Japanese Placement

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What is the placement test?

  • Our online placement test is an achievement test based upon the following textbooks: Japanese: The Spoken Language (E.Jorden/M. Noda) Japanese: The Written Language (E.Jorden/M. Noda)
  • The test usually takes approximately 90 minutes.
  • Listening, reading, grammar and vocabulary skills will be assessed to determine your level of proficiency.

NOTE: This test is ONLY for University of Maryland, College Park students. It may NOT be used for credit by examination or other assessment purposes.

The placement test at the University of Maryland is NOT the same as the Japanese Language Proficiency Test given by the Japan Foundation. If you have taken the test no matter what your score, you still need to take our placement test in order for us to determine your appropriate level in our curriculum.

 The FLPT is governed by the UMD Code of Academic Integrity. Students are expected to perform at their highest level and should not solicit outside help with the exam. Students’ placement will be assessed for accuracy after they have enrolled in the course. If it is determined that a student has been placed above or below their ability, the department reserves the right to reassign a student to the appropriate course.

Who needs to take the test?

The online test is required for ALL students who wish to take Japanese language courses at the University of Maryland. Regardless of whether you have any previous Japanese study in high school or at another university, you must take the online test. Students with no previous background in Japanese will indicate that in the background questionnaire that appears at the beginning of the test. If students respond that they are not heritage learners of Japanese (in other words, students coming from a background where Japanese was spoken in the home), and if they have no previous study or experience in the Japanese language, they will automatically be placed into Japanese 101 without having to take the exam. However, if a student has successfully completed the Japanese 202 course at the University of Maryland and has studied abroad in Japan, that student will be required to take a placement test with an instructor upon returning from Japan. These students should contact Etsuko Yamakita for further testing.

Students Returning from Study Abroad in Japan

If you are returning student from study abroad to Japan and plan to take Japanese language courses you must take the online placement test prior to the beginning of the next semester that you plan to enroll at the university. After taking the online placement test, if you have received a score of placement of '999', follow the directions regarding '999' students below. Keep in mind that if you do receive a score of '999' you will also have to make an appointment for further testing prior to the beginning of the semester.

Taking the Exam

In order to take the online placement test you must go to the following website:www.fltest.umd.edu. Once you log in to the site you will be prompted with the test instructions. After the test you will be given a score and a course placement. Students who place above JAPN 202 will be given a ‘999’ classification for placement and be told to see an instructor. These students must meet with a Japanese instructor in August for further testing and evaluation in order to determine a higher Japanese course placement. In order to make this appointment see the next section below.

For ‘999’ Students Only: How do I make an appointment for further testing?

These students should contact Etsuko Yamakita to set up an appointment.

If you cannot take the test on the arranged date, please contact japntest@umd.edu to schedule another date.

How long will my placement results be valid?

For students who are placed in JAPN 101-202, placement test results will be valid for the current/immediately upcoming term and the subsequent semester. Once placement results are a year or more out of date, however, students must retake the test in order to obtain an updated assessment of their ability. Thus, for example, if you take the test in May or August in order to register for Japanese courses in the subsequent academic year, you must enroll during that academic year at the recommended level or retake the test later for placement in the following summer or academic year.

For students who are placed in JAPN 301 or above, placement test results may be valid for longer than a year; students should consult with their instructor on the first day of class to be sure that they have been placed appropriately.

If you have any questions about the validity period for your placement after taking the test, please contact japntest@umd.edu for clarification.

What if I want to take classes in the summer?

If you plan to take a Japanese language course in the summer, please be sure to take the online placement prior to May 1st so that your results will be processed in time for you to enroll if necessary in the first summer session, which begins in late May-early June.

IMPORTANT: All students must take the online placement test prior to the first day of class. Furthermore if you are on the waitlist, be sure to attend the first day of class. If you take the placement test and receive a ‘999’ placement, you must contact an instructor via e-mail (japntest@umd.edu) and at the latest, further testing should be taken by the end of the first week of the class.

If you have any questions, please contact us by e-mail at japntest@umd.edu