Olympic Stadium

Placement Exams

The online placement exam is required if you plan to study German at Washington University and have prior German language experience; it can be taken from any location, at any time. If, for some reason, you are unable to take it prior to your arrival on campus, you can take the exam in the Arts & Sciences Computing Lab in the lower level of Seigle Hall, room 012, or in the Creative Lab in Eads 007. 

This is a self-diagnostic test to help place you into the level of our foreign language program that is the best fit for you. It is not possible to “fail” this exam, so do not be worried about failure! On the other hand, intentional underperformance serves little purpose other than to deny you the opportunity to earn credit that you deserve.

You will not receive any credits solely from taking this exam – you may, however, earn back credits at WashU later, by earning a B- or better in the German language class into which you are placed.

You may not use textbooks, dictionaries, the internet, or other reference materials to help you with this test. Failure to abide by this policy will simply result in a score that will be of little assistance to you or to us in placing you in the proper course.

If you need to stop taking the test for any reason, you may re-enter your information at a later date and resume the exam exactly where you left off.

Your score and placement on this exam will not appear anywhere on your transcript; therefore, you should not worry that your performance here has any bearing on any future academic status at WashU. While we will retain it as part of your permanent departmental record, this record will be for the purposes of placement and/or back credit and will in no way impact your academic status within the university or the German department.

Please note that this exam is NOT valid for Spanish, French, or Russian language placement. If you need to take the placement exam for Spanish, Italian, or French, please visit the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures website

Online Placement Exam Instructions

When you are ready to take the exam, email our academic coordinator for a unique departmental ID number. The link below will take you directly to the WebCAPE exam page, where you will enter the password “bears1”. Click the login button after you’ve entered this password, and on the next page you will be asked which language exam you wish to complete. Select German from the dropdown menu and click begin.

Please fill out all the fields on the student information page, including first name, last name, your active wustl.edu email address, and the departmental ID number assigned to you. Please do not use your Washington University Student ID number! Scores will only be eligible for placement in a class with entry of a unique departmental ID number and active WashU email address.

Once you complete the information page, click continue and a practice question will appear. The exam will begin once you answer this question. Do not use your browser’s back button during the exam, because this action will interrupt the adaptive questions that you receive and cause you to have to re-start the exam.

If you have read this page completely and Cecily Stewart Hawksworth has given you your unique ID number, please proceed with the German placement exam. Don't forget to enter the password from up above!


Policy on Placement

Students should enroll in the German course (101-302/313) in which they have been placed based upon placement guidelines. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your score or the exam itself, please do not hesitate to contact Cecily Stewart Hawksworth.