Foreign Language Testing

Self-Evals, Placement Tests and Waiver Tests

Site updated 01/19/2024


For questions, email / call 703-993-1220 / 5100 Horizon Hall

Some of our languages offer 101 and 102 courses.  You can take either 101 and 102 in two semesters, or you can take 110 in one semester—these two choices prepare you for course 201. 

To satisfy a BA foreign language requirement at GMU, and for some minors at GMU, a student must show intermediate knowledge of a foreign language to graduate-language knowledge of course content up to and including GMU foreign language courses 202 or 212. A student can do this by taking the courses needed, having AP, CLEP, IB, SAT language credits, passing one of our waiver tests, or doing the procedure for a language not taught at GMU. Two other ways are outlined on this website:

Please look for the following terms on this page to find out which test you want/how to take each test.

Self-Eval: for finding out what course level you should begin with.

Placement Test: for finding out what course level you should begin with.

Waiver Tests: for those who do very well on the self-evals/placement tests and want to try the (only-one-time) test to completely satisfy your foreign language requirements.

Waivers for Languages We Do Not Teach:  for those who know a different language well and want to satisfy your foreign language requirement using this language

Foreign Language Placement Tests/Self Evaluations

(for finding out where your language skill/knowledge lines up with our courses; then you will know what course to take first)

In-person Placement Tests

Latin placement tests are only available in-person (in our testing lab). You can also take all other language placement tests in our testing lab.

For Italian placement tests, please email Professor Humberto González Chávez at

Remote Placement Tests / Self-Evaluations

You can access our online placement tests or self-evaluations below to assist you with placement. For this, please click "Online Test ↓|" or "|Self-Evaluation ↓|" next to a language. If you use the self-evaluation for placement, and you register for a language course, it is suggested that you notify your instructor before the first day of class. At that time, help your instructor confirm that you chose the appropriate level. There can be both academic and financial consequences for staying in a course that is not proper placement; please work with your instructor about placement decisions.


Arabic |Remote Placement Test 

Chinese |Remote Placement Test 

French |Remote Placement Test |

German |Remote Placement 

Italian | please contact Professor Humberto González Chávez at 

Japanese |Remote Placement |

Korean |Remote Placement Test |


Russian |Remote Placement |

Spanish |Remote Placement Test |

Portuguese | Please contact Professor Queenan for placement and waiver tests.



Foreign Language Waiver Tests

(for making an attempt to 'test out' of 100 and 200 levels of foreign language requirements that BA degrees have. There is not a test for 'testing out' of the 100 level, there is only one test, and it is for the 100 and the 200 levels.)


The Department of Modern and Classical Languages (MCL) does not award credits for our language waiver tests.  For passing one of our language waiver tests (placed beyond all 200 levels of a language), students who have a foreign language requirement for their major or minor will instead receive a foreign language waiver.  Except for Global Affairs and Foreign Language majors, this will satisfy all foreign language requirements. In satisfying foreign language requirements, we submit the information to the registrar for processing. Therefore, our waiver tests are not for students who do not have a foreign language requirement.

You are permitted to take each language waiver test only one time

In-person Waiver Tests

Please bring your Mason ID. Please bring earphones that you can plug into and use on the testing computer. This is not needed for the Japanese wavier test.

The new Arabic waiver tests is now available in-person on campus. Please allow just over two hours for completing the test.

Italian waiver tests are currently being administered by Italian language Professor Humberto González Chávez. If you want tested in Italian, please email the professor at

Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Russian and Spanish tests are offered in our computer testing lab. Please come to room 5008 or 5100 Horizon Hall. Please allow just over two hours for completing these tests. We have not yet set any dates/times for summer in-person waiver tests—email us if you need to take an Arabic, German, Japanese, or Latin test.  For all other tests,  please sign up for the remote test.

Remote Waiver Tests 

If you cannot come to campus to take the test, we do have remote waiver tests for Chinese, French, Korean, and Spanish. For the remote tests, we ask that you first take the placement test, and see that you place into course number 201 or higher.  Links to these are found in the highlighted area under the Placement heading above. If you complete the eval/placement test well as described above, you are ready for a remote waiver test. If for some reason the lock down browser for the test does not video tape your entire test, or you do not follow the rules of Respondus like showing your desk and environment and like staying in front of the camera until completion, you will be asked to come to our testing lab to take your test.  Please sign up using this link: 

Sign up here for a remote Foreign Language Waiver Test

It may take five days after you sign up to be added to and be invited by email to take the test. These tests can be taken anytime that is convenient for student.

Waivers for Languages Not Taught at GMU

Students who are native speakers of a language other than English and other than the languages taught at GMU, can also be tested and waive their GMU foreign language requirement. At least one semester or more before their graduation date, a student can be tested by an acceptable examiner in the language. It is best to get the examiner approved by our advisor, Xi Chen.  Like all other language waivers, no credit is given. Below is a link to the procedures and forms.     

Waiver Forms (used for being tested elsewhere for languages not taught at GMU)