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Japanese 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, such as the one year Foreign Language requirement for the College of Arts & Sciences.

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.

Proficiency Exam


Because the UW Testing Center is currently closed due to the on-going global pandemic, we are offering the AVANT PLACE exam, a proctored test by Avant Assessment, as an alternate path to proving proficiency at the JAPAN 103 level to meet the College of Arts & Sciences language requirement. You can take this test at home. The test includes multiple-choice reading comprehension and reading grammar questions as well as writing.

Please use this link if you would like to take this test. For proficiency, be sure to choose the following option:

Language Proficiency Requirement Test for Japanese + Remote Proctoring ($38.90)

Once you have registered and paid for the test, AVANT will send you further instructions regarding proctoring and you can schedule the test. They also provide tech support, as needed.
If you are using a card from a bank based outside of the United States you may encounter an issue and the payment may be declined. If you do not receive an email receipt soon after payment, please reach out Avant Assessment Support at so they may assist you with this issue. Please be sure to check your spam folder and do not submit payment more than once.

For a proficiency assessment beyond the first-year level (such as to waive language requirements in programs such as the JSIS or CISB), contact our Japanese language coordinator, Izumi Matsuda at An oral interview to gauge your Japanese level will take place with one of our instructors. We charge $20 for for this interview, please bring exact cash, or, a check made out to "Department of Asian Languages and Literature," to the GWN 225 office beforehand. 

We do not offer proficiency assessment to UW applicants, prospective applicants, or non-UW students. 

To certify higher level Japanese skills for job-seeking and other purposes, the following tests are administered outside the UW:

  1. ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview) and WPT (Writing Proficiency Test). Visit
  2. JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test).  Visit

Placement Interview

If you have had no prior exposure to Japanese, then register for JAPAN 101 in Autumn quarter (or JAPAN 134 for Summer Intensive Classes).  These courses tend to fill quickly.

If you have taken Japanese at the University of Washington, then you can simply register for the next class in the sequence or see an advisor for course selection assistance.

If you have taken Japanese in high school or have any other experience with Japanese (heritage speaker, self-taught, etc.), you will need to take the Japanese placement test. In addition, you will need to fill out the  the Japanese Placement Survey Form once you take the test. The form above will provide all instructions necessary. Please read the instructions carefully.

If you have taken college-level Japanese such as AP courses, community college courses, etc., please fill out the Japanese Placement Survey Form. Please read the instructions carefully.

If you feel that your placement is inappropriate or have concerns about a particular placement, make an appointment with the instructor in charge of the course. If you are already taking a course and discover that your placement is not appropriate, talk to the instructor as soon as possible.

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