Proficiency Exam for MSFS and other Graduate Students in SFS
- MSFS students must have completed Intermediate Arabic II (ARAB 1112) and have started Advanced Arabic I (ARAB 2216) to attempt the Proficiency Exam.
- MSFS students must have completed Intermediate Arabic II (ARAB 1112) and have started Media Arabic I or II (ARAB 2218 or 2220), or Arabic for Diplomats (ARAB 2324) to attempt the Proficiency Exam.
- If there is more than a semester gap in taking an Arabic course at GU, the student must take the Placement Exam before attempting the Proficiency Exam. The Placement Exam must be taken right before the Proficiency Exam period, not at the beginning of the semester. Placement Exams provided at the beginning of the semester are for course registration purposes only. If you have completed ARAB 1112 and are currently enrolled in ARAB 2216, ARAB 2218, ARAB 2220, or in content ARAB course/s that are beyond Advanced MSA, you are eligible to take the Proficiency Exam. If a student, during the Add/Drop period of the respective semester completes a Placement Exam and tests out of Advanced Arabic, the student is eligible to sit for the Proficiency Exam. The Department determines whether a student tests out of an Advanced Arabic course or not based on the grammar score and total score of the placement exam. This also applies to native speakers.
- MSFS students who opt to take the proficiency exam in their preferred Arabic dialect MUST take the placement exam to determine eligibility. Please email the department at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your placement test BEFORE the proficiency exam sign-up form deadline.
When is the Exam administered?
The Arabic Proficiency and Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) Exams are conducted in November and April of each year. Graduate Students in SFS will receive the Proficiency Exam, only MAAS Students will receive the OPI.
Exam Registration and Schedule:
All students (except Arabic Majors) taking the Arabic Proficiency exam or OPI MUST register by the deadline. No registration requests are accepted after the Registration deadline below.
Fall Semester – Registration starts on the second Monday in October, stays open for two weeks, and closes on the Friday of the second week at 5 PM. If the second Monday is a holiday, registration will open on Tuesday. Students are contacted by the faculty administering the exam informing them about the exam date by end of October. Exams will be held by the last day of classes on the date and time agreed upon by the student and the examiner.
AS THE CURRENT UNIVERSITY MODE OF INSTRUCTION IS IN-PERSON, ALL PROFICIENCY AND OPI EXAMS WILL BE HELD IN PERSON.
Spring Semester – Registration starts on the second Monday in March, stays open for two weeks, and closes on the Friday of the second week at 5 PM. If the second Monday is a holiday, registration will open on Tuesday. Students are contacted by the faculty administering the exam informing them about the exam date by end of March. Exams will be held by the last day of classes on the date and time agreed upon by the student and the examiner.
How to register for the Exam?
- Click HERE to complete the Registration Form by the deadline.
Arabic Proficiency Exam Format & Procedure
Prior to the exam:
Examinee is advised to review Arabic Articles on Politics, Economy, and Culture using Arabic websites to be familiar with Arabic authentic articles, such as:
Exam Time: The duration of the exam is 35 minutes. Examinees must arrive at the office of the faculty member administering her/his exam at least 15 minutes before exam time.
Proficiency Exam Structure & Process:
The exam period will begin with a warm-up where the examinee is provided with three different articles on current Arab events (politics), Social News, and Economics. The examinee will choose ONE of the three articles for their exam.
The exam starts with 2 to 3 minutes of warm-up conversation to create a comfortable environment for the examinee by asking him/her several questions on their Arabic background. After this warm-up, the examinee will have 15 minutes to read the article they selected. It is up to the student whether or not they would like a dictionary.
When 15 minutes have passed, the exam begins with different language tasks according to the ACTFL (American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Proficiency Exam in addition to the article selected. The examinee might be asked to summarize the article, then answer 4-5 comprehensive questions about the article; the examinee should be ready to express her/his opinion on the topic and demonstrate knowledge of the subject matter.
- repeat the question twice if the examinee does not understand the question,
- remind the examinee of the exam duration time if the examinee slows down to answer questions or deviates from the current topic,
- remind the examinee to avoid any Arabic Colloquial in the exam instead of MSA.
The examiner ends the interview by asking the examinee about her/his future plan.
Within two weeks of the examination, results are sent to the student’s Academic Dean. Students interested in reviewing these results should contact their Academic Dean.
Examinees who pass the proficiency exam are able to satisfy simple personal needs and social demands to survive in an Arab environment. They should also sustain discourse through the use of oral paragraphs, engage in a conversation dealing with current events, and demonstrate familiarity with relevant historical, cultural, political, and economic information.
A PASS on the proficiency exam is comparable to achieving an Advanced Low or Advanced Mid on the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages Proficiency Guidelines (ACTFL) rating depending on the program in which the student is enrolled (for reference, see the scale below).
- For MSFS students: Advanced Mid (ACTFL scale)
- For SFS students: Advanced Low (ACTFL scale)
- For MAAS students: Advanced Mid (ACTFL scale)
Please contact the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies (email@example.com) with questions regarding the exam