Why Study Chinese?
First, Chinese is spoken by over 1.2 billion people, making it the most widely spoken language in the world!
Second, China plays a major role in world affairs. As China has opened up to the West, there are growing opportunities for employment in all areas. So China is important for your career.
Third, traditional Chinese culture, from Confucianism and Chan Buddhism to martial arts and Chinese cuisine, has an enormous influence on East and Southeast Asian nations. Chinese culture has also greatly inspired the western world.
Fourth, learning Chinese is an extraordinary and agreeable experience through which you can immerse yourself in a different culture. Unlike most languages, Chinese has a unique ideographic writing system, which provides visual comprehensibility. The grammatical structure of Chinese is not only logical, but also pragmatic, related to the particular way of Chinese thinking. Knowledge of the written language opens up the culture of one of the world's oldest civilizations.
Last, but not the least, our University has one of the largest and most established Chinese language programs in North America. Our quality Chinese language education enjoys strong support from well-developed China studies programs and resources on the campus and, in turn, provides our students with a solid foundation in Chinese language and culture.
Wei Liu, Program Director
The Chinese placement test serves both “place-in” and “place-out” purposes. It has two sections: written and oral. The time limit for the written part is 90 minutes, while the oral part usually takes 20 minutes.
The written test consists of three parts:
• English-Chinese translation (for all levels)
• Reading comprehension (for first, second, and third-year levels)
• Short Essay (for fourth-year level only)
Most of the time, the test is computer-delivered. At the beginning of the test, you are required to choose the target level you would like to be placed into or to choose “place-out” if you want to be tested out of a language requirement. You need to bring a pencil and UM ID for both the paper-and-pencil test and the computer-delivered test.
We provide both simplified and traditional character versions and you may write either version in the test. This exam is for evaluating your current Chinese language proficiency level, so you don’t need to do any special preparation for the test.
Most likely, you will be informed of the test results on the spot for the paper-and-pencil test or via email within a week for the computer-delivered test. For students who take the test for the purpose of “place-out”, we will also submit the test results to your School/College. Please contact your School/College Academic Advising Office for issues regarding a language requirement, waiver of credits, etc.
Please note that placement does not guarantee a space in the class. Therefore, you are strongly advised to contact the relevant instructor for an override.
A placement result is valid for one year. You cannot retake the test within a 4 month period.
At the present time, we do not provide the HSK test, nor does UM accept HSK and AP scores.
For information about upcoming test dates and registration, visit the Placement and Proficiency Tests page.