Arabic Placement Exam 

 1. How can I enroll in an Arabic course?

a. If you are interested in enrolling in Arabic 1A:

No placement test is required. You may enroll directly through WebReg if space permits. Please visit the Schedule of Classes to view course offerings and seat availability. 

b. If you are interested in enrolling in a level above 1A: 

You must take the Arabic placement test to receive course placement and enrollment authorization. See below for more information on the test. 


2. What is the purpose of the Arabic Placement Test?

The purpose of the Arabic Placement Test is to assess your readiness for Arabic courses at UCI. Students will be placed into one of the following courses: Arabic 1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B or 2C.

For more information about the Arabic program at UCI, please visit the Program in Global Languages and Communication website here.

3. Who needs to take courses in Arabic?

Language learning is an integral part of a university education and learning another language is a worthwhile endeavor for any student, whether that language is one’s heritage language or a completely new language. The acquisition of a second or even third language increases one’s global literacy and helps to foster a greater appreciation of diversity. In our rapidly changing and increasingly interconnected world, students with language skills in more than one language will be able to engage their world in more meaningful and productive ways.

Successful completion of lower-division course work (or the equivalent) in Arabic through the 2C level may be used to satisfy the foreign language requirement in the School of Humanities. Completion of Arabic course work through the 1C level may also be used to satisfy UCI's Language Other Than English (Category VI) General Education requirement. Students majoring in International Studies must satisfy Language Other Than English requirements through the 2C level. Please consult your academic advisor if you have questions about these requirements.

 4. How can I enroll in a Arabic course?

You must complete the following steps to enroll in an Arabic course at UCI:

  • Complete a Student Language Background Survey available on the Program in Global Languages and Communication web site.
  • Take the placement test, if required.
  • After you have taken the placement test, the director of the Program in Global Languages and Communication will contact you to discuss your placement and enrollment authorization.

5. What should I study before the examination?

The test contains only formal Arabic (also known as Modern Standard Arabic and al-Fusha).

Exam questions may test listening comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, reading comprehension, and translation.

Review vocabulary related to your nuclear and extended family, university life, the time, the weather, travel, the annual calendars in use in the Middle East, holidays, identity, settling in a foreign country, relationships, opinion, social and political issues, as well as other topics.

In respect to grammar, review the following: noun-adjective agreement; nominal and verbal sentences (al-jumla al-ismiyya wa al-jumla al-filiyya); connected and disconnected pronouns and their uses; conditional sentences; adjectival clauses (jumla as-sifa); past, present (al-mudari’ al-marfu wa al-mansub wa al-majzum), and future verb conjugations; subject-verb agreement; the dual; negating verbs; case endings (al-I’raab), in addition to other points of grammar.

6. How can I prepare for the examination?

Reviewing newspapers and books and listening to the news or media in formal Arabic can help prepare you for the test. 

In addition, the following texts are an excellent review of the fundamentals of Arabic:

Brustad, K., Al-Batal, M., Al-Tonsi, A. (2011). Al-Kitab fii Ta’llum al-Arabiyya. Part One. Third Edition. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.

Brustad, K., Al-Batal, M., Al-Tonsi, A. (2005). Al-Kitab fii Ta’llum al-Arabiyya. Part Two. Second Edition. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.

The Academic Testing Center has a small reference library to help you with your test preparation. Click here to learn about the check-out and return policies and procedures.

7. How long is the test?

The Arabic placement test is 120 minutes long, consisting of mutliple choice questions, including a number of questions with several parts. There are writing and translation sections, in addition to questions concerning grammar.

8. How long are the results valid?

The results are valid for your entire academic career at UCI. You may take the test only one time. Please be advised that if you take the test more often than allowed, your new results will not be reported.

No University credit is given. There is no fee to take the test if you are a UCI student. 

9. Is test registration required?

Yes. Test registration is always required. You may register by contacting the Academic Testing Center for scheduling and registration for the exam. You may also register in person at the Academic Testing Center. You must present two government issued ID's at the time of registration. Appointments may be scheduled anytime during the business week day.

10. Do I need an I.D. to take a placement test?

Yes. You will need two forms of valid photo I.D. Examples of valid photo I.D. are: a UCI, other university, or or high school I.D.; a photo-bearing driver's license; a state-issued identification card with photo; a valid passport; or any government-issued identification bearing a photo.

Sample Items:

Click here for sample items.

If you need further information on language testing, please e-mail the Academic Testing Center at testcenter@uci.edu or call our office at (949) 824-6207 or contact your academic counseling office.