you can; take a photo of the essay, or scan it, and then upload the image. 

Korean Placement Test for Fall 2020

Thank you for your interest in studying Korean at Brown University. The following chart shows Korean language course offerings for the academic year 2020-2021, which will operate on a trimester plan due to COVID-19. 


Fall 2020

Spring 2021

Summer 2021

KREA 0100


KREA 0200


KREA 0300



KREA 0400



KREA 0500



KREA 0600




Placement Test for Korean: FAQs  

1. Who does NOT need to take a placement test? 

a)   The so-called ‘true beginners’ (i.e. who has never learned Korean before or who does not have any background/prior knowledge in the Korean language). These students can register for KREA0100. 

b)  Those students who completed a course at Brown with a passing grade and want to move up to the next level 

c)   Those students who have completed a course with a passing grade at an institution in Korea (i.e. Brown approved or sponsored programs) during the summer (they need to contact [email protected] for credit approval and the placement in the next right level) 

2. Who NEEDS to take the placement test? 

a)   Those who have some background/prior knowledge in the language but are not sure which level will be the right fit 

b)  Heritage speakers (i.e. coming from a Korean ethnic background) should take the test unless you have already taken a course at Brown

3. What is the format of the test? 

It will be a personal interview through Zoom during which students will be evaluated on their Korean proficiency in all four language modalities (i.e. speaking/listening, reading/writing). At the end of the interview, you will be asked to write a short essay on a given topic. You need to have something to write with (e.g. iPad, pen and paper). 

4. Do I need to prepare for the test? 

No, you don’t need to. Just bring yourself. 

5. When can I take this test? 

You should email [email protected] for an appointment. If you have any other or further questions, please also contact Prof. Wang at the same email address.

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:

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.