Language Placement Testing

Language placement testing is required if you plan to begin study of a foreign, Hawaiian, or American Sign Language course beyond the 101 level and have not completed the college-level prerequisite course.

Currently language placement testing is available in:

  • American Sign Language (ASL)
  • Chinese
  • French
  • Hawaiian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Spanish
  • Tagalog

Most tests cover reading and writing skills as well as grammar knowledge. ASL as a visual language has its own grammatical rules and semantics, which are covered by the ASL test. Contact the Kapi‘olani Deaf Center Team for information about ASL placement tests. 

Taking the Test

All language placement tests must be completed in one sitting. Please allow a minimum of two (2) hours to complete the test. These tests are multiple-choice, taken on a computer, and have no time limits.

The test may also be taken by students seeking a waiver of the AA degree language requirement on the basis of proficiency in the language.

For more information, see Placement Testing Information.

Placement Results

It takes approximately two weeks to correct the language placement test and process the results. In the summer, please allow three to four weeks before you can obtain the results.

Based on the results of the placement tests and/or oral interviews with language teachers at the college, students are placed in 100 or 200 level language courses. If their test results show language proficiency beyond the 102 level, students are waived from the language requirement for an AA degree.

You may have your test results mailed to you by providing a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Testing Center.

Back Credits

If you entered the UH system in fall 2001 or later, you are eligible for back credits. If you placed above the 101 level language course, you are exempted from the previous courses in the 101 – 102 and 201 – 202 series. Upon completing a course above the 101 level with a grade of “C” or better, you may receive back credits for the lower level exempted courses at no additional cost.

For example, if you placed at the 201 level; upon completing 201 with a grade of “C” or better, you may receive back credits for 101 and 102. If you passed a UH-approved class higher than the 202 level, you may receive back credits for all four courses in the series (e.g., 101 – 102 and 201 – 202).

Forms to request back credits are available from the Languages, Linguistics and Literature department or from language instructors. Complete and return the form to Kekaulike Information and Service Center (KISC).

You may earn 3 to 16 back credits in one language only. The credits are not counted in determining full or part-time status and letter grades are not granted.

Check with your program counselor to see if these credits may be used toward meeting degree requirements. They may not be used to meet the last 12 credit graduation residency requirement, unless the requirement is waived by the department dean.

Each college or university has its own policies and regulations regarding the acceptance of back credits. The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM) accepts back credits from Kapiʻolani Community College (KCC). However, UHM will not count back credits above the 102 level toward the minimum 24 credits needed for transfer.

Fluency in Another Language

If you are fluent in another language and if placement testing is offered in your language, you should take the placement test. If you place above the 202 level, you may take a course which makes significant use of that language to earn back credits. This course will require native or near native proficiency. If you complete that course with a “C” or better, you may apply to receive back credits. Contact the Languages, Linguistics and Literature department chair to find out which courses are offered in your language area.

Native speakers of a language other than English may be waived from the AA degree language requirement if they provide the Languages, Linguistics and Literature department chair with academic transcripts or graduation certificates showing graduation from a high school in which instruction was conducted in a language other than English. If the high school transcript is on file at KISC, the student may request a copy be sent to the department chair.

Native speakers of languages not taught at KCC should contact the Languages, Linguistics and Literature department chair.

Kapi‘olani Community College x