Getting an accurate picture of your language skills helps ensure that you are placed in the language level best-suited to your needs and current proficiency.  Get assessed as early as possible, you may need to change your registration.  Space in language courses is limited and if you are placed at a different course level the School cannot guarantee a place in the course.

Note: 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. They are not permitted to repeat language courses in which they receive a grade of C or higher. They are also not eligible to be assessed again unless they have been granted an exception. Carleton language students with changes to their proficiency level (e.g., break in study, taking an additional course(s) elsewhere) should see the Exceptions section in the IMPORTANT notes below.

Placement Testing is completed ONLINE.  Testing procedures vary depending on the language. See IMPORTANT notes below for testing dates, deadlines, and rules.

If you have NEVER taken a language course at Carleton you MUST complete a Language Background Questionnaire (LBQ).  This includes those of you that have no experience in the language to those who have already earned credit in a language course at another institution. You do not need to be registered or a student at the university before you can take the LBQ.  This questionnaire asks you questions about your previous experience in the language you wish to study.  It takes only a few minutes to complete and the result will help determine whether or not you will also need to write a more comprehensive placement test.

Begin Questionnaire

New language students wanting to take a 1010/1110 introductory level course can register either before or after taking the questionnaire. New students trying to register in an upper level course will need to take the questionnaire and subsequent placement test and receive a placement prior to registration.

All language courses have mandatory attendance.  Students in the 1010/1110 course level or those testing into an upper level course must participate and be observed in their class.  This process must be conducted at the start of the term.  Students found to be incorrectly placed will be required to withdraw.  Students who have not attended (or not observed) by the 3rd class could also be required to withdraw.

Any questions about testing can be directed to us by email at:


Starting on March 1 each year, assessment and placement testing for the next 3 terms begins.  Assessment and placement tests taken prior to March 1 are no longer valid.

  • This testing cycle will have results that can be used for registration in courses offered during the Summer 2024, Fall 2024, and Winter 2025 terms.
  •  Please Note: Be assessed as early as possible as space is limited in language courses. Students being assessed after the following dates can not be guaranteed placement results in time for registration in courses offered during the:
Term Last Day to Test (with results before registration closes)
Early Summer (May to June) May 7, 2024
Late Summer (July to August) July 4, 2024
Fall (September to December) September 11, 2024
Winter (January to April) January 13, 2025
  • You may complete a placement test only once (for each language).


    • Students who have taken a course (elsewhere) since studying the language at Carleton should request an exception to test again.
    • Students who have been away from their language studies for 3 or more years are expected to test again to determine their current proficiency level.
    • Requests to test again should be sent to
  • 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.