Placement Test

Chinese language courses CHIN 10A, 30A, 105A and 120A are generally offered in the fall, and CHIN 20B, 29B, 40B, 105B, 106B, 120B and 140A are generally offered in the spring.

If you have learned Chinese in high school, at home, or stayed in China for a long time, we strongly suggest you take a Chinese language placement test to determine the level at which you should begin your foreign language course work at Brandeis. It is a computer-based, online, real-time (face-to-face communication with a tester both orally and in writing) test covering listening, speaking, reading, and writing. You will need to set up your computer for Chinese input and install Skype software before requesting the test. 

Please email Xiwen Lu, Director and Undergraduate Advising Head of the Chinese Language Program, to request a placement test. In your email, please provide your Brandeis ID, your Skype name, and your available time slots (one hour each). Someone from the Chinese Language Program will contact you as soon as possible to set up your placement test.

SAT II test scores in Chinese do not satisfy the foreign language requirement.

Frequently Asked Questions about Placement

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What Chinese language courses does Brandeis offer?

We offer comprehensive courses from Beginning Chinese (CHIN 10A) through High Advanced Chinese (CHIN 120B). In addition, we also offer Advanced Business Chinese (CHIN 106B), Classical Chinese (CHIN 140B), and three graduate-level courses (CHIN 200A, CHIN 201A, and CHIN 202B) on Chinese language instruction.

Do I need to take the placement test if I speak fluent Chinese but don’t read or write Chinese?

No. In this case, you should take CHIN 29B: Pathway to Chinese Literacy, a special course designed for students who speak Chinese well but with weak or no skill of reading and writing.

Do I need to take the placement test if I have passed the AP Chinese test?

If your AP score is 5, you do not need to take the placement test, as the course that fits you best is CHIN 105A.

If your AP score is 4, it will fulfill CHIN 30A; however, the placement test is still recommended.

If your AP score is 3 or below, you will need to take the placement test.

What should I do if I want to place out (pass the language requirement)?

You may either take the Chinese placement test or take the language exemption test in the beginning of each semester.

What is the format of the test?

It is an online test. For the first 20 minutes or so, you will communicate with the tester via Skype both orally and in writing. Then, if the tester thinks your level is intermediate or higher, you will be required to read an article, complete multiple choice questions, and write a single page comment. You must complete your composition in 30 minutes. You may choose traditional Chinese character or simplified character for the reading.