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Placement Exam

Student fills answers test sheet, close up

Placement exams are online for Japanese and Korean. Chinese exams are in-person. Exam dates for Spring 2024 registration are posted below. Course registration begins on 11/13/2023.

Important Information

Students with no prior Chinese, Japanese, or Korean language experience may enroll in CHN, JPN or KOR 101 (or 111). If your language proficiency is judged to be beyond the 101-level on the first day of class, you will be placed in a higher level course. A placement adjustment made in the first week of class does not guarantee a seat in the course appropriate for the student.

Continuing and incoming students with prior experience in the language (i.e., formal classroom training, residence in the country of its use, cohabitation with a native speaker, etc.) are required to take a placement exam to determine which course is appropriate for their language background and ability.

Students returning from one of UHM’s study abroad programs are required to take our Japanese placement exam.
For Japanese only, taking the placement exam is optional for students who have already earned prerequisite college credits at one of the University of Hawai’i campuses, including community colleges, with a grade of C or better. However, the placement exam is strongly recommended if you are interested in taking advanced courses (300-400 level), if there has been a gap since your last language class, or if you would like a firmer sense of your proper placement.

Non-native Japanese speakers requesting a Japanese language waiver must pass an oral interview in addition to receiving a score of JPN 301 or higher on the exam.
– Students may only retake a placement exam after one year.
– Students may not use a placement exam to advance out of a class that was failed or not completed.

Back Credits

All students (including heritage and native speakers) with experience in another language other than English may earn “back credits.” These students may take any UHM course, appropriate to their level, in which there is significant use of that language. (Appropriate level determined by placement exam or advisor; significant use determined by the course content.) Upon completion of this course, if students earn a letter grade of C (not C-) or better, they will receive between 3-16 back credits. The course must be the first Hawaiian or second language course taken since high school, and it must be taken for a letter grade, not CR/NC. Back credits may be earned for only one language. Students starting from 101 or equivalent will not receive back credits. Other restrictions apply: see the UHM Back Credits Policy for more information.

After completing the course, students may apply for back credits using the Back Credits Petition Form.
Please email the form to EALL Advising at

Placement Exam Registration (UH email)

JPN/KOR online exams can be completed from 10 AM to 4 PM. Submissions are due by 4 PM HST.

CHN Placement Exams (in-person only)

10/25/2023 (Wed)12 PM – 2 PMMoore Hall 153B
11/9/2023 (Thu)2 PM – 4 PMMoore Hall 153B
11/21/2023 (Tue)2 PM – 4 PMMoore Hall 153B
12/5/2023 (Tue)2 PM – 4 PMMoore Hall 153B

JPN Placement Exams (online only)

10/25/2023 (Wed)10 AM – 4 PMOnline
11/9/2023 (Thu)10 AM – 4 PMOnline
11/21/2023 (Tue)10 AM – 4 PMOnline
12/5/2023 (Tue)10 AM – 4 PMOnline

KOR Placement Exams (online only)

10/25/2023 (Wed)10 AM – 4 PMOnline
11/9/2023 (Thu)10 AM – 4 PMOnline
11/21/2023 (Tue)10 AM – 4 PMOnline
12/5/2023 (Tue)10 AM – 4 PMOnline