First-Year Student Placement

First-year students who are not native speakers of Mandarin will need to fulfill the Core Curriculum Language Requirement before graduation. An online placement exam is prior to ALL student's first registration at NYU Shanghai, which will help to better decide the appropriate-level Chinese language course. Please follow the instructions below to first identify the type of language learner you are, and then complete the placement exam matches your descriptor.

STEP ONE: Identify Yourself

Please identify yourself as one of the following 3 language learners: Total Beginners, Advanced Beginners and Experienced Learners.

Language Learner Descriptor
Total Beginners Total Beginners are students with no or extremely limited prior experience with learning Mandarin.
Advanced Beginners Advanced Beginners are students (often heritage students) whose listening/speaking skills are well above their reading/HANDwriting (Chinese characters) skills.
Experienced Learners Experienced Learners are students who have previous learning experience with a rather balanced development in all four skills of listening, speaking, reading and HANDwriting.


STEP TWO: Complete the placement exam

Click on the placement exam link for your language learner type, and finish your placement exam as requested.

Language Proficiency Placement Exam Link Notes
Total Beginners Link for Total Beginners It is a quick survey for your basic information and instructions for your registration of the Chinese language course in the first semester.
Advanced Beginners Link for Advanced Beginners You are suggested to use a cellphone or pad that facilitates handwriting.
Experienced Learners Link for Experienced Learners

At the beginning of the exam, you will be asked to choose your school and you should choose "Shanghai Freshmen". The system allows you to take the exam only once every 18 month.

Do not open or switch to another window when completing the exam or it will automatically end the test and you will not be able to restart unless going through an application process contacting


If a student scores 81 or above, the student needs to submit a writing sample to the link provided at the end of the exam and an email confirmation of your placement result will be received shortly to determine your level as Advanced II or Post-Advanced.


STEP THREE: Enroll into the course

Please go through Albert to enroll into the corresponding Chinese course. You can explore this site to find more details on Chinese language courses, including textbooks, sample syllabi, sample materials, etc.

If you have any questions regarding the placement, please feel free to contact