Chinese Placement Exam

All entering students who have some background in the Chinese language (Mandarin) and plan to take Chinese classes at St Olaf College, including heritage students who can speak the language yet with no or limited reading/writing skills, must take the Chinese Placement Exam.

The placement exam is offered in both Simplified and Traditional Chinese.

This is the Simplified Chinese exam. You may also take the Traditional Chinese exam.

Placement Test

The Placement Test is a 100-question multiple choice/true-and-false computer test. After filling in a short questionnaire of background information, you will move to the testing items, including vocabulary, pinyin, grammar, sentence structure, and reading comprehension in simplified Chinese characters. There is only one correct answer for each question. Answer as many questions as quickly as possible and return to more difficult questions after you have finished the exam. This is not an achievement test; you might not know or even have seen some of the characters/questions before. Just try your best. There is no penalty for incorrect answers, and you may go back and change your choice (before your final submission). Your score will be the total number of correct answers.

To access the test itself, you will need to enter your St. Olaf username and password. The deadline for new students taking the online Chinese placement test off-campus is the first week of June.

Students unable to access the placement exam online should contact the Registrar's Office ( They will be able to work with the student and the language director to figure out how to get the information needed to properly place them. All students who complete the online placement test will receive their results and tentative placement during advising. Additional information about the Chinese Language Program can be found on the Asian Studies Department website, at

If you have any questions about the Chinese language program or the placement exam, please contact us by email at