Language Placement Information & Link to Placement Test

The information below is intended to help students with prior language experience determine whether they must take a language placement test prior to registering for a language course at Oberlin.

Note: If you have no prior experience in the language you wish to study, please register for the first semester (101) course

To access the placement tests click here (ObieID required)

Arabic:

Beginning and intermediate level Arabic is offered.  There is no placement test.

Please contact Professor Mahmoud Meslat with any questions.

Chinese:

All incoming students who have acquired linguistic ability in Chinese elsewhere, or who wish to qualify for advanced courses, should take the placement test administered during Orientation, or in consultation with a Chinese faculty member, to determine the level at which Chinese study should be continued.

There are two parts to this exam.  One is written and online, the second is an oral interview that will be scheduled on August 26th (for incoming first year students)

For further information please contact Professor Qiusha Ma

French:

Students who have received a score of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement (AP) exam in French Language or French Literature will be automatically awarded credit for one course toward graduation, but not toward the major. Whether they plan to major in French or not, they should enroll in one of the gateway courses for the French major (French 301, 309, or 321) before proceeding to more advanced courses. To determine the appropriate gateway course for you, take the Oberlin Placement Test or contact Professor Libby Murphy

It is the department’s policy to advance students as fast as achievement warrants. Students who have taken the SAT II Exam in French should enroll in courses according to their score:

(550-625) enroll in French 203 or 205, 206
(626-800) enroll in French 301, 309, or 321

Students with previous study of French who have not taken the AP or SAT II exam should take the Oberlin French Placement Test administered by the department during orientation to determine their appropriate level.

For further information please contact Professor Libby Murphy

German:

Advanced Placement: Students who have received a score of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement (AP) exam in German will automatically be awarded credit for one course toward graduation. This course may be applied toward the German or German Studies major.

All students who have studied German–whether or not they have taken the AP exam– are strongly encouraged to take the Oberlin German Placement Test to determine their appropriate level

For further information please contact Professor Elizabeth Hamilton

Hebrew:

Only introductory Hebrew is offered.  There is no placement test.

Please contact Professor Yaron Kolton  with any questions.

Italian:

Students who have studied Italian in the past are welcome to take the placement test.  Contact Professor Ivana Di Siena if you have further questions about your placement.

Japanese:

All incoming students who have acquired linguistic ability in Japanese elsewhere, or who wish to qualify for advanced courses, should take the placement test administered during Orientation, or in consultation with a Japanese faculty member, to determine the level at which Japanese study should be continued.

There are two parts to this exam.  One is written and online, the second is an oral interview that will be scheduled on August 26th (for incoming first year students)

For further information please contact Professor Ann Sherif

Portuguese:

Only introductory Portuguese is offered.  There is no placement test.

Please contact Professor Isadora Grevan  with any questions.

Russian:

Placement: Incoming students with previous training in Russian should take the Placement Test to determine the appropriate level to continue studying Russian. Students beginning at Oberlin should note course sequences, some of which are prerequisite to the advanced level and the major. Participation in a Russian study abroad program is highly recommended, as is residency in Russian House.

Suggested Course Sequence: New students considering a major should take a Russian language course in their first semester. New students with or without previous training are encouraged to take a related course in translation, such as Russian literature, culture, history or politics during their first year.

Further questions can be directed to Professor Arlene Forman

Spanish:

Advanced Placement: A score of 5 on the AP Spanish language or literature exam automatically receives credit for 1 full academic course as Hispanic Studies 300, qualifying students to work at the 300 level.  Students who have scored a 6 or 7 on the Spanish (Advanced) exam of the IB curriculum will also receive 1 course credit, as HISP 300.

Suggested Course Sequence: First and second-year students having obtained a score of 5 on the AP exams or a 6 or 7 on the IB Spanish (Advanced) are encouraged to take HISP 306 before taking HISP 309, 310, 317, or 318.  HISP 300 counts toward the total number of academic credits required for the major.

A placement test is required of every student with a prior knowledge of Spanish who wishes to enroll in a class, except for students who have taken the AP exam and scored a 5 (see above).

For further information please contact Professor Ana Cara

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