Japanese Placement Test

Updated November 2018


Who should take the placement test?

  • Students who have studied Japanese before and/or used Japanese at home and wish to place into L2 (Elementary Japanese spring semester) or a higher level Japanese course.   
  • Students who have returned from Japanese programs abroad (for a summer, semester or year) and wish to skip a course by placing into a level higher than the one they would have proceeded to take after their last course taken at Yale.
  • Students who wish to resume Japanese study in class after being absent for one semester or more.
  • Students who have no prior knowledge of Japanese and wish to take L1 (Elementary Japanese in the fall semester) need not to take the test.  Such students should simply start attending L1 at the beginning of the semester.

Test Components

The Japanese test includes two components:

  1. Online component
  2. Oral Interview

For Fall 2018 placements, the online testing period is July 1 to August 15, and the Oral Interview Test and Writing Test is Sunday, August 26, 2018 from 8:30 am to 12:00 noon at 432 Temple Street, Room 102.

For Spring 2019 placements, the online testing period is from December 8, 2018 to January 4, 2019. Please contact Mari Stever after completing the online placement test.

Oral Interview Note: We will contact you by the interview day with the specific time for your interview.  Please come to the location before your interview time and wait until you are called. For those who have a conflict for some reason, we will schedule an interview on an alternative time or/and date.
Honor Code: When you take the online test, do not use any supporting materials (e.g., textbook, dictionary, friend, etc.) other than your own knowledge.  The purpose of the test is to gauge accurately your current proficiency in Japanese so that we can place you into the appropriate course level.  If you break this honor code, you will be misplaced in an inappropriate course level and problems in your learning will inevitably occur.

Placement Result

We will e-mail you the placement results by one day before school starts. If you have any questions, please email Mari Stever.

About the Online Test

The test is for students of all proficiency levels, from the elementary to the most advanced, and may contain items beyond your level.  You may leave unanswered any questions you don’t understand, but try to answer as many questions as you can.

The test has four parts: 
- Part 1 – Kanji Recognition
- Part 2 – Grammar
- Part 3 - Reading Comprehension
- Part 4 - Writing  
First fill in the Student Information and then complete the four parts of Placement Test.   After completing each part, submit by clicking “Submit answers” button at the bottom.  And then, click “Return to class page” to go to the next part till you complete the student information and all of the four parts of the test.
Parts, 1 to 3 are in multiple-choice question format. You need not type your answers in Japanese for these parts and must complete them online.
For Part 4 only: Those who are not familiar with typing in Japanese font or feel uncomfortable doing so may choose to submit in hard copy.  If you choose to do so, write your answers on paper with pencil or pen and bring it with you when you come to the oral interview.  Those who choose to write out answers for Part 4 should have paper and pencil/pen ready before starting the test.  

You can take short breaks between each test but should complete all four parts in 2.5 hours or less (each part has a maximum time limit).  We will have records of times you start and finish the tests, so follow this rule.  You can try each test only once.  Be sure you are ready and have enough time before you start.

Further information about placement testing and the use of placement scores at Yale can be found here.

General Information for Online Testing

Dates for Online Testing 

  • Online Placement Tests for Fall Semester: July 1st at 9:00 am (EST) through August 15th at 5:00 pm (EST). 
  • Online Placement Tests for Spring Semester:  December 9th at 9:00 am (EST) through January 10th at 12:00 noon (tentative).

Please note that technical support for online tests is available during all Yale workdays. On weekends and holidays, you may expect a response on the next workday. For a list of Official Yale Holidays, check the online calendar here.


Unless otherwise noted, placement results are provided in one of the following ways: 1) shown on-screen upon completion of the test, 2) posted to Canvas prior to the start of the semester, or 3) distributed by faculty from the department.

Technical Requirements for Online Testing

Please use the latest version of the Google Chrome web browser (downloadable here) and a current version of MacOS or Windows (not an electronic tablet or phone). Prior to taking the test, you can check that your system meets the requirements by first logging in here, then navigating to Tools > Browser Check (if you don’t see the Tools menu, you can visit the Browser Check page here after first logging in). Note: Be sure to use Google Chrome to access the system check link.

Technical Support

If you experience technical issues in accessing or taking the test, please complete the Placement Test Support Form.

Academic Honesty

Before taking the placement test, please read Yale College’s policy on academic honesty.

Test Link

After checking that your computer meets the technical requirements above, click the test link below (if you login outside the stated test dates, the test will be unavailable).

Test Link (Note: The code is: placeme.  You need this secret code to access the test.)