Foreign Language Testing

Self-Evals, Placement Tests and Waiver Tests

Site updated 06/01/2023


For questions, email or call 703-993-1220

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, taking one of our waiver tests, or doing the procedure for a language we do not teach.

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

Italian and 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 if you do not want to or cannot take them remotely.

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 |Online Placement Test 

Chinese |Online Placement Test 

French |Online Placement Test |

German |Self-Evaluation 


Kristina Olson /

Japanese |Self-Evaluation |

Korean |Online Placement Test |


Russian |Self-Evaluation |

Spanish |Online Placement Test |


Please contact Professor Queenan for placement and waiver tests.



Foreign Language Waivers and Tests

(for making an attempt to 'test out' of 100 and 200 levels of foreign language requirements 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 level.)


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 will instead receive a language waiver (satisfying required language courses). In satisfying their 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

Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Russian and Spanish tests are offered in our computer lab on campus- 5100 Horizon Hall or 5008 Horizon Hall. You do not sign up for these tests.

Dates of Fall 2023 testing are TBD. Dates for Summer 2023 testing are as follows:

Wednesday, June 7, 2023, 2pm

Wednesday, June 14, 2023, 2pm

Wednesday, July 19, 2023, 2pm

Wednesday, August 16, 2023, 2pm

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, 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 We Do Not Teach

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)