Chinese Placement Test FAQ

Who should take the test?

You should take the test if one of the following situations applies to you:

  • You want to prove that your Chinese language proficiency is above the second year level at Princeton University and want to place out of the foreign language requirement. Currently we don’t accept the SAT Chinese Test or AP scores.
  • You know some Mandarin Chinese/Putonghua (e.g. you speak some Mandarin at home and you can read and write Chinese character, you studied Chinese elsewhere before or at Princeton some years ago, etc.) and wish to take a Chinese course at Princeton.
  • You speak Mandarin Chinese or a Chinese dialect but have no or very limited knowledge of reading and writing, and you're interested in taking CHI 103 - the intensive Chinese course designed for such students.

Who should NOT take the test?

You should not take the test if one of the following situations applies to you:

  • You are a true beginner of Chinese and want to take CHI 101 in the fall.
  • You do not want to use Chinese to fulfill your foreign language requirement and do not wish to take Chinese courses at Princeton.

When and where do I take the test?

  • The placement test for the 2022-2023 Academic Year is available online between June 15 and July 29 for the fall semester, and between November 21 and December 2 for the spring semester.
  • You can take it anywhere as long as you have access to the internet and can view Chinese characters on your computer.
  • Please note that students whose performance in the online placement test suggests a level of proficiency sufficient to place out of the foreign language requirement must take the oral interview to verify their listening and speaking proficiency.

How much time do I need for the test?

  • 5-minute check to confirm computer compatibility with the online format
  • 100 minutes maximum to complete the three-part the online portion of the placement test. This is a timed test. Please make sure you have enough time to complete it before you start.
  • 45 minutes for the Chinese character and short essay portion of the test (completed on paper and submitted via email)
  • 15 minutes for the oral interview (scheduled for the first week of the semester)

Which character form is used in the test?

There are two versions, one in traditional and one in simplified characters. You may choose the one you prefer. You should take only one version of the test.

Is there a way that I can prepare for the test?

You can review textbooks or materials you have used before; however, we do not think it is necessary since the test is not based on any textbook or materials, and we hope the test can show the real level of your Chinese proficiency.

Does the Honor Code apply to the test?

Yes. You should finish the test independently. You may NOT receive help from anyone during the test. You may NOT consult a dictionary or grammar texts. Violation of the honor code may result in inaccurate placement and may cause a delayed and unnecessary re-placement when classes begin. You will not be able to view your score upon completion of the test.

When will I get the results of the placement test?

You will be informed by email before the start of the semester.

Will the results of the test apply to my grade or credit record?

No. The only purpose of the test is to place students in the appropriate Chinese language course.


Should you have any further questions, please contact Jing Wang