Arabic Language Placement and Exemption Exam
UCI students who speak and read Arabic can take a placement exam or an exemption exam to satisfy Category VI and VIII General Education requirements.
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Arabic Placement Exam
1. How can I enroll in an Arabic course?
If you are interested in enrolling in Arabic 1A:
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 about the test.
2. What is the purpose of the Arabic Placement Test?
The Arabic Placement Test is designed to assess your proficiency in Arabic. It assesses your readiness for Arabic courses at UCI. You will be placed into one of the following courses:
- 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 skills in more than one language will be able to engage with the world in more meaningful and productive ways.
Successful completion of lower-division coursework (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 coursework 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. 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.
5. 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 ATC 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.
6. How long is the test?
The Arabic placement test is 120 minutes long, consisting of multiple-choice questions, including a number of questions with several parts. There are writing and translation sections, in addition to questions concerning grammar.
7. 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.
8. Is test registration required?
Yes. Test registration is always required. You may register by contacting the ATC. You may also register in person at the ATC. You must present two government issued IDs at the time of registration. Appointments may be scheduled anytime during the business week.
9. Do I need an ID to take a placement test?
Yes. You will need two forms of valid photo ID. Examples of valid photo ID are: a UCI, other university, or or high school ID; a driver’s license with a photo; a state-issued identification card with a photo; a valid passport; or any government-issued identification with a photo.
Arabic Exemption Testing
The Arabic Exemption Test is offered to students as an alternative means for satisfying the Language Other Than English (Category VI) and the International/Global Issues (Category VIII) General Education requirements. You should take this test if you have a strong background in Arabic and are not interested in taking additional coursework.
This test is the same test as the placement test. If you want to enroll in an Arabic course at UCI, consult the UCI General Catalogue, School of Humanities (under the “Humanities Language Learning Program” section) for placement procedures and policies.
The highest proficiency level attainable at UCI by taking the Arabic exam is 2C.
This test may be taken only once. No University credit is given. There is no fee to take the 2-hour test if you are a UCI student.
Contact the ATC to schedule and register for the exam. You must present two government-issued IDs at the time of registration.
NOTIFICATION OF RESULTS
Results will not be available by telephone; students will be notified via e-mail to come by the ATC when results are available to collect in our office. Results will be available during Finals Week on the ATC website. Notifications will be sent to each student’s academic unit. Results will not appear on the student’s transcript.