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Graduate Language Exams

Please register for the exam a minimum of one week in advance. The form and the instructions for both Proficiency and Mastery Exam can be found here (please add link to forms). Forms must be accompanied by a $20.00 check written to the University of Virginia and sent to Sandy Kendrick, New Cabell Hall Room 258, Charlottesville VA  22904.  Sandy Kendrick email address:

Instructions for Proficiency Exam

Instructions for Mastery Exam

Language Exam Proficiency Form


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 on-line 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.