Japanese Langauge Placement and Exemption Exam

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


The Japanese exemption exam is the same as the Japanese 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 Japanese exam is 3C.


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

Japanese Placement Test

What is the purpose of the Japanese Placement Test?

The purpose of the Japanese Placement Test is to assess your preparation for course work in Japanese at UCI. Students will be placed into one of the following courses: Japanese 1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B, 2C, 3A, 3B or 3C.

This test is the same test that is used to satisfy the Language Other Than English (Category VI) General Education requirement. Satisfaction of the General Education requirement may be attained with a sufficient score on this placement test and a satisfactory performance in the oral interview. The Japanese Placement Test may not be repeated.

Who needs to take courses in Japanese?


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

How can I enroll in a Japanese course?

All students who want to take Japanese courses and do not meet the requirement to be exempt (see below) from the test, must take the placement test. After taking the placement test, students need to see the Japanese Academic Coordinator for an oral interview. Specific information on how to set up your oral interview will be provided in your result letterYou will need to take the Background Survey with you, to the oral interview.

****Please note. For this Covid-19 period, Information regarding the Zoom interview process will be made available after the exam.

Who is exempt?

You are exempt from this test if you answer “NO” to all the following questions. However, you still must go to the Testing Center, 3040 Anteater Instruction and Research Building, to fill out a form to be exempt from the placement test. You must also present two forms of valid photo I. D. at this time. Once you receive notification from the East Asian Language Department, then you can enroll in the 1A class. You should be notified within 24 hours of completing the form.

Background Questions:

  1. Does anyone in your family speak any Japanese?

  2. Have you taken any Japanese classes at schools or been tutored?

  3. Have you lived in Japan more than one year?

  4. Can you read or write Hiragana?

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 greeting among classmates and family, talk about marriage, home, weather, talk about hobbies, education, life and nature, exchange opinion in regards to travel and health.

How can I prepare for the examination?

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.

Review materials:

  1. Tohsaku, Y. Yookoso. Vol. 1 An Introduction to Contemporary Japanese, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1999.

  2. Tohsaku, Y. Yookoso. Vol. 2 Continuing with Contemporary Japanese, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1999.

  3. Morioka, A. Nihon Ni Tuite Kangaeyoo. Let’s Think About Japan, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1997.

How long is the test?

You will have 60 minutes to answer 40 listening, 30 reading, and 20 Kanji 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.

Is test registration required?

Test registration is always required. You may register online, by phone or email.

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

Yes. To be admitted to any test administered by the Testing Center, you must present two forms of valid photo I.D. This requirement is strictly enforced.

The following are examples of acceptable forms of I.D.:

UCI or other school photo I.D. card AND a government-issued photo I.D. card. (e.g., a photo-bearing driver’s license, a photo-bearing DMV-issued identification card, a photo-bearing military I.D. card, a passport featuring a current photograph, a Permanent Resident Card- commonly know as a Green Card– featuring a current photograph).

Sample items:

Click here for sample items.

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