Japanese Placement Test

Updated April 2024

NOTE: The official testing period for fall 2024 registration will be July 1 – 31, with results officially reported to students by 5 pm on August 5th.


Who should take the placement test?

  • Students who have studied Japanese before and/or used Japanese at home and wish to place into L2 ( JAPN 120, the second semester in the spring semester) or a higher level Japanese course.   
  • Students who have no prior knowledge of Japanese and wish to take L1 (JAPN 110, the first semester in the fall semester) need not to take the test.  Such students should simply enroll in JAPN 110.

Test Components

The Japanese test includes two components:

  1. Online component (Canvas)
  2. Oral Interview (Zoom)
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.

About the Online Test

This placement 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. Each section has the allotted time limit described below.

The online test has the following sections:

Part 1: Kanji Recognition (10 minutes)

  • Choose the most appropriate choice of how to read Kanji among four choices.

Part 2: Kanji Meaning (10 minutes)

  • Choose the most appropriate choice of the meaning of Kanji among four choices.

Part 3: Grammar (40 minutes)

  • Choose the most appropriate choice to fill out the missing word or phrase among four choices.

Part 4: Reading Comprehension (60 minutes)

  • Read the text and choose the most appropriate answer for each question among four choices. 

Part 5: Writing (30 minutes)

  • Choose one topic and type your essay. Topic 1 is for elementary level and topic 2 is for intermediate level and above. 

About the Oral Interview

After taking the online test, you will have an oral interview via Zoom. The detailed schedule will be announced by email or through the Canvas placement testing site. If you have any schedule conflicts, please respond to the message as soon as you can.
If you have any questions, please email Mika Yamaguchi (mika.yamaguchi@yale.edu)

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

If you encounter any issues accessing the Test in Canvas, please email Mika Yamaguchi (mika.yamaguchi@yale.edu).