Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Placement | Credit by Exam

The Department of Middle Eastern Studies offers two types of language testing for current and incoming UT students:

Placement Exams
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 ascertan 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 next test will be held in January 2019.

Oral Interviews

Students who plan to take the Arabic, Hebrew, or Turkish placement test are required to complete an oral interview. 

Please contact the MES office at 512-471-3881 if you have questions about language placement.

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. Note: 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 will have to take a separate placement exam (See Placement Exams above). 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. The next Credit By Exam test will take place on Friday 10/26 from 2:00PM-5:00PM in JES A216A. There will be a makeup test on Thursday 11/01 from 5:00PM-8:00PM in JES A216A. Please sign up for the assessment here

Examinees must obtain a Department-Administered Credit By Exam form from the Center for Teaching and Learning located in the Red McCombs School of Business, GSB 2.130, 2110 Speedway, Austin, TX, 78713. Students must bring this form with them to the test. Students MUST obtain a signature on their CBE form from their dean's office prior to the test, but the remaining signatures may be obtained once the form is returned to them after the test. There is a $25 registration fee and $60 examination fee, and these fees are paid on your What I Owe page.

On the day of the test, students must bring their Credit By Exam form and a photo ID.

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    The University of Texas at Austin
    204 W 21st Street Stop F9400
    Calhoun Hall (CAL) 528
    Austin, TX 78712