Foreign Language Placement and Exemption Examinations

(parts excerpted and modified from CAS Placement Examinations webpage)

The East Asian language exams are for students with previous language experience who wish to begin taking a language course with the department, or for CAS students who are seeking exemption from the foreign language requirement. Only students with reading/writing abilities should take the exams. Students who understand the language but cannot read or write, should enroll in:

  • Mandarin: EAST-UA 231 Elementary Chinese for Advanced Beginners
  • Korean: EAST-UA 281 Elementary Korean for Advanced Learners
  • Japanese: EAST-UA 247 Elementary Japanese I

AP, SAT-2, HSK Chinese proficiency test, and other exam results are not accepted for placement in EAS courses. For exemptions using AP, SAT-2, IB, or A-level exams, please consult the CAS Bulletin.

Placement and exemption exams can only be taken once. For EAS majors/minors, if you have taken the placement exam with the department or with CAS Academic Affairs in the past and need a reassessment due to recent non-NYU language study, please contact the Language Coordinator with the course materials from your non-NYU program. No reassessments will be made otherwise; students must enroll in the course they were placed into. Students should consult the instructor of the course after the first day of classes if they feel the course is not their ideal level.

Please read through the information below in its entirety, and refer to the CAS Placement Examinations webpage for more information.

I. Online Placement Examinations

For placement in Japanese, Korean or Mandarin (traditional and simplified), students must go to the College of Arts and Science’s language exam website and take the online exam of their choice:

Exemption-only paper exams are offered in person for students who score above the specified cutoffs on the online placement exams:

  • Japanese: 62.5 or higher (60 minutes long)
  • Korean: 81 or higher (60 minutes long)
  • Mandarin (traditional and simplified): 81 or higher (75 minutes long)

Students who score above these cutoffs on the placement exams and who wish to continue their study of the language at NYU should consult the score and placement results of their online exam. Please contact the department at with additional questions.

II. Signing up for in-person exemption exams for Japanese, Korean or Mandarin

Please refer to CAS Placement Examinations webpage for the most updated in-person exam information (see sections IV & V).