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Frequently Asked Questions

German Language Placement Test information
for 2024-2025

 QUESTION: Who needs to take the German Language Placement Test ?

  1. Students who have prior knowledge of German and who want to use German to satisfy the two-year language requirement by placing out of German 102-3.
  2. Students who have prior knowledge of German and want to continue with their German studies.
  3. Students who have come back from study abroad and need to be placed into the appropriate level of German. or need to earn specific German language credits .

These criteria apply to all students, including transfer students and students in graduate and professional schools.

QUESTION: Do I have to take the German placement test if I took the German AP Exam or the  German IB Exam (IB Language A Literature, IB Language A Literature & Language, IB Language B)

Yes, you will need to take the German placement test if you took the AP Exam or the German  IB Exam regardless of your scores. The placement test will establish if you have satisfied the two-year language requirement and/or which class you should take to continue your language study. You will find more information about AP Exams and IB Exams here.

QUESTION: I can speak German but am unable to read or write in the language. What are my options if I want to enroll in German classes at Northwestern?

You will still need to take the placement test to determine which class would be best for you. The placement test includes an extensive questionnaire about your language background which will help us decide the best course of action for you.

QUESTION: What does the German placement test look like?

The German placement test contain listening, reading, and writing sections to evaluate your overall proficiency in the language. In most cases, the questionnaire and the online portion of the placement test is enough to place you into the correct class. However, at times, we ask you to take a follow-up oral test (a brief interview) to verify the online test results. You will be notified over email whether you need to take an oral follow-up test.

QUESTION: How do I prepare for the German placement test?

The best way to start preparing for the test is to do some reading in German, especially if you have been away from the language for a while. Try reading a story, or skim through the latest online newspaper articles. You could also watch a short video or movie clip and practice speaking with a native speaker, if you have access to one.

QUESTION: Where can I find the German placement test?

You will find the appropriate test here: Take the Questionnaire and Language Test online

The deadline for incoming students to take the online placement test is July 15, 2024. Late acceptance and transfer students should  take the online placement test as soon as possible but no later than August 31, 2024.

QUESTION: Where will the placement test results be posted?

The German placement result will be emailed to each student. The results will also be posted online for the registrar to see and update your transcript.

QUESTION: How long can I access the placement test if I miss the deadline? How many times can I take it?

The placement test online will stay open during the Wildcat Welcome week. You may take the test only once every two years.

QUESTION: How long are the results valid?

The results are valid for four years.

If you still have questions, would like to discuss results, need to validate your placement results, or have general questions about studying German, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies before enrolling in a German course.