Chinese Proficiency & Placement

See also general information on Proficiency and Placement Exams.

Proficiency Exams measure your ability in a language and are used to satisfy or waive language requirements.

Placement Interviews determine which language class is appropriate for your background and ability, and are only necessary if you intend to take the course. The interview results cannot be substituted for a proficiency exam. 

The department does not offer either Proficiency or Placement to those outside the University.

Please read carefully and thoroughly!

(For more information on Chinese language courses and answers to frequently asked questions, see the Chinese Language Courses page.)

Proficiency Exam

Note: We do not offer the Exam to prospective UW students or non-UW students.

One way to waive the one-year UW foreign language requirement is to pass the Department's Mandarin Proficiency Exam, scheduled quarterly during the regular academic year, except for summer quarter. (For information on proficiency testing in non-Mandarin dialects of Chinese, please contact the Language Learning Center at 543-0536.)

Steps to take the Chinese Proficiency Exam:

  1. A $20 fee is to be paid on the day the Exam is taken. If paying by check, make it out to "Department of Asian Languages and Literature."
  2. Send an email to with your (1) name, (2) student ID #, (3) e-mail address, (4) preference in simplified or traditional characters, (5) exam level required (100/200/300)*

*Please note that most majors require you to only pass the 100 level proficiency exam in order to fulfil your foreign language requirement. Check with your major adviser to determine if your major requires one or two years of foreign language courses in order to fulfill your foreign language requirement. If one year is the requirement, request the 100 level exam. If two years is the requirement, request the 200 level exam, and so on. 

The next Proficiency Exam will take place: Friday, January 8, 2016 from 2:30-4:30. Location: TBA

Second- and third-year proficiency exams are also offered for CISB students and Jackson School students, generally held at the same time as the Mandarin Proficiency Exam described above. For details or to sign up for an exam, send an email to

Placement Interview

If you would like to take a modern Chinese language course and are not currently enrolled in any UW Chinese language class, you must first complete the online Chinese Language Evaluation Questionnaire.

CISB students start here!


The Chinese Language Evaluation Questionnaire is OPEN for Winter Quarter 2016 placement

November 2 - December 7

 Once you have submitted your Questionnaire, you will receive an email indicating your status and including further directions. Notification is normally within five working days; we appreciate your patience. 

  • Note: if you find the Questionnaire closed, please check back again later. Or, if you get a "catalyst tools error" message when clicking on the link below, this simply means the questionnaire is currently closed.
  • Note: if you wish to take classical Chinese you do NOT need to fill out the questionnaire.

We regret that non-matriculated students will not be considered for modern Chinese language classes at the first- through third-year level, with the exception of Summer courses.

Chinese Language Evaluation Questionnaire


The University of Washington is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. If you are a student with a documented disability and need to request disability accommodation(s) for your interview, please contact the Disability Services Office at least ten days in advance of your scheduled interview date at: 206.543.6450/V, 206.543.6452/TTY, 206.685.7264 (FAX), or e-mail at