In response to COVID-19, our language placement tests are moving online for the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 terms.  Testing procedures vary depending on language.  See IMPORTANT notes below.

Students do not need to receive a placement prior to registering in a 1010 or 1110 level (can register either before or after taking the questionnaire).  Students attempting to register in an upper level course will need to complete the questionnaire, followed by a placement test.  They will have access to registration only once a placement has been completed.

Students who have already taken (or are taking) a course in the language at Carleton University should register for the next course in the sequence of study and are not eligible to take a placement test unless granted an exception.  (Contact for details).

ALL OTHERS (even if you have no experience in the language) are asked to complete an online questionnaire.  This questionnaire asks questions about your previous experience with the language you wish to study.  It takes only a few minutes to complete and the result will help determine whether or not you need to write a more comprehensive placement test.

Begin Questionnaire

Getting an accurate picture of your language skills at this early stage helps ensure that you are placed in the level best-suited to your needs and current proficiency.

Getting this right early on is important because, as soon as classes start, instructors will take steps to confirm the accuracy of these initial placements.  This process will be conducted during the first 3 classes and students found to be incorrectly placed will be asked to withdraw and re-register in a more level-appropriate course.  Making these changes at the last minute can be problematic especially when no space remains in the desired course.  Students who have not attended (and been assessed) by the 3rd class will be withdrawn by the Registrar’s Office and the School cannot guarantee a place in another course.

With this in mind, please begin the process as soon as possible.  The first step is to complete the  questionnaire above.

Any other questions can be directed to us by email at:


  • The last day for course changes for Fall 2020 is September 23, 2020. If you are required to complete a placement test, you must take it no later than September 18, 2020. Tests taken after this date are valid for the Winter 2021 session.
  • If you plan to register in an upper level course, you will need to take a placement test prior to registration.
  • The results you receive are valid for the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 terms only.
  • Students are not permitted to repeat language courses in which they received a grade of C or higher.
  • You may only complete a placement test once (for each language required) during an academic term
  • For information on English as a Second Language tests please see our Credit ESLA page.
  • Please note that French language courses and placement tests are offered through the Department of French.