Language Placement Testing

Planning to enroll in a language course for the first time at Stanford this year?

If you have ANY prior experience with the language, you must take a placement test before courses begin. In the fall, there are scheduled exams for Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Classical Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Spanish for Home Background Speakers, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. For other languages, email

Placement test results are valid for one year, so if your results have expired, you must retake the exam.

Language Testing

  1. First, take the written exam. Take the online written component of the language exam before the oral placement exam. Although the Language Center webpage for the written placement test says it must be taken according to a schedule, that only applies to the summer when large numbers of students are taking the test. During the academic year, simply proceed to the online written test for Spanish, French, Chinese, Japanese, German, and Italian without worrying about a schedule or advance permission. For other languages, email to ask what to do.
  2. Second, take the oral exam. After taking the written test, then attend an oral placement test, usually held around week 6 of the quarter before you want to take the class. Visit the Language Center website for exact times and places. (Note that the "Spring On-Campus Oral Test" is offered in the winter for placement in spring classes, and so forth.)

Review the full guidelines for placement tests, and if you have questions, email