Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Placement | Credit by Exam

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The Department of Middle Eastern Studies offers two types of language testing for current and incoming UT students: Placement Exams or Credit-By-Exam Evaluations.

Placement Exams

All students who have studied a Middle Eastern language at an institution other than UT or have some knowledge of the language, however little and however gained, must take a placement exam before registering for a language class.

A placement exam determines which course in the DMES language sequence is appropriate for a student, based on his/her current level of proficiency. Credit for courses in the sequence that a student places out of may be granted, if so desired.


  • Exercises in reading and writing.
  • Oral interviews may be administered with the test proctor to ascertain listening/speaking proficiency. These decisions will be made on an individual basis at the conclusion of each written exam.
  • All language exams are scheduled for 3 hours.
  • Participants with more advanced proficiency may finish in less time.
  • Study guides are not provided for the test.

The placement exam is open to any UT Austin student planning to enroll in a DMES language course in the upcoming semester. Students who completed a DMES language course at UT but did not make a C or better cannot take the placement exam as a substitute for meeting a course prerequisite. Native or heritage speakers seeking to gain credit to fulfill the language requirement for their degree are not eligible to take the placement exam (See Credit-By-Exam below).

Schedule & Sign Up

Language placement tests are offered twice a year in August and January, the week before classes begin, and consist of two components: a writing, reading, & listening exam and an oral interview. The August 2021 placement tests have taken place. The next placement tests will be offered in January 2022, and you can sign up to take the January exam here

Oral Interviews

Students who plan to take the Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish placement test are required to complete an oral interview. Interviews will be conducted with:


Dr. Olla al-Shalchi -


Dr. Esther Raizen -


Dr. Babak Tabarraee - 


Dr. Jeannette Okur -


Credit By Exam Evaluations

A credit by exam (CBE) evaluation determines which courses in the language sequence a student may claim credit for based on his/her current proficiency level. This test is only open to current UT Austin students. These evaluations are typically taken by students who wish to fulfill the language requirement or receive credit for one or more courses in the language sequence but DO NOT intend to continue their study of that language at UT. CBE credit is available for ARA 601C & 611C, HEB 601C & 611C, PRS 601C & 611C, and TUR 601C & 611C, which are the department's first-year language sequences. Students cannot claim credit for any upper-division language classes through a CBE. Study guides are not provided for the test.


  • Exercises in reading and writing
  • A short oral interview if necessary
  • Exam scheduled for three hours, though participants may finish in less time

CBE evaluations are open to any student seeking to gain credit to fulfill the language requirement for his/her degree. Students who are planning to enroll in a DMES language course in the future should not opt for CBE; they should take a placement exam. Students who seek CBE and later decide to enroll in a language course at UT may have to take a separate placement exam. Please email the Undergraduate Coordinator if this applies to you. Note: Students who are not currently enrolled at UT Austin are ineligible for this test.

The credit-by-exam is held only ONCE per year in the fall semester, typically at the end of October.

Examinees must obtain a Department Administered Exam (DAE) form by emailing and explaining that you would like to earn credit for ARA, HEB, PRS, or TUR 601C and/or 611C. Once you have the form, please fill out and sign part 1, then send the form to the MES Undergraduate Coordinator at so she can complete the next section. Kelly will communicate further instructions to you via email. There is a $25 registration fee and $60 examination fee, and these fees are paid on your What I Owe page.

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    204 W 21st Street Stop F9400
    Calhoun Hall (CAL) 528
    Austin, TX 78712