Placement Exam

About the January 2023 Chinese Placement Exam

This document and the placement exams are available online.

  1. Welcome to Middlebury, class of 2026.5! If you plan to take the Chinese placement exam, you must email Professor Hang Du at She will supervise the January 2023 Chinese placement exams. She will help you decide what exam to take, and she will conduct the Zoom interview with you in Chinese that is a required part of the placement exam.
  2. The January 2023 Chinese Placement Exam is for class of 2026.5 Feb Students who begin at Middlebury in February 2023, who have studied Mandarin before, and who hope to place into a Spring 2023 Chinese language class: either CHNS 0103 (1st year), 0202 (2nd year), 0302 (3rd year), or 0475 (advanced seminar on Chinese fiction). If you are interested in and think you are qualified for the Spring 2022 CHNS 0412 (Classical Chinese II), email the instructor, Professor Zhang (, and he will determine if you may take the course.
  3. Students who were enrolled at Middlebury in the fall of 2022 but did not take a Chinese language course may take the placement test in hopes of gaining admission to a Spring 2023 Chinese language class only with the permission of Professor Du. Contact her to ask for permission at
  4. To do the placement exam you will need a computer and internet access. Depending on the level of the test, you may also need a printer and a scanning app such as the free Adobe Scan (you can read about this app other scan apps here). The exam is done online and remotely. Follow the directions on the test. When done, email your completed test to Professor Du at Do this any time between now and, at the latest, 4:30 PM on Monday, February 6th.
  5. The exam is available now on the Chinese Department Canvas page.
  6. Our 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-year language classes are year-long sequences that begin in the fall semester. To join any of these classes in the spring, you must take and pass a placement exam. If you have not studied Chinese before or know that your Chinese is not advanced enough to place you out of the fall semester 101 Beginning Chinese and into a spring course, you will need to wait until the fall 2023 semester to start your study of Chinese at Middlebury.

    We do NOT recommend starting Chinese—taking 1st-year Beginning Chinese—in the summer Chinese School. Save your summer study at the Chinese School for a more advanced class. Start Chinese in the fall. You CAN take 1st-year Chinese in the academic year AND take and do well in all the other classes you need.

  7. There are 4 different placement exams (each is a separate document). All are available in the Module “Placement Exam for Spring 2023 Chinese Department Mandarin Chinese Courses” on the Chinese Department Canvas Site.
  8. The four different tests are 1) the test for getting into spring 4th-year level (CHNS 0475); 2) the test for getting into spring 3rd-year level (CHNS 0302); 3) the test for getting into spring 2nd-year level (CHNS 0202); and 4) the test for getting into spring 1st-year level (CHNS 0103).
  9. If you aren’t sure what your level is, look at all three tests and then download and take the placement exam that seems to be appropriate for your level. If you start a test and it seems too hard or too easy, put it aside, and instead do the test for the next higher or next lower level as appropriate.
  10. Don’t stress. The placement exam is just one tool we use to make our best estimate of where you should start your study of the Chinese language. We want to place  you at the level that gives you the greatest opportunity for success. We may discover in the first week that your placement is not ideal and if that happens we will move you up or down a level as appropriate. No worries.
  11. During the placement exam you will have the choice of reading and writing either Traditional Characters or Simplified Characters.