Self-Evaluation for Language Course Placement


Site updated 4/21/2020

The in-person Language Placement Tests have been cancelled temporarily because of Covid 19. They provide the best course placement for you; WE WILL ANNOUNCE ON THIS WEBPAGE WHEN THEY WILL RESUME. 

For now, if you already have some proficiency in any of the languages we teach, you should use one of our Self-Evaluations to determine the Summer20 or Fall20 course that is appropriate for your language level. 

You can access the self-evaluation questionnaire by clicking "|Self-Evaluation |" next to each language in the table below. Self-evaluation questionnaires are not available for some languages. 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. Your instructor will then evaluate your proficiency to determine whether you are at 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.

No credit will be assigned to students placing out of 202 until our lab reopens. Graduating students will be advised to wait for the fall to take the placement test or consult with the Undergraduate Advisor (Xi Chen, to find an individual solution for them in case this is not an option.

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 |Self-Evaluation |

Jihye Moon /


Martin Winkler /

Russian |Self-Evaluation |

Jim Levine /

Spanish |Self-Evaluation |

Alexia Vikis /

Persian |Self-Evaluation |

Maziar Valamotamed/


Tatiana Queenan /


Using SAT, AP, or IB Scores to Determine Placement

Students who submit scores on the College Board Achievement (SAT II), Advanced Placement (AP), or International Baccalaureate (IB) with their application to George Mason may use those scores to determine placement. See Academic Credit by Exam (below) for details. At Mason students may not take tests and use them for placement or credit after matriculation.


Students may be eligible for a waiver of the foreign language requirement if they can demonstrate language proficiency through documentation of previous language experience, including a qualifying TOEFL score with their application to George Mason. See Waiver of the Foreign Language Requirement (below) for more information. Students who are granted a waiver do not receive credit. Students should address questions about waivers of the foreign language requirement to the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Course Waivers

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

 Waivers are completely separate from language placement tests, are usually used for languages that are not taught at Mason, and no credit is given like is possible with a placement test.

Students who are native speakers of a language other than English 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 and it DOES NOT exempt the student from completing the necessary 120 credit hours for graduation. 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:

  1. an instructor of another institution (college-level) who is currently teaching this language;
  2. a George Mason University Modern and Classical Languages instructor who is fluent in this language;
  3. a George Mason University instructor of English and/or ESOL/ESL who is fluent in this language;
  4. 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 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).