Placement Exam FAQs

1. Do I need to take the Chinese Placement Exam?

Most students will need to take one of the Foreign Language Placement Exams.  


 2. When can I take the exam?

The exam is available online during the summer and advising periods 


 3. What if I don’t have my Lewis & Clark email address or account yet?

You need to create your LC email account at the IT department.


4.  What does the Chinese Placement Exam consist of and how long does it take? 

There are 25 (twenty-five) multiple choice items, 13 (thirteen) sentence scrambles and one close reading. You have 100 (one hundred) minutes to complete the exam.


5.  I’m an incoming freshman, but I am not planning on taking any Chinese classes until next fall. Should I still take the placement exam right now?

Yes. It is highly recommended to take the exam as early as possible.  Knowing your current level will help you plan your registrations.  Your placement will expire after one year unless you place out of the foreign language requirement.  However, if you take the exam during the summer or NSO, your placement will still be valid this spring when registering for a fall Chinese course.


6. I took the Chinese Placement Exam online during the summer and placed into 202.  Can I register for 202 now?  Have I fulfilled my foreign language requirement?

No.  Due to the insecure nature of the exam, all students who place into 202 or higher are required to confirm their placement by speaking with a Chinese professor or taking a proctored exam on campus.  Once you have confirmed your placement, you may register for an upper level course.  Rest assured that there will be enough space in the upper level courses, as all incoming students will have to wait until NSO to register for these courses too.


7. I already took the exam but I feel like I should have done better on it. Can I retake it?

No.  The exam can only be taken once per academic year.  Instead, contact professor Keith Dede at to schedule an oral interview.  This will more accurately determine your appropriate level. 


8. I’m currently taking Chinese 102, but I feel like I already know the material and would like to jump ahead to 201.  Can I retake the exam to jump ahead?

No.  The Chinese Placement Exam is not intended to be a challenge test.  You may not take the exam if you are enrolled in or have already taken a Chinese course at Lewis & Clark College.  If you are in a course and feel that it is not the appropriate level for you, discuss this with your professor.


9. I took Chinese 102 last spring semester, then spent the summer studying in Beijing.  Can I retake the exam to show what I’ve learned?

Maybe.  Meet with professor Keith Dede ( to determine how much experience you have gained and whether your current proficiency puts you at another level.  You may be asked to retake the placement exam.