Language Placement Exam

The MLC conducts the Language Placement Exams for all of the languages offered at John Jay as per the CUNY General Education requirements for foreign language as it pertains to World Cultures and Communications. The exam is also used for the Spanish major, minor, and certificate program for interpretation and translation in collaboration with the Modern Languages & Literatures (MLL) department.

The exams are designed to place students in the correct course level with regard to their language proficiency as well as for those seeking exemption from the foreign language requirement. The exams cover reading and listening comprehensions, but all questions are multiple choice.

Students only need to take one exam to register for a course and are only allowed to take the exam once per language. Students can also choose to take multiple placement exams for the different languages offered at the College. 

*The MLC provides placement exams both in-person & online/virtual via Zoom. Please note: Scheduling placement exam sessions in advance, with an MLC staff member, is required for all students because walk-ins are not guaranteed, and only a staff member can access the schedule.*

  • Spanish & French - there is a survey that needs to be completed first by students interested in Spanish. Also, the placement exam is not required for French 101, but students still need to email the MLC for the CUNYfirst milestone/permission before they can register.
  • All Other Languages - the placement exam is not required for all the 101 courses in language (Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Italian, German). Students can register for 101 in any of those languages without any placement exam or milestone/permission intervention. The placement exam is only required for these language courses above 101 if students do not want to start at the 101 level because they want to place higher or are seeking exemptions from the language requirement.
  • American Sign Language (ASL) - currently, there is no placement exam requirement for ASL. Students can register for 101 and do not need to complete a placement exam or have a milestone/permission on CUNYfirst. Also, ASL satisfies the CUNY General Education requirements of 101 and 102 for language at the college.

Please contact the front desk for exact dates and times.

  • Fall & Spring Semesters: placement exams are available
    • Monday & Tuesday – In-person (room 7.64 NB)
      • Varying times
    • Wednesday & Thursday – Online (Zoom)
      • Varying times
      • Online availabilities are limited
    • Friday & Saturday
      • No placements exam sessions offered
  • Winter & Summer Sessions: placement exams are available (on a limited schedule)
    • Please Note: Placement exam sessions resume starting the first week in January (WIN) & the third week of June (SU). If required to complete the placement exam, contact the MLC (; 212-484-1140; 7.64 NB) at the beginning of January or June for winter or summer scheduling respectively.
    • General Support Hours:
      • Tuesday: In-Person (room 7.64NB)
        • Varying times
      • Thursday: Online (Zoom)
        • Varying times
        • Students can contact the MLC at if they have any questions regarding the details of the set up and proctoring
    • Winter and Summer schedule are limited and subject to change. Please contact the MLC in advance for details. 


    • Interested or need to take Spanish as a language course, please complete this survey first:
    • We will follow up with survey assessments 7-10 days after completion
    • The follow up will also include further instructions and details on placement requirements and/or registration
    • Please complete the survey only once
  • FRENCH: 
    • Only interested in registering for 101
      • There is no placement exam required for registration into the 101 course
      • Contact the MLC for the CUNYfirst milestone/permission to register (
    • Want to register above 101
      • The placement exam is required for registration above 101
      • Contact the MLC for placement exam scheduling assistance (
  • All Other Languages: 

The MLC will assist students who need to complete the placement exam with scheduling and account setup. 

The Meeting Type in the confirmation email a student receives after scheduling an appointment will indicate the mode of support:

  • In-Person Meeting (7.64 NB) 
  • Virtual Meeting (online via Zoom)
    • Students who schedule an online session will receive an outlook calendar invite with zoom link included
      • Students must share their desktop screens and keep their mics on for the duration of the exam so the staff member can monitor their progress.
Registration Period Dates Results
Registration Period Dates Results
Peak July 1st – August 25th   Within 2 business days
No Exam September 1st – September 19th N/A
Non-Peak September 20th – September 30th Within 5 business days
Peak October 1st – December 14th Within 2 business days
No Exam December 15th – January 4th N/A
Non-Peak January 5th – January 15th Within 5 business days
Peak January 16th – January 25th Within 2 business days
No Exam February 1st – February 19th N/A
Non-Peak February 20th – March 1st Within 5 business days
Peak March 2nd – May 17th Within 2 business days
No Exam May 18th – June 19th N/A
Non-Peak June 20th – June 30th Within 5 business days
  • Students registered with the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) are allowed to take the exam in the OAS office.
    • This accommodation requires prior approval between an OAS administrator and the MLC manager.
  • Graduating seniors can request special accommodations regarding scheduling through the MLC manager. Please note, not all accommodations can be fulfilled. 
  • Students registered with OAS and graduating seniors are still subject to the placement exam schedule above regarding no exam dates & processing times for results. 
  • Students must email, call, or stop by the center in advance to schedule an appointment. Please note, there is no Friday or weekend proctoring for the placement exam.
    • *Walking in to take the exam without a scheduled appointment is not available. Students must contact the MLC in advance to schedule a placement exam appointment. 
    • Please see the MLC home page for details on the center's hours of operation. 
  • Students are encouraged to contact the MLC in advance to double check the center’s schedule and any activities taking place. *General yearly schedule is subject to change due to holidays, schedule limitations/changes, etc.*
  • The exam is not administered 45 minutes to closing time on any given day there are sessions available.   
    • The exam can take up to 45-60 minutes to register for and complete; the center closes at 5pm throughout the week. 
  • Students should not expect immediate results after completing the exam unless special accommodations have been requested on their behalf and confirmed with the MLC manager.
  • Students will receive an email from the MLC manager indicating their placement results have been posted to their Milestones on their CUNYfirst accounts.
  • A Milestone is not the actual registration for the course. The milestone gives students permission to register for the course.
  • Students can only register for the level they placed into based on their exam result.
    • If a student is not satisfied with their placement result, they can speak to an advisor or an administrator in the Modern Languages & Literatures department.
      • Students have other options to receive exemption/credit for language at the college. See all options in Language Course Exemptions below.
  • Students are not allowed to retake the same exam twice if they are not satisfied with their placement result. Placement exams can only be completed once per language. 
  • Once students receive their results, they should register for the class they placed into.
  • Students can also speak with Academic Advisement or with a Modern Languages and Literatures department administrator if they have questions about the registration process or about the course they were placed into.
  • If students receive the email regarding their placement results but don’t see the milestone on their CUNYfirst, they can contact the MLC manager for assistance.  

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7.64 New Building