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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Language Placement Exams

All students are expected to take a placement exam before registering for language classes!

Current Undergraduate and Graduate students must request access to placement exams. After a student has requested and received access, the exam will become available via MySlice within 24 hours.

Students are expected to follow exam protocols and adhere to the ethical standard outlined in the Academic Integrity Policy when taking a language placement exam which states “examinations and quizzes of all kinds, including online and take-home as well as in-class exams, must reflect only the work of the submitting student without assistance from other people or resources such as texts, websites or notes."

The placement exam is designed to determine the appropriate level of language study. It is not a pass or fail exam.

Accessing the Exams

Students can take and register for the language placement exams through MySlice.

  1. Navigate and sign in to MySlice.
  2. Navigate to Student Services, Placement Exams, Take Placement Exams
  3. If you have access to placement exams, you will move directly to the placement exam site in Blackboard. If you do not have access, you will need to be given access to placement exams by providing the requested information. The placement exams will become available via MySlice approximately 24 hours after the request has been processed.

To be given registration access to the appropriate language course, ESF students must contact the department once the exam has been completed. Please email Colleen Kepler,, with your name and student ID number.

First term undergraduate students (new first year and new transfer students) are able to access and take the placement exams after accepting the admission offer and becoming term activated (in May for Fall admits, on a rolling basis beginning in December for Spring admits).

Non-English Language Exams

If you have studied any of the following languages either formally or informally, lived in a country where that language is the dominant spoken language, or grown up in a household that spoke that language, you must take a placement exam before being allowed to register for any course in that language. You must present your student ID to take all language placement tests. Please email the appropriate person with any questions.

ESOL, English Language Assessment Exam (ELAE)

The exam contains three parts: a composition on an assigned topic; a test of listening comprehension; and a test of grammar, vocabulary, and reading comprehension.  If you are an undergraduate student, the results of the exam will tell you which ENL/WRT course you should take to begin completing your undergraduate writing requirement.  If you are a graduate student, further language study might be recommended, but not required, so this does not usually affect your course of study. Students must take the ELAE prior to enrolling in an ENL course.

The next ELAE exams will be held on December 15 and January 8th (online). The registration deadlines are December 10 and January 4. Undergraduate students for whom English is not their dominant language must take the English Language Assessment Exam. If students took the exam in the fall, then they do not need to take it again. The January 8th exam will be primarily for newly admitted students. If you are a student entering from the ELI, you should also take the exam. Please plan to register for the December 15th exam utilizing the January 8th exam as a secondary option and it is primarily for newly admitted students.

Register for the ELAE exam.

For more information, contact Youmie Kim or Matthew Hammill prior to the beginning of the semester. You must present your student ID to take all language placement tests.