Self-Evaluation Placement / Waiver Test

Site updated Tuesday 02/19/2021

We have remote Spanish and Korean waiver tests and they are now open. 

You can only take the test one time. Please see info below for what you need to do to take and sign up for one of these.

We currently have no other remote language waiver tests.



The Department of Modern and Classical Languages (MCL) has discontinued the awarding of three credits to students taking the waiver test and placing out of SPAN 212 or 215 and into the 300 level.  For placing into the 300 level from the test, students who have a foreign language requirement for their major will receive a waiver but no credit. As this policy is put into place, consideration of three credits for level 202 of a language will be given to Spring 2021 graduates only.

Foreign Language Waiver Test

 You can only take our tests one time. Before signing up for a waiver test whether online or in our lab, you must first take our Self-Evaluation (in Korean called Online Evaluation) for your language and pass nearly the entire Self-Evaluation.  Links to these are found under the Placement heading below. If you complete the evaluation successfully, you may sign up for a waiver test below.

Remote waiver tests--We have two language waiver tests available remotely--Korean and Spanish. 

In-person waiver tests--The language computer testing lab in room 346 of the Aquia Building will open sometime during the semester, but at this time the lab will not be used for placement, only waiver tests.  [Please see more Placement information below.]  These tests are for Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Persian, Russian, and Spanish 

Our waiver tests are not easy, but if you do well on the one you take, and you have a foreign language requirement for your major, the passing of the test will satisfy it. Global Affairs may require more language courses than other majors; check with them if that is your major.

Sign up for an in-person or a remote Foreign Language Waiver Test

You are not scheduled for your test until you get a confirmation email from our office; it may come a few days later. That email will have important instructions. As always, you can only take the test one time for each language.

Placement Test

To minimize the number of students coming to campus for in-person tests in our lab, these tests will only be used for placement if an instructor requests it from the department. Otherwise, please use one of our Self-Evaluations found on this website to determine the best level course for you and proceed with registering for the course.

You can access the self-evaluation questionnaire by clicking "|Self-Evaluation ↓|" next to each language in the table below. For Italian, Latin, and Portuguese, please contact the language coordinator directly to determine the course most appropriate for you.

If you use the self-evaluation for placement, you should 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.

For questions, please email


Arabic |Self-Evaluation |

Naglaa Hussein /

Chinese |Self-Evaluation |

Xi Chen /

French |Self-Evaluation |

Raluca Romaniuc /

German |Self-Evaluation |

Natalia Dudnik /


Kristina Olson /

Japanese |Self-Evaluation |

Manako Fujiwara /

Korean |Online Evaluation |

Jihye Moon /


Martin Winkler /

Russian |Self-Evaluation |

Jim Levine /

Spanish |Self-Evaluation |

Alexia Vikis /

Persian |Self-Evaluation |

Maziar Valamotamed/


Tatiana Queenan /

Language Waivers for Other Languages

Foreign Language Waivers for students pursuing a B.A. degree

Students who are native speakers of a language other than English and other than the languages we teach, may be eligible to waive their GMU foreign language requirement. Being granted a foreign language waiver simply means the student has fulfilled this particular requirement and, as such, need not take any additional coursework in foreign languages. The waiver DOES NOT grant credit. If a waiver is granted, the student may replace the designated hours of foreign language coursework with elective courses to complete the total minimum requirement for graduation. 

What does one need to produce in order to request a waiver?

Students requesting a Foreign Language Waiver may be asked to come to our office in person. The Foreign Language Waiver request forms must be submitted, along with the following documentation:

Test Results

Students may present language test results as evidence of foreign language ability. With some of the more common foreign languages, the student should be able to locate an already established placement exam at one of the area universities. Students can also use testing services provided by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and similar institutions. For languages that are less common, it is the student’s responsibility to locate an acceptable authority in the language that is willing to administer an exam. An authority is someone who is affiliated with an accredited institution or embassy, and who is familiar with language-level designations at U.S. universities. This may include:

a. an instructor of another institution (college-level) who is currently teaching this language;

b. a George Mason University Modern and Classical Languages instructor who is fluent in this language;

c. a George Mason University instructor of English and/or ESOL/ESL who is fluent in this language;

d. an authority at the local embassy or consulate;

The Department of Modern and Classical Languages will not accept language exams administered by someone with whom they have a personal relationship, such as a family member.

If the student opts to take a foreign language exam, he or she must provide the Department of Modern and Classical Languages with test results. The authority who administered and graded the exam should attach a letter on their institutional letterhead describing the exam. In order to qualify for a waiver, the student must provide evidence that they read, write and speak the language at or above the intermediate level.

All Foreign Language Waiver requests must be provided to the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at least one semester prior to the student’s intended semester of graduation.

This policy ensures that there will be adequate time to process requests and submit them to the relevant office(s) on campus. It also gives students time to plan accordingly if their waiver is not approved. After a four-week period, the student should check their degree evaluation in Patriot Web to see if the waiver has been approved and applied.


Students who wish to submit transcripts as evidence that they attended four or more years in an institution (High school and above) located outside of the United States where the primary language of instruction was other than English may do so through the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs (Buchanan Hall D217, phone 703-993-8725).