Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

Arabic Placement Test FAQ

Should I register for an Arabic course after the exam is graded, or should I register for the course I believe I will test into?

If you are able to register for the class that you think you will place into, you can do that. However, many of the Arabic courses have enforced prerequisites on them which means that you cannot register for them unless you are taking or have taken the prerequisite UM class. Therefore, you will need to wait until after taking the placement test in order to know which class you should take and request an override in order to register for it.

Is there just one standard exam, or multiple tests, depending on one’s language ability?

There is only one test for all levels.

What's the format of the exam?

The duration of the exam is three hours. It is divided into three parts: writing, reading, and listening. Each part lasts one hour long. The reading and listening parts are multiple choice. A detailed examinee handbook with example questions is available here.

How can I study for the test?

The test is a proficiency test and so you can’t study for it. However, if it has been a while since you used your Arabic you may want to listen to, read and write in Arabic to help you recall or reactivate your skills.

What if the test places me at a level that is higher or lower than the one I want to take?

For the most part placement is not negotiable. However, you can talk to the program director, Dr. Said Hannouchi (, and in some cases an exception may be made. 

NOTE: students have been known to purposefully not do well on the test in order to get into a class that is below their level. Please know that this is a violation of the University of Michigan’s academic honor code and will be treated very seriously. Performance in the class will quickly make it clear that performance on the test was not reflective of true abilities and the student may be asked to drop the class, even if it is at a time in the semester when it is too late to register in other classes.

How many times can I take the test?

Placement exam scores are only valid for one calendar year. If you have not enrolled in an Arabic language class within one year of testing, you must retake the placement exam.