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Vietnamese Placement Tests

1. What is the purpose of the Vietnamese Placement Tests?

There are two placement tests for Vietnamese: one for placement into first year Vietnamese courses (Vietnamese 1A, 1B, or 1C), and one for placement into second year Vietnamese (Vietnamese 2A, 2B, or 2C). Both Vietnamese placement tests consist of a written test and an oral interview. You will receive a final placement for Vietnamese only AFTER you complete the oral interview.

  • Take the First-year Vietnamese Placement Test if you would like to place in the first year series (1A, 1B, or 1C) and your linguistic competence is described as follows:

    a. You can barely speak Vietnamese or you speak very limited Vietnamese.

    b. You can barely understand spoken Vietnamese or you understand spoken Vietnamese with great difficulty.

    c. You can barely read Vietnamese or you read Vietnamese with great difficulty.

    d. You can barely write Vietnamese or you write Vietnamese with poor grammar and too many spelling errors (including the confusion of accent marks).

  • Take the Second-year Vietnamese Placement Test if you would like to place in the second year series (2A, 2B, or 2C) and your linguistic competence is described as follows:

    a. You can speak Vietnamese with a certain degree of fluency in most everyday situations but cannot use “big words” or most idiomatic expressions.

    b. You can understand spoken Vietnamese if it is spoken at a normal speed and in informal situations.

    c. You can read and understand more than half of a newspaper article or short story that doesn't contain too many complex grammatical constructions or uncommon words of Chinese origin.

    d. You can write Vietnamese using basic grammatical constructions and fundamental vocabulary, albeit with a certain amount of errors in grammar, spelling, or work usage.

    2. Who needs to take courses in Vietnamese?

    Language learning is an integral part of a university education and learning another language is a worthwhile endeavor for any student, whether that language is one’s heritage language or a completely new language. The acquisition of a second or even third language increases one’s global literacy and helps to foster a greater appreciation of diversity. In our rapidly changing and increasingly interconnected world, students with language skills in more than one language will be able to engage their world in more meaningful and productive ways.

    Completion Vietnamese course work through the 1C level may be used to satisfy UCI’s Language Other Than English (Category VI) general education requirement. Students majoring in International Studies or students with a major in the School of Humanities must satisfy Language Other Than English requirements through the 2C level. Please consult your academic advisor if you have questions about these requirements.

    3. How can I enroll in a Vietnamese course?

    You must complete the following steps to enroll in a Vietnamese course at UCI:

      • Complete a Student Language Background Survey which is available on the Humanities Language Learning Program's web site.
      • Take the appropriate Vietnamese placement test, if required.
      • Meet with a faculty member from the Vietnamese Language Program for an oral interview. You will be informed of the dates, times, and location of the oral interview when you take your written test.
      • After you have completed all of these steps, the director of the Humanities Language Learning Program will contact you to discuss your placement and enrollment authorization.

    4. What should I study before the examination?

    You should review both vocabulary and grammar. You should also practice: exchanging common greetings; telling time; talking about weather, family, and friends; talking about your likes and dislikes; inquiring about a price; making a choice; making a suggestion; making a comparison; asking about location and giving directions; stating your opinion; and speaking about complicated survival situations.

    5. How can I prepare for the examination?

    Reviewing newspapers and books, as well as listening to fluent speakers can help prepare you for the test.  In addition, the following text is an excellent review of the fundamentals of Vietnamese:

    Tran, Tri C. and Tran, Minh-Tam (2007). CHAO BAN! An Introduction to Vietnamese (Textbook and workbook). University Press of America.

    The Academic Testing Center has a small reference library to help you with your test preparation. Click here to learn about the check-out and return policies and procedures.

    6. How long is the test?

    Each Vietnamese placement test is 60 minutes long and has 50 questions.

    7. How long are the results valid?

    The results are valid for your entire academic career at UCI. Please be advised that if you take the test more often than allowed, your new results will not be reported.

    8. Is test registration required?

    Yes. Test registration is always required. You may register by phone or email. During the Academic Year, appointments can be scheduled during Welcome Week, the first week of classes and weeks 9 and 10. During the summer, tests are available starting the first week of of Summer Session I until week 9 of Summer Session II.

    9. Do I need an I.D. to take a placement test?

    Yes.  You will need two forms of valid photo I.D.  Examples of valid photo I.D. are: a UCI, other university, or high school I.D.; a photo-bearing driver’s license; a state-issued identification card with photo; a valid passport; or any government-issued identification bearing a photo.

    Sample items:

    Click here for sample items.

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