Placement Services

Placement tests in the Department of World Languages and Literatures at Western Michigan University are used to determine the appropriate course for your level. Choose the option that best matches your language skill.

If you wish to study a language for the first time at WMU,

please enroll in the 1000-level course of that language.

If you have had some contact with a language,

either through high school coursework or through other experiences, and want to continue your language studies, you must take a placement test before taking your first class in that language at WMU. Freshmen are encouraged to take the test before or during orientation. See the languages below for instructions.

French and German Online placement test

To take the online placement test, you will need:

  • Your WIN—Western Identification Number (do not use your Social Security Number).
  • You will create your own account when you go to take the test. Be sure to write down your login information and your score.
  • Be sure to enter ACCURATE information in the required fields on the form, otherwise your score may not be recorded correctly.

Things to note:

  • This multiple-choice test presents questions of different ability levels, adapting the next question's level according to the previous answer. The total number of questions in the test and the duration of the test may vary, but it usually takes 20 to 30 minutes.
  • The online placement test may only be taken ONCE and must be taken BEFORE you begin your first class in that language at WMU. The online test cannot be used to satisfy any foreign language requirement, nor are any credits awarded on the basis of the online test. Please note that accepting help of any kind, for instance consulting a dictionary or another person, could result in a course placement beyond your readiness.


  • When the online placement test is complete, an overall score and the corresponding WMU course in which to register for will be given. For example, a score of 234 on the French test might indicate a placement of 2000, meaning Intermediate French I (FREN 2000). You are given access to register for the course you placed into, however, it can take up to 24 hours for the system to update the score and allow you to enroll in that approved course.
  • Your results are also available to the advisor of the language for which you have tested. If you have any questions about your placement, contact the appropriate language advisor.
  • If you have trouble registering for your suggested language course or have any other questions, please call (269) 387-3264.

Take the online placement test now

Japanese Placement

Contact an advisor of Japanese  or the department to arrange your placement test

If you have any questions regarding your level of placement, contact the department.

Arabic, Chinese, Latin, and Greek Placement

Contact the advisor of the language you wish to study or the department to arrange your placement test.

Retroactive Credits

Placement in a 2010-level class or above can result in retroactive credits if the student completes the next class in the sequence with a grade of C or better. Please see the department's retroactive credit policy.