Orange Alert

Language Placement Exams

All students are expected to take a placement exam before registering for language classes, even if they have never studied the language before. The placement exam is designed to determine the appropriate level of language study. It is not a pass or fail exam.

Non-English Language Placement Exams

If you have studied any of the languages offered by the LLL department either formally or informally, lived in a country where that language is the dominant spoken language, or grown up in a household that spoke that language, you must take a placement exam before being allowed to register for any course in that language.

Current Undergraduate and Graduate students (except for first-year students) must request access to placement exams (see instructions below). After a student has requested and received access, the exam will become available via MySlice within 24 hours. Questions?

Students are expected to follow exam protocols and adhere to the ethical standard outlined in the Academic Integrity Policy when taking a language placement exam which states “examinations and quizzes of all kinds, including online and take-home as well as in-class exams, must reflect only the work of the submitting student without assistance from other people or resources such as texts, websites or notes.”

TO REQUEST ACCESS TO THE PLACEMENT EXAM: please send an email to PEACCESS@SYR.EDU and include your full name and SUID number and name the language for which you wish to take a placement exam. Upon approval, you will be granted access to the exam in MySlice within 24 hours.

Accessing the Exams

  1. Using your NetID and password, log in to MySlice.
  2. Select the “Advising” tile and then the “Placement Exam” link on the left.
  3. Then complete needed exam.

The exam can be taken at any time during the day. The placement exams where you have prior knowledge of the language will take at most one hour and must be completed in one sitting. These include: Arabic, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Russian, and Spanish.

Some placement exams have an online survey, after which the student is required to meet with the Program Coordinator to take the exam. Once you have completed the online survey, email to let us know you need to take the exam for one of these languages: Ancient Greek, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Turkish.

First term undergraduate students (new first year and new transfer students) can access and take the placement exams after accepting the admission offer and becoming term activated (in May for Fall admits, on a rolling basis beginning in December for Spring admits).

ESF students must contact the department ( once the exam has been completed to be given registration access to the appropriate language course. Please include that you are an ESF student and submit your name and student ID number.

Please contact the appropriate Program/Language Coordinators below with questions.

ESOL, English Language Assessment Exam (ELAE)

This exam is not to be confused with the placement exams for foreign languages.

The ESOL exam consists of two parts: a composition on an assigned topic and a test of grammar and vocabulary. If you are an undergraduate student, the results of the exam will tell you which ENL/WRT course you should take to begin completing your undergraduate writing requirement. The exam is required for all undergraduate students for whom English is not their dominant language. If you are a student entering from the ELI, you should also take the exam.

If you are a graduate student, further language study might be recommended or required by your college (not by our department). Graduate students should contact their college if they are unsure of whether they are required to take the exam.

The exam can be taken at any time during the day of your chosen exam date at registration. The exam will take at most 2 hours and must be completed in one sitting. Instructions on how to access the exam will be emailed to you by the day before your exam date.

For more information, please contact the ESOL Program -Dr. Youmie Kim ( or Dr. Matthew Hammill (