Chinese Language Placement and Exemption Exam

UCI students who speak and read Chinese can take a placement exam or an exemption exam to satisfy Category VI and VIII General Education requirements.

Chinese Exemption Exam

The Chinese exemption exam is the same as the Chinese Placement Test. You must also attend the oral interview in order to satisfy the Category VI Language Other than English General Education requirement. The highest proficiency level attainable at UCI by taking the Chinese exam is 3C.

If you need further information on language testing, please e-mail the ATC at, call our office at (949) 824-6207, or contact your academic counseling office.

Chinese Placement Test

What is the purpose of the Chinese Placement Test?

The purpose of the Chinese Placement Test is to assess your preparation for course work in Chinese at UCI. Students will be placed into one of the following courses: Chinese 1A, 1B,1C, 1MA, 1MB, 1MC, 2A, 2B, 2C, 2A, 3B, 3C, or an upper-division Classical Chinese course 100A.

This test is the same test that is used to satisfy the Language Other Than English (Category VI) requirement. The Chinese Placement Test may not be repeated.

Who needs to take courses in Chinese?

Successful completion of lower-division coursework (or the equivalent) is required for Chinese majors and minors and may be used to satisfy the foreign language requirement in the School of Humanities. Completion of Chinese coursework through the 1C level may also be used to satisfy UCI’s Language Other Than English (Category VI) requirement.

How can I enroll in a Chinese course?

Students intending to enroll in a Chinese language class for the first time must complete a placement assessment at For additional information, please contact the Chinese Program at Students registered in any section of Chinese classes MUST ATTEND THE FIRST and SECOND class meeting of the course. Any student who does not meet this condition will be required to drop the class.

How can I prepare for the examination?

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.

What should I study before the examination?

You should have an active vocabulary and some knowledge of grammar to be able to perform the following tasks: exchange common greetings; tell time; talk about the weather, family, and studies; talk about your likes, dislikes, and interests; inquire about a price; make a choice; make a suggestion or give advice; make a comparison; inquire about location and give directions; state your opinion and make comments; and handle reasonably complicated survival situations. The test is available in either traditional or simplified characters.

Review materials:

  • Tseng, S.-H., et al., eds., Practical Chinese Reader Book I. Traditional Characters (2nd. Ed.), Boston: Cheng & Tsui Company, 1995.
  • Wang, Peggy, Laughing in Chinese (2nd. Ed.), Quebec: East Asia Linguistic Services 1996.
  • Chou, C.P., and D.-L. Chao, Intermediate reader of Modern Chinese, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992.
  • Teng, S.-H., and L.S. Perry, Taiwan Today, Boston: Cheng & Tsui Company, 1999.

How long is the examination?

You will have 60 minutes to answer 80 multiple-choice questions.

How long are the results valid?

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

Be sure to complete the interview process to receive your authorization.

Chinese oral interviews are offered online via Zoom meeting on a pre-scheduled basis. Email Ruohmei Hsieh at to request a Zoom oral interview. Interviews are available on most weekdays at 12:00, 12:15, 12:30, and 12:45 PM. Please name a specific day/time in your request based on this availability.

Sample Test Items:

Click here for sample items.