Admission and placement
Admission and placement
Current information on placement tests (#coronavirus)
Certain language skills may be required before you can be admitted to the degree programme you are interested in, for example German for international students or English for students of English or American Studies. The Language Centre uses (partially) automated processes to check whether you have the required ability.
In addition, students learning a language for academic or special purposes who have prior knowledge of a language have to take a placement test before registering for a course in this language. This test is needed to ensure that students only attend courses at the right level for them, which in turn allows us to offer language classes for students with similar ability. The results of the placement test cannot be used as proof that a student has attained a level pursuant to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages; it is an internal test which lets us organise courses according to ability.
Generally speaking, the placement tests are electronic tests, although the specific format of the test may vary depending on the language.
Students who have already successfully completed a language course at the Language Centre and would like to attend the next course in the same language do not have to take a placement test. Unless stated otherwise, the results are valid for three semesters. After that time, the placement test has to be taken again.
Generally, students should register for placement tests via Oktis. At the School of Business, Economics, and Society in Nuremberg, students should register by signing up on the lists displayed on the glass door in front of the information desk in Nuremberg.
Students who have successfully completed language courses at another UNIcert® accredited institution and have obtained a UNIcert® certificate should contact the Head of Department for the respective language.
German as a foreign language
Anyone who wants to take a German course alongside their main degree programme is required to demonstrate their proficiency in the language. If you don’t have a recognised certificate or can’t prove that you have attended German courses at FAU, you can take a placement test.
The placement tests are held in Erlangen in the last week of the semester break. No placement tests are held after that. Appointments for placement tests in Erlangen are allocated online from 15 March for tests held before the summer semester and from 15 September for tests before the winter semester.
English for Academic and Special Purposes
Students learning a language for academic or special purposes who want to or are required to attend an English course must take a placement test first.
In the Bachelor’s degree programmes in Political Science (as first subject) and Biology, all students must take a placement test.
As the test result is used to decide which level of course the student should attend, the test is not graded as ‘passed’ or ‘failed’. No grades or points are allocated for the placement test. After it has been corrected, students are given a ‘level’: E1, 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4.
The placement test may be repeated once in another semester, but only before the first course has been taken. As soon as one course has been taken, all other courses have to be attended in the prescribed order.
A placement test is required in order to register for French language courses taken alongside your main degree programme. The decision as to which class you are allocated to is taken solely on the basis of the result of this test. If there are no other restrictions on attendance (e.g. only open to students in certain semesters), the result allows you to register for classes at that particular level.
Students of French Studies and French teaching degrees require French at the level B1. You can register directly for courses included in the degree programme in French Studies, without taking a placement test.
Please refer to the French Department website for more detailed information.
Students who have no prior knowledge of Spanish can register directly for elementary course I without sitting a placement test.
Students with prior knowledge have to sit an obligatory online placement test, which tests the levels A1, A2 and B1 (CEFR). The tests are usually held during the lecture-free period.
If requested, a separate test can be offered to prove ability at level B2 (CEFR).
Students of Spanish Studies or Spanish for teaching have to sit a more detailed placement test, consisting of a computer-assisted part, a brief essay in Spanish and – if necessary – a reading comprehension combined with a brief conversation.
New students who are proficient native speakers of Spanish should contact José Juan Ventura Usó in good time before lectures start.
Nordic, Eastern European and Non-European Languages
If you would like to take a beginners course yourself and do not have any prior knowledge, you do not have to take a placement test.
Students with prior knowledge who cannot provide proof of their language ability have to take a placement test in their chosen language before registering for language courses. The test is only aimed at determining the level of the prospective student’s ability, allowing us to form classes with students of a similar ability.
The placement test for Swedish is taken on a PC in the language laboratory, please register via Oktis.
For information on all other languages, please contact the language teacher by e-mail.