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Online Placement Test (SPOT) and Proficiency Exam

Welcome to the Japanese Studies Program!

If you need to take Japanese courses for your college and/or major requirements, please consult with your college and/or major advisor first to find out what your goals are.

If you have never been exposed to the Japanese language, JAPN 10A is the right class for you. This course does not have a prerequisite, so enroll in it during your enrollment period.

If you have been exposed to the Japanese language in any way, you must take an online Japanese placement test (SPOT) in order to enroll in an appropriate JAPN course for your current Japanese proficiency skills.


Online Japanese Placement Test (SPOT)

Students who have studied the Japanese language in any way must take the online Japanese placement test, the Simple Proficiency-Oriented Test (SPOT) in order to enroll in an appropriate JAPN course at UC San Diego.

This includes taking Japanese classes at schools, self-studying, tutoring, speaking Japanese at home, and/or having lived in Japan. AP credit and articulated Japanese language courses taken at community colleges do not give you permission to automatically enroll in a certain JAPN course. Those who graduated from a Japanese high school in Japan are not eligible for any of our JAPN courses. 

Students who participate in the study abroad programs also must take SPOT upon completion of the programs if they wish to continue their Japanese language study at UC San Diego after returning from Japan.

SPOT is available online 24/7. Once you submit your test results and essay via the Student Information Form online, you will receive an email from one of our Japanese language lecturers within 5 business days.  You will receive an email from one of the instructors to schedule your placement interview, so keep an eye on your inbox. If any of the required documents are missing, your interview will not be scheduled.

All the interviews are now conducted remotely. At the end of your interview, you will find out which JAPN course is most appropriate for your current Japanese proficiency skills. Once you receive a confirmation email from the Japanese Studies advising office regarding your JAPN course preauthorization, you may enroll in the course via WebReg during your enrollment period. Please note that you are not guaranteed to place in a certain JAPN course in which you wish to enroll.

Your test result is valid for one academic year (3 consecutive quarters). All the placement interviews are scheduled on a first come first served basis, and we recommend that you complete a placement test at your earliest convenience as our Japanese classes become full very quickly each quarter.

Good luck! We look forward to meeting you in our JAPN course soon.

Click here for the URL and detailed instructions on how to take SPOT.

Questions? Contact us:
UCSD undergraduate students: Virtual Advising Center (Do NOT email us.)
All others:  

Japanese Proficiency Exam


For Fall Quarter 2020, please visit the Linguistics Department website for the most current information on proficiency examinations. If you wish to take a proficiency exam, please submit this form and the Linguistics Department will contact you with further instructions.

UC San Diego students may wish to have it certified that they have attained a level of conversational and reading proficiency to satisfy their language requirements. Revelle and Eleanor Roosevelt Colleges require such certification for the baccalaureate degree and some UC San Diego departments have an undergraduate language requirement as part of their major program. We offer a proficiency exam for Japanese.

Proficiency Exam Procedures

Please follow these procedures.

  1. Contact the approved proficiency exam administrator and make an appointment for the test. After the test, the test administrator fills out the form and either certifies that you have passed proficiency or indicates that you are not proficient.
  2. Bring the completed form to the Linguistics Language Program Office, APM 3101. You must return this form to the Language Program whether or not you passed the test.
  3. The Language Program office will contact the test administrator to verify that the test has been given and that the results indicated are correct. If you have passed the test, the Language Program office will notify your college or major department of the results and will also inform the Registrar so the result can be posted to your transcript.

More information about taking a Proficiency Examination can be found on the Linguistics Department Website: