Language Proficiency Testing

Language is the foundation of communication across all industries, professions, educational institutions, and social organizations around the globe. The language proficiency testing service at NYU's School of Professional Studies provides accessible and affordable language competency assessment that can help you advance in both academic and workplace settings.

Grounded in the guidelines established by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), we offer proficiency exams for more than 30 languages. Point scoring is equivalent to undergraduate-level language study at US colleges, and is used by many universities to grant academic credit or advanced placement in your language of study. The test also may be used for those who require it for professional purposes, such as teachers who need certification or verification of language proficiency; government or law enforcement officials who seek career advancement; or individuals who wish to establish linguistic competence for business objectives, such as a promotion or job placement.

For more information or to register to take a language proficiency exam, please click on the language exam you wish to take. Language proficiency tests are offered exclusively online through a convenient, remotely-proctored platform. Results for exams are issued within two to three weeks of the testing date, and scores are valid for three years. Please email us at sps.flpe@nyu.edu with any questions.

We Offer Exams in the Following Languages

The Exams

The NYU School of Professional Studies offers three different language-testing examinations to evaluate your knowledge of a language and to assign points equivalent to undergraduate credit at US colleges. Dictionaries and other reference materials may not be used. These tests do not require knowledge of technical terms or specialized vocabulary.

12-Point Exam

The 12-point exam assesses reading, writing, listening and oral proficiency. It consists of multiple-choice questions, short answers, one essay, one translation, two short audio sections, and two oral responses. 

16-Point Exam

The 16-point exam comprises the 12-point exam, as well as advanced oral and written components. In the oral component, students listen to a recorded statement in the target language, then record a maximum two-minute oral response in the target language, taking a stance on the statement and defending their point of view. The written component of the exam consists of an extended 350-word essay on a more complex topic. Students are asked to write about abstract ideas, support an argument, hypothesize, and compose longer paragraphs.

4-Point Exam

The 4-point exam is available to those who have achieved a score of at least 8 on the 12-point exam and who wish to earn up to four additional points. The exam consists of advanced oral and written components (also components of the 16-point exam). In the oral component, students listen to a recorded statement in the target language, then record a maximum two-minute oral response in the target language, taking a stance on the statement and defending their point of view. The written component of the exam consists of an extended 350-word essay on a more complex topic. Students are asked to write about abstract ideas, support an argument, hypothesize, and compose longer paragraphs.

** It is important to note that the actual number of credits granted is at the sole discretion of the institution receiving the results. Students are strongly urged to discuss credit awards with the institution’s adviser prior to taking the exam. All test results are final and may not be appealed. Official letters will not be mailed to institutions for tests that are more than three years old.

Exam Results

An official letter stating the results of the examination will be mailed to the designated institution within three weeks after the test is taken. The student will receive an unofficial copy of the letter.

Allow two extra weeks during winter break. Though the official letter is sufficient for most institutions, should an official transcript be required, it can be obtained from the NYU Transcript Office.

The NYU School of Professional Studies offers three different language-testing examinations to evaluate your knowledge of a language and assign points equivalent to undergraduate credit at US colleges. The actual amount of credit granted is at the discretion of the institution receiving the results. Students are strongly encouraged to discuss credit transfer with the institution prior to taking the exam.

1. Call 212-998-7030

2. Be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Email Address
  • Daytime telephone number
  • Language and number of points of the exam you wish to take (4, 12, or 16 points)
  • Date of birth

Please call at least 48 hours prior to the exam if you must cancel or reschedule. If you fail to arrive at the test site on time, your place will be given to another applicant.

3. On the day of the exam, be sure to bring:

  • Your completed registration form.

  • A photo ID, such as a driver’s license, student ID, or passport.
  • Credit card payments are made online in advance of the exam date. Email us at: sps.flpe@nyu.edu to request a credit card payment link. Money order or personal check payments are made on the day of the exam. Money orders and checks are to be made payable to New York University. We do not accept cash and we will not administer the exam without proper payment.

Test Sites

Proficiency exams are given throughout the year by appointment. Onsite exams are given at the following address:

NYU Midtown Center
11 West 42nd Street, Room 1039
New York, NY 10036

Exam Fees

12-Point Exam: $479 + $20 registration fee = $499

16-Point Exam: $579 + $20 registration fee = $599

4-Point Exam: $279 + $20 registration fee = $299

(Students must have previously scored 8 points on the 12-point exam to be eligible for the 4-point exam)

The $20 Registration Fee is payable only once per semester

Please Note: We are transitioning to a more convenient, expeditious online platform that will grant you 24/7 access to language proficiency testing from home, school, or your workplace around the globe. Results for online exams are issued within two to three weeks of your testing date. As exams become available online, they will no longer be offered onsite. The testing process for online and onsite exams differs, so please be sure to read instructions carefully.

Request an Off-Site Exam

Tests may also be taken at other locations in the United States and overseas. In this case, the student must arrange to have the examination administered by a proctor who is a college faculty member or administrator at the school you are attending; or a government or company official (e.g., a member of the human resources staff), at the organization where you are an employee.

A letter from the proctor on letterhead stating that he/she agrees to administer the exam, along with the application and fees, should be mailed to:

NYU School of Professional Studies
Center of Applied Liberal Arts

Att: Language Proficiency Exam
7 East 12th Street, 6th Floor.
New York, NY 10003

To take the exam off-site, there is a convenience fee, which is $30 for US locations and $60 for other locations. Please make sure that your application includes:

  • The proctor's letter.
  • Your completed registration form. (Please print clearly.)
  • The exam and registration fee. (These fees can be charged to a credit card or paid by money order or personal check.)
  • A separate money order or certified check for the shipping and handling fee payable to New York University. (This fee cannot be charged to a credit card.)

Please note: Off-site exams must be returned to NYU within six weeks of receipt of the exam.