German Placement Exam
Incoming First-Year and Transfer Students
If you have had any prior instruction in German prior to coming to Columbia/Barnard, you are required to take our placement exam. The placement exam will help us in placing you at the level of German that best reflects your ability. To provide a safe testing environment and more flexibility in taking the exam, we have moved our exam online onto a designated Canvas site. For more information on the foreign language requirements, please visit the Barnard Foundations Requirements website.
The next placement window will start on July 1 - July 30th.
All placement exams will be administered by individual appointment.
PLEASE CAREFULLY READ THE FOLLOWING
HOW TO REGISTER
- You register for the exam via email. Please email Professor Irene Motyl-Mudretzkyj to indicate that you want to take the placement exam.
- You will then be added to the Canvas site and receive an invitation to the site that will allow you to take the test.
Please accept the invitation to the site, so you can read the instructions. Contact us immediately if you cannot access the site.
HOW TO TAKE THE EXAM
- The test will be available as a "Quiz" on the Canvas site at a time and date that will work for you or that we have agreed on. The information on the homepage of the site will guide you to the exam.
- Please make sure to sign your name to the honor pledge.
- While you have a window of a few days during which you can take the exam, once you start the exam, you will have 90 minutes to complete it. So please keep that in mind as you complete the different parts. (see below: General Test Information)
- Please follow the instructions provided in the test and note that the use of external resources (such as dictionaries) is prohibited, as the goal is to establish your level of German.
- The exam should be taken on a tablet or computer using Firefox or Chrome. Cell phones do not work for the listening portion.
- Once you have completed the online portion and it has been evaluated, you will be contacted to schedule a final online Zoom interview to complete the exam.
Part I: Online Multiple Choice and Writing
Sections 1-4 will be completed in an online exam on our Canvas site. Sections 1-3 consists of 62 multiple-choice questions. For section 4, you will choose one of three writing prompts.
- 1. Listening Comprehension
- 2. Vocabulary (everyday words and verb forms)
- 3. Reading Comprehension
- 4. Free writing
Part II: Personal Interview
The final section will be completed through a personal interview with one of our instructors. The interview will take about 15 minutes and will occur after the completion of Part 1. For the moment, all personal interviews will occur via Zoom. Once you have completed Part 1 and it has been evaluated, you will be contacted by departmental representatives to set up the personal Zoom interview. After the interview, you will be able to register for your