Office of Language Assessment

Practical Language Proficiency Assessment

UChicago’s Practical Language Proficiency AssessmentTM measures students’ ability to functionally use a foreign language in most personal settings and some academic or professional settings.

Both the College and graduate students across all Divisions and Schools at the University of Chicago can take the Practical Language Proficiency Assessment to earn Practical Language Proficiency Certification. This certification documents what a student can do with the language in a meaningful and impactful way and how their language abilities–listening, reading, speaking, and writing–will serve them in their professional and academic careers.

The Practical Language Proficiency Certification will also strengthen students’ resumes and expand their career opportunities.

Eligibility Criteria

Our goal is to ensure success on this assessment. Therefore, students should carefully follow these guidelines to determine their eligibility to sit for the Practical Language Proficiency Assessment:

  1. Minimum of two years* of formal language study at the college level, or the equivalent.

*Some languages take more time to gain higher levels of proficiency.


  1. The exam fee is $90, but it is currently waived for College students and graduate students in the Humanities Division.
  2. A student may only take a UChicago Language Proficiency Assessment in a given language once within a twelve-month period.
  3. Students can only register for one exam each test administration cycle.
  4. Native speakers of a given language are not eligible to take a Language Proficiency Assessment in that language.
  5. The Office of Language Assessment has the right to determine each student’s eligibility, based on the criteria above.
  6. Since these assessments take significant planning and proctoring, no makeup dates or rescheduling can be provided.

For questions about these policies, visit the FAQ page or contact

Taking the Practical Language Proficiency AssessmentTM

The Practical Language Proficiency Assessment will be administered once in the Autumn quarter and once in the Spring quarter each academic year.

In Autumn 2021, students will be able to take this assessment in any of the following languages:

  • Arabic
  • Bangla/Bengali
  • Catalan
  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish

*More languages will be available during Spring 2022 administration.

Autumn 2021 Registration and Deadlines

Registration Begins Registration Ends Test Administration
Monday, October 2 Monday, October 25 Tuesday, November 9, 6 PM

Click HERE to register for the exam.