Placement Tests

In 1997, the MMLC introduced the world’s first web-based university placement tests in French, German, and Spanish. Each year, hundreds of students have taken the exams before coming to campus, enabling instructors to review test profiles, place students, and plan class distributions early.

Building on this solid foundation, the MMLC and language faculty of Northwestern worked together to develop a brand new testing system for 2003, and added support for seven new languages: Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, and Swahili. Additionally, the existing French and German exams were updated to include audio files, allowing for the testing of listening comprehension.

This newer way of testing is student-friendly because it reduces the anxiety level when entering college and allows for early contact and advising. The testing format is familiar to students as it includes multiple-choice questions, pull-down options, and fill-in the blank sections. The web is undoubtedly a superlative medium for testing language proficiency because it allows for the incorporation of text, images and sound.

You can read more about the test development process at: