Arabic Placement Exam Guidelines and Dates

Before the Exam

Read these instructions carefully. 

This is the Arabic placement. It is a proficiency-based exam aiming at identifying your level of proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic. The exam tests for high elementary, intermediate and high intermediate levels; hence you are not expected to complete all questions. You are encouraged to attempt to answer as many questions as you can. If you do not know the answer to any of the questions, do not guess. Submitting answers which you are quite sure will help us place you at the appropriate level. 

General information about the exam

  1. The online entrance test is simple to get through.
  2. We assume that the applicant taking the online test has a basic familiarity with computers and is comfortable with the use of a keyboard and mouse. 
  3. The estimated time for the exam is three hours.
  4. We urge you not to leave any of the exam sections/pages idle for more than 20 minutes (e.g. move to the next or previous page); otherwise, the exam will be automatically terminated
  5. Once you press submit your answers on the last page of the exam, you will not be able to go back to make any changes
  6. After the three-hour period, the exam will automatically be terminated

Important Notes

  1. The ALNG unit administers a placement exam to enlist students in the appropriate level based on their proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic.
  2. The online test will be administered by ALI during the announced days and times.
  3. Once you have started your Arabic required courses, you cannot retake the placement test.
  4. The Arabic Placement Online Exam is being successfully transferred to Moodle using the Safe Exam Browser. The capacity of each exam is 25 students, and the reservation for each exam closes four days prior to the exam date. If you, for some reason, are sure that you will not be able to attend the exam day on the specified day, send us an email to cancel your reservation.
  5. Reservation for each exam closes four days prior to the exam date.
  6. You will receive a confirmation email with sample and online exam instructions.
  7. Visit the ALNG webpage regularly to check the exam info, policy and instructions. Exam instructions and their policy are subject to change at any time without prior notification. It is the students’ responsibility to stay updated on the exam schedule to avoid having to wait an additional month for the next exam. Check the ALNG webpage to see the instructions and schedule of the exam.
  8. Effective January 2018, the placement exam is offered once every month during the fall and spring semesters, all students are to sit for this exam only once on the scheduled day and time, after which students will be placed in the appropriate level based on the score of the four components of the exam. Retaking the exam is not allowed. Students who took the exam before spring 2018 will be placed according to the last score obtained. It is recommended to sign up for your Arabic requirements early enough because not all Arabic courses are offered each semester. 
  9. Introduce a Timely Completion Policy for Arabic Language requirements to avoid any delay in graduation. All students must sit for an Arabic language placement exam during their freshman year unless they have submitted a Thanawiyya Amma certificate or its equivalent before the date of the last placement exam for any given academic year. Based on the placement exam score, students will either be exempted from required Arabic Language courses or be required to take one or two sequenced courses. Students exempted from Arabic may still opt to register in elective Arabic courses.
  10. For students who have not submitted evidence of completing Arabic Thanawiyya Amma or equivalent, the Arabic placement exam must be taken during freshman year, preferably during the first semester of being a fully admitted student. Students who fail to take their placement exam during their first two semesters will automatically be required to do two Arabic language courses.
  11. Students must take all required Arabic language courses before completing 90 credit hours. For students required to take two courses, the first of the required courses must be taken before completing 60 credit hours. Students failing to register for, or registering and dropping, their required Arabic courses in time to meet the Arabic Timely Completion Policy will be issued registration holds preventing them from registering for other courses before registering for the required Arabic courses.
  12. Because the ALI proficiency placement test is open on scheduled days and times each semester, the respective department should:
    1. Visit the ALNG web page regularly to check the exam info and instructions.
    2. Send the applicant(s) info (student name, ID, and affiliated department) to prior to the exam.

Graduate Students

  1. Visit the ALNG web page regularly to check the exam info and instructions.
  2. Send the applicant(s) info (student name, ID, and affiliated department) to prior to the exam.
  3. ALNG also provides a proficiency placement exam service for other departments at The American University in Cairo (AUC). Departments using this service are urged to ask their applicants to take the Arabic placement exam upon their admission.

After the exam, ALNG will send the level of the applicant to his/her department. Because each department may have different rubrics/scores for the required level of Arabic, note that it is the applicant’s department to decide whether he/she is exempted from Arabic or a number of courses should be taken to meet the rubrics. So, applicants need to contact their departments to know the result of their Arabic exam and translate their Arabic level into a numeric score.

In order for the graduate students to improve their Arabic, they may take the Arabic classes offered by ALNG. For more information, contact us at

Steps to take the Arabic Placement Exam

  1. Open Moodle
  2. Navigate to the Arabic placement course. Inside course content (you will find the following):
    1. Version # (**Webcam**) - Requires Safe Exam Browser
    2. Version # Submission
  3. Download Safe Exam Browser Windows Version
  4. Click on Launch Safe Exam Browser at the end of the page
  5. It will ask you again to enter your username and password, then click on Attempt quiz now. The test will then start. Once a test has been started with Safe Exam Browser, you cannot exit until you click the Finish attempt button.
  6. When the exam opens, the following parts are multiple choice questions respectively: Vocabulary and Structure, Reading Comprehension, Listening, and Writing.

When you reach the writing part, you must choose either Yes or No. 

  • No: If you don’t have the Arabic writing skills to answer the writing question. Click on the Finish attempt button and then click on Exit the Safe Exam Browser to exit the exam.
  • Yes: If you have the Arabic writing skills to answer the writing part, follow the below instructions:
    • Choose a topic from the list of topics
    • Write the heading of the topic, your name, and AUC ID on a blank paper
    • Handwrite the topic under the title, making sure that your posture allows the camera to monitor you as you write
    • Show to the camera your writing upon completion of your writing exam
    • Click on the Finish Attempt button immediately after showing it to the camera, following the steps below:
      • Scan your essay or take a clear good, quality photo of it using your mobile
      • Click on Exit Safe Exam Browser
      • Click on Back to the course
      • Click on Sample Exam Submission to attach your scanned essay.
      • Make sure to click Submit the assignment

Exam Sections

 Section 1: Vocabulary and Structure (25%)

  • Answer the 50 multiple-choice questions

Section 2: Reading Comprehension (25%)

  • Answer the multiple-choice questions in the two authentic reading passages

Section 3: Listening (20%)

  • Listen to the audio text and answer the multiple-choice questions

Section 4: Writing an Essay (30%)

  • You will be given different topics and asked to write an essay on only one (not less than 250 words). The essay section should be handwritten.

Sample Exam

Before you start working on your placement exam, it is advisable to work on the sample exam. The sample exam is a good practice, as it will familiarize you with the type of questions on the actual placement exam. Thus, feel free to answer, review as much as you can, and make any changes while answering the sample exam. Click here to see the sample exam.

Academic Integrity

Maintaining Ethical Standards

Students are expected to be honest and ethical in their academic work.

Academic dishonesty is defined as "an (intentional) act of deception" in one or more of the following areas:

  1. Cheating: use or attempted use of unauthorized materials, information, or study aids.
  2. Fabrication: falsification or invention of any information.
  3. Assisting: helping another commit an act of academic dishonesty.
  4. Tampering: altering or interfering with evaluation instruments and documents.
  5. Plagiarism: representing the words or ideas of another person as one's own.

Some examples of academic dishonesty include but are not limited to:

  1. Use of textbooks, notes or any unauthorized materials during an exam.
  2. Looking at other students' tests during an exam.
  3. Collaborating on assignments when collaboration is not allowed.
  4. Having someone take an exam for you or taking the exam for someone else.
  5. Obtaining exams or questions from exams through illicit means.
  6. Use of unauthorized websites during computerized exams.
  7. Assisting someone in one of these behaviors.

To better understand academic dishonesty and how it affects you, visit AUC's Code of Academic Integrity.

The University takes a serious view of cheating. A candidate who is suspected of cheating in examinations is liable to disciplinary action including, but not limited to, suspension or expulsion from the University. All materials and/or devices that are found in violation of any examination rules and regulations will be confiscated

During the Exam

  1. The student may not use his or her textbook, or course notes or receive help from a proctor or any other outside source.
  2.  Students must not stop the session and then return to it. This is especially important in the online environment where the system will time out and not allow the student to reenter the exam site.
  3.  You are not allowed to communicate by word of mouth or otherwise with other candidates. This includes while essays are being collected.

 At the End of the Exam

You are responsible to ensure that your essay is submitted at the end of the examination.

Placement Exam Dates

Placement exam dates for the academic year 2022 - 2023:

Exam Date


August 22, 2022

10 am - 1 pm 

August 25, 2022

10 am - 1 pm

October 25, 2022

10 am - 1 pm

November 22, 2022

10 am - 1 pm

December 6, 2022

10 am - 1 pm

January 19, 2023

10 am - 1 pm

January 23, 2023 10 am - 1 pm

February 21, 2023

10 am - 1 pm

March 14, 2023

10 am - 1 pm

April 4, 2023

10 am - 1 pm

May 16, 2023

10 am - 1 pm

In order for us to plan ahead and make sure that each student takes the exam on the announced dates, fill out this form; otherwise, you will not be able to sit for the exam.

Important Note: The Arabic placement online exam is being successfully transferred to Moodle using the Safe Exam Browser. Also, the reservation for each exam closes four days prior to the exam date.