Language Placement and Proficiency

Foreign Language Placement

It is the student’s responsibility to familiarize themselves with College of Arts and Sciences and departmental policies on placement and enrollment in language courses. Students who place themselves incorrectly will not receive credit for the courses in which they enroll without permission.

German Placement Exam

All students with prior experience in German must take the placement exam before beginning the sequence of courses at UVA, preferably before summer orientation.

The sequence of courses is GERM 1010, GERM 1020, GERM 2010, and GERM 2020. Once a student has placed into and completed one of these courses, she/he must complete the rest of the courses in the sequence in order to satisfy the language requirement. Students may not skip courses in the sequence.

Entering first-year students who have studied German in high school, but who have not taken the SAT II German exam, should take the online German Placement Exam.

Entering students who have taken the AP exam in German, but who will not receive their AP scores until after summer registration, should go ahead and take the online Placement Exam to get a general idea of the appropriate placement before registering for fall classes.

Transfer students who did not receive transfer credit for previous German courses should take the online German Placement Exam. Transfer students who received transfer credit for elementary or intermediate-level German courses from another institution should continue with the next level of German here at UVA.

The German Placement Exam (G-CAPE) is an online exam that may only be taken once. Attempting to take the exam more than once, without permission, is considered an honor offense. For guidance with German placement, please click to see the German placement chart.

Placement Exam Instructions

It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with College of Arts & Sciences and department policies on placement and enrollment in language courses. Please read the following carefully before starting the placement exam, because you may only take this exam once.

Important: Print the grade confirmation page at the end of the exam. It is your responsibility to keep this page as proof of placement to show your instructor.

You must enroll in the course in which you have placed. Students are not permitted to enroll in a level different from their placement. Students who place themselves incorrectly will not receive credit for the courses in which they enroll without permission. The final decision about the appropriate level at which the student will be placed in order to satisfy the language requirement is made by the German Language Program, Julia Gutterman.

Submission of the exam in your name means that the score honestly reflects your current language abilities without assistance from other people or any materials. Using such assistance is considered an honor violation.

If you experience a technical or computer malfunction, you must obtain permission to retake the exam again by emailing the German Language Program, Julia Gutterman.

Follow these steps: (Again, please remember to print a copy of your exam score at the end of the exam.)

1.  Disable any pop-up blockers. You will need to consult your individual Internet browser, or any additional software that provides pop-up blocking in order to do this. Usually there are directions in the Help menu of relevant software programs.

2.  Enter the exam website, then type in the exam password: cavaliers1 (notice there are no spaces).

3.  Fill out the information page. Please include your first and last names only. We do not need middle names and/or suffixes, such as “III”.

4.  Your UVA computing user ID (i.e., abc9d) and your e-mail address are required. You must include your computing user ID or your score will not be saved.

5.  Remember to print the grade confirmation page at the end of the exam. (It is your responsibility to keep this page as proof of placement to show to your instructor.)

6.  Take the online German Placement Exam.

For help with browser software, you can call the UVA Help Desk at 434-924-3731. For any other problems, email the German Language Program, Julia Gutterman.

Additional Resources

Graduate Language Exams

Please register for the exam a minimum of one week in advance. The form can be found in the German Department Main Office located in New Cabell Hall room 258 or here. Forms must be accompanied by a $20.00 check written to the University of Virginia. 

 

The Mastery Exam

The exam consists of three parts. The time limit is TWO HOURS. Include in your pledge a statement to the effect that you have completed the exam within the allowed time limit. You can use the computer and the exam must be double-spaced and pledged. You may use a dictionary (NOT an online dictionary).

1. Translation

Translate at least 200 words (counting the German, excluding numbers and dates). Once you begin, the 200 words must be consecutive--do not skip any sentences. Inset quotations in English or other foreign languages do not count towards the word total. Do not translate footnotes. (45%)

2. Comprehension

Answer 6 out of the 8 questions concerning the text. The answers should be short, specific and IN ENGLISH. Write in complete sentences. (45%)

3. Essay

Write a short essay (150 words) in German on the topic given below. (10%)

The Proficiency Exam

Translate a minimum of 250 German words, not including dates, numbers, or non-German quotations, from the enclosed passage. You have 90 minutes. You may use a dictionary. You may begin anywhere in the text. Once you begin, the 250 words must be consecutive--do NOT skip any sentences. Inset quotations in English or other foreign languages do not count towards the word total.

According to the University of Virginia Graduate Record, the passage must be translated into an adequate, if not literary, English and the student must demonstrate a clear understanding of syntactical structures and some basic knowledge of cultural references (50-51). Strive for a clear and accurate rendition of the text rather than for an excessively long translation. In any event, do not exceed 750 words. To pass, you must show a basic understanding of the main ideas/content of the passage. To fail, you must translate three or more sentences in a way that shows a major lack of understanding. You will automatically fail, if you open the exam, and decide not to take it. RETURN the GERMAN text with your translation.

Pledge the exam in accordance with the Honor Code; inasmuch as this is a timed examination, indicate cleary in your pledge how long you have taken. The exam is due in the German department office by 4:00 p.m. of the exam day.