Taking the Departmental Placement Test

The German Placement exam is an online exam that you can take at any time. It as various sections with easier and more difficult tasks, including reading, writing, listening and speaking. You should attempt to do all of the sections. You can take as much time for the exam as you like. However, the exam must be taken without any outside help or books to accurately place you in the appropriate German course.

The German Placement Exam will place a student in the appropriate German class from which he/she will begin work towards fulfilling the German Language Requirement.

Based on the results of the Northwestern German Placement Exam, the German department will place students into one of the following classes:

  • 101-1 (First Year German, first quarter, taught in the Fall)
  • 101-2 (First Year German, second quarter, taught in the Winter)
  • 102-1 (Second Year German, first quarter, taught in the Fall)
  • 102-2 (Second Year German, second quarter, taught in the Winter)
  • 102-3 (Second Year German, third quarter, taught in the Spring)

Or one of the following classes: 211 Introduction to Film, 221-3 Introduction to German Literature; 205 Focus Writing.

Students with inconclusive results (for example a low placement exam score despite several years of language instruction or a sufficiently high score to pass the Foreign Language Proficiency Requirement) will be asked to take a short follow-up oral exam (German Proficiency Validation Exam) to ensure proper placement.

Students are not allowed to enroll in a lower class than what they were placed in because they will essentially repeat work they have done at the high school level and they will NOT be given credit for the class. A student can, however, enroll in a class higher than what the result of the exam suggests if he/she feel that his/her language skills are strong and that he/she did poorly on the test.