Japanese - College of Arts and Sciences - Lewis & Clark

Placement Exam

Frequently Asked Questions


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

Most students will need to take one of the Foreign Language Placement Exams.  To find out exactly how your situation applies, see the FL Placement Exam Flowchart


 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 Account Management.


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

There will be a mix of multiple choice, fill in the blank, sentence scrambles, translations and writing sections.  You will have 100 minutes to take the exam.


5.  I’m an incoming freshman, but I am not planning on taking any Japanese 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 Japanese course.


6. I took the Japanese 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 Japanese 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 Bruce Suttmeier at bruces@lclark.edu to schedule an oral interview.  This will more accurately determine your appropriate level. 


8. I’m currently taking Japanese 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 Japanese 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 Japanese 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 Japanese 102 last spring semester, then spent the summer studying in Tokyo.  Can I retake the exam to show what I’ve learned?

Maybe.  Meet with professor Bruce Suttmeier (bruces@lclark.edu) 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.