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Program Regulation

 

Admission and Placement Test
Except for those wishing to take first semester elementary level classes, all entering students are required to take the Chinese Placement Test (CPT).  Continuing students must receive a grade of  C+ or better for the current course to be admitted to the second semester of the same course,  and B- or better to be able to move on to the next level. If a continuing student does not meet the requirement, he/she should also pass the CPT to be able to continue. The CPT is scheduled only once for each semester, usually on the Friday of the registration week before classes begin.
Click
HERE to see frequently asked questions about the CPT.

Attendence
Attendance is imperative for successful completion of the Chinese courses and attendance is strictly enforced in the Chinese Program. We strongly advise students not to miss three classes in a semester. Upon any absence thereafter, unless legitimate documentation is presented, a half grade point will be deducted from the student's final grade,  e.g. from A- to B+, from B+ to B, and so on.  (Please note that a pre-purchased airplane ticket is not considered a legitimate document except for emergencies.)

Homework Assignments
Homework must be turned in on the due date according to your course syllabus or your instructor's schedule.  Late work will not be accepted.

Tests
All scheduled tests are mandatory.  Under no circumstances can a test be rescheduled for a student unless legitimate documentation is presented. (See the note under Attendance) 

Pass/Fail Option
The Chinese Language Program does not grant a P/F grade. Students should contact the registrar to arrange a conversion from a given letter grade to a P/F. The P/F grade, however, cannot satisfy the language requirement for the East Asian major, nor does it qualify a student for advancement to higher level Chinese courses.

Auditing
No auditing is allowed in the Chinese Language Program.

Code of Honor
Students are expected to observe the highest standard of honor in their course work. Specifically they should not take the place of another in an exam, nor should they give or receive help from another during the exam.

Grading Scale
Please see your course syllabus for requirements and grading system. The following scale indicates the conversion equivalency.  The highest grade that a student will receive from a Chinese course at Columbia is A.  

Scores   ------     Final Grade
  • 94-100 ............... A
  • 90-93.................. A-
  • 87-89...................B+
  • 83-86...................B
  • 80-82...................B-
  • 77-79...................C+
  • 73-76...................C
  • 70-72...................C-
  • 60-69...................D
  • 59 and below......F

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Chinese Placement Test

Spring 2014 Placement Test

Date: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Time: 10:00am - 12:30pm
Location: TBA

Contact Info

Office: 508 Kent
Tel: 212-854-3604
Email: Hu Laoshi lh2318@columbia.edu

 

   

 

   Who should take the placement test? 
 

You should take the Test if any one of the following applies to you:
You are required to meet the language requirement (two-year, three-year, or more)specified by your own department or school.
You want to obtain a Chinese Proficiency Certificate and be placed out of the language requirement at Columbia University.
You know some Chinese (e.g. you studied Chinese elsewhere before, or you are from a Chinese family background) and wish to take a Columbia Chinese course other than the elementary level.
You had studied Chinese at Columbia some years ago and wish to pick it up again.
You had taken a Chinese placement test some years ago and now you wish to take a Chinese course at Columbia.
You took a Chinese course at Columbia and received a C or lower for your final grade in the first semester of that course; or C+ or lower for your second semester of that course. In other words, you have to get a C+ or better for the first semester in a Chinese course at Columbia in order to continue the course in the second semester. In order to enter the next level, you must get a B- or better. If your grade is lower than required, you need to pass the placement test to be able to continue your study.

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 ?/strong>Who should NOT take the placement test?
 

Do not take the test if any one of the following applies to you:
You wish to take the elementary Chinese courses.
You cannot read or write in Chinese.
If you have a high school or college diploma from a country where Chinese is the official language, you do not need to take the test. Please visit Hu laoshi (lh2318@columbia.edu, Room 508 Kent) with your diploma to receive the language certificate, which will exempt you from the 2-year foreign language requirement.
For Non-CC Undergraduate Students (e.g., Barnard Students, GS Students):
If you have passed the SAT II Chinese Test with a score of 780 and above or if you have passed the AP Chinese Test with a score of 5, you can be exempted from the 2-year foreign language requirement. Please bring the proof of your test results to Hu laoshi (lh2318@columbia.edu, Room 508 Kent) to receive the language certificate, which will exempt you from the 2-year foreign language requirement. 
If you are a Columbia College student with an SAT II Chinese test score of 780-800 or an AP score of 5, work with your own advising dean to get the exemption from the foreign language requirement. You do not need to come to the Chinese Program to get the language certificate. (This is a new rule that took effect in August, 2013.)

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   How can I make up the test if I have missed it?
 

If you wish to take a Chinese course for the current semester but have missed the placement test during the registration week, you can take the make-up test that will be held on the Friday of the first week of classes. (Before taking the make-up test, you should tentatively sit in on a class that approximates your current level. In so doing, you can try to avoid falling behind the curriculum once you begin attending the class you are formally assigned to.) For those who wish to get a certificate for language proficiency, please see the FAQ-Certification. If you have any questions regarding certificate, please contact Hu laoshi (lh2318@columbia.edu, Room 508 Kent).

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   When and where is the test held?
 

Usually it is scheduled for 10:00 am-12:30 pm on the Thursday of the registration week for the Fall semester, and on the Friday for the Spring semester. The place for the test is Room 413 Kent Hall. Please be sure to arrive in the room 10 minutes early. If you are late, you will miss part of the test! 

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   Do I need to sign up for taking the test?
 

It is not necessary to sign up in advance. However you must be on time, or you will miss part of the test.

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   Is there a fee for the test?
  No fee is required if you are currently registered at Columbia. If not, you must pay $30 dollars in cash on site.

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   Which character form is used in the test?
  Both traditional and simplified forms are available in the same packet. You may choose the one you prefer, but be consistent throughout the test.

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   Is there a way that I can prepare for the test?
  The test is not based on any currently used textbook or course materials. The best way to prepare, perhaps, is to review the textbooks you have used before.

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   What is the format of the test?
 

The test consists of the following:
1.   Directions for the Test. This is conducted in the beginning at 10:00 am.  The information sheet and the test papers will be distributed to each student. Directions will be given.
2.   Timed Writing (30 minutes).  You are expected to write a narrative story in Chinese characters based on the pictures provided.  When the time is up your writing will be collected even if it is unfinished. Try to write as much as you can and use as many expressions and vocabulary as appropriate in order for us to better asses your vocabulary range and proficiency level. For words that you cannot write in Chinese characters, you can use Pinyin. 
3.   Listening Comprehension (approx. 20 minutes).  Multiple-choice type questions. You are expected to choose the appropriate answer, after you hear a sentence, a short dialog or a short passage, and mark the corresponding number on the answer sheet.  During this test, you should skip the items that are beyond your level, rather than randomly guess the answers.
4.   Written Test (grammar, vocabulary and  reading comprehension). Multiple-choice type questions. You are expected to mark your choice of answer on the answer sheet.  During this test, you should also skip the items that are beyond your level, rather than randomly guess the answers.

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    When will the test results be available?
  Results will be posted outside 508 Kent after 4 p.m. on the same day. Students who take the test for certification purposes should pick up their certificates within TWO weeks from the date of the exam. See the contact info. above for the office location and phone number.

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Certificate for Language Proficiency

Contact Info

Office: 508 Kent
Tel: 212-854-3604
Email: Hu Laoshi lh2318@columbia.edu

 

        What is a Chinese proficiency certificate and who will need it?
 

A language proficiency certificate from the Columbia Chinese Program indicates your Chinese language proficiency level and the date of the test. It can be used for exemption from foreign language requirement (e.g. two or three years of a foreign language study) for your degree at Columbia.     

        How can I get a Chinese proficiency certificate?
 

You can get the certificate by taking the Chinese Placement Test, which is administered three times per semester:
The first test of the fall semester is scheduled at 10:00-12:30 on the Thursday of the registration week before classes begin. (In the Spring semester, the first test is held on the Friday of the registration week.)
The second test (the make-up placement test) is held on the Friday of the first week of classes.
The third test (specifically for certification purposes) is held on the Wednesday of the Reading/Study week before the final exam begins.  

        Do I need to apply or sign up for the test?
 

Yes, you should sign up for the make-up test one week before. A $30 fee (in cash) is required and will be collected on site if you are not currently a Columbia University student. 

        What if I have missed the placement test but I must have a certificate for credit ?
 

You can take the make-up test on the Friday of the first week of classes or on the Wednesday of the Reading/Study week. The makeup test is exactly the same as the placement test in content and format. You should sign up for the make-up test one week before. See top of the page for the contact information.

        When and where can I pick up my certificate?  
 

Pick up your certificate within TWO weeks from the date of the exam. See the contact info above for the office location and phone number.

        I took the test sometime ago but I didn't pick up my certificate. Can I still get it? 

Yes, if we still have your record on file.

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Other Frequently Asked Questions

 

ADMISSION
      I have studied Chinese before elsewhere and want to take a Chinese course at Columbia. What should I do?  
 

You should take the Chinese Placement Test so you know which level will be appropriate for you.   

PASS/FAIL GRADE OPTIONS
      Can I take a Pass/Fail for a Chinese course?         
 

No. It is university's policy that no P/F grades should be given for an EALAC language course. You may consult your academic adviser and the registrar's office about converting the letter grade you receive to a P/F.  

AUDITING
      Can I audit a course?  
 

No. Auditing is not allowed for  EALAC language courses.

TEXTBOOKS AND COURSE MATERIALS
      What textbooks and course materials do you use?  
 

Please consult with the course instructor.

 

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This page last modified April 10, 2010.