Language Testing

1. Foreign Language Placement Exams

All Columbian College of Arts and Sciences (CCAS) foreign language departments require students to take placement tests to determine their level of proficiency in languages they studied before coming to GW. The Language Center administers these placement exams, and students are placed in an appropriate course based on the results. Students may not register for a course other than that determined by the placement test without the written permission of the language department. There is no charge to the student for placement tests, and no credit (advanced standing) is awarded for courses waived as a result of these tests. 

Which Language Test Should I Take?

Placement Tests by Language

Placement exam requirements vary by language program; see each test page for details. 


AP, IB and Other Placement Credits 

The GW Bulletin lists specific requirements for transferring credit from Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) exams. For questions regarding AP/IB credits, visit the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

2. Foreign Language Tool Exams 

Foreign Language Tool Exam Spring 2024 will be held on Friday, February 23, from 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm. Registration should be completed 3 days before the test.

CCAS requires master’s and doctoral students in many programs to complete a Foreign Language Tool Exam to evaluate their research skills. Contact your graduate program to find out if the exam is required for you.

The CCAS Foreign Language Tool Exam is offered online in the fall. Language Tool Exams are available for Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Italian, Spanish, ASL, and Arabic. For other languages please contact the Language Center.

  • The exam date cannot be changed, as we must coordinate the proctoring and grading by specialists.
  • The exam is administered online.
  • Exam results will be distributed to students by their advisors.
  • No outside resources such as dictionaries are allowed.

Questions about the Foreign Language Tool Exam? Please email [email protected]

Register for the Foreign Language Tool Exam

3. Other Testing and Evaluation for Grant/Scholarship Application

  • Major/Minor Requirements: Students who need to have their language major or minor requirement waived should contact the Language Center at [email protected].
  • Elliott School of International Affairs (ESIA): ESIA students take different diagnostic and proficiency exams as part of the foreign ESIA language proficiency requirement. For details, consult the Elliott School website.
  • Grant or Scholarship Requirements: Students who need language evaluations required for grants or scholarships — such as
    • Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS)
    • Fulbright

should fill out the:

Language Evaluation Request Form

* The Language Center does not issue any language certification.