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 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 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, and consist of two components: a writing, reading, and listening exam and an oral interview. The Fall 2019 placement test for Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, and Persian has already taken place. The next placement test will be administered in January 2020. Please check this page closer to January for a link to sign up. 

Oral Interviews

Students who plan to take the Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish placement test are required to complete an oral interview. These interviews must be arranged by the student. Please reach out to the appropriate contact to shcedule your interview:


Dr. Olla al-Shalchi -


Kaley Aguero -

Oral interviews for Hebrew must be conducted after students have completed the writing and reading exam. Feel free to begin scheduling your interview through Kaley when you sign up for the assessment using the link above but please let Kaley know if you plan to take the assessment the regular day or the make-up day.


Dr. Jeannette Okur -


Anousha Shahsavari -

Questions regarding placement tests should be directed to each lanauge coordinator.

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 opportunity will be in the fall of 2019. If you are interested in taking a Credit-by-Exam, please let us know by filling out this survey.

Examinees must obtain a Department-Administered Credit By Exam form from Student Testing Services which is located in George I. Sanchez Building (SZB), 1912 Speedway, Room 547, Austin, Texas 78712. Students must bring this form with them to the test. Students MUST obtain a signature on their CBE form from their dean's office and the department chair of Middle Eastern Studies prior to 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