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Placement & Challenge Exams

Placement in 1st and 2nd-year German classes

If you are a new to German, sign up for GERM 101.

If you have learned German in the past (such as high school German classes), but not had extensive immersion experience (such as a student exchange program in Germany, or German-speaking missionary service), please contact Dr. Teresa Bell ( She will place you in a first or second-year German course. Here is what you should send her in an email:

1. Any standard ratings you might have of your German ability (AAPPL score, AP German test score, etc.–but not high school grades)

2. Where and when you have learned German

3. A 2-3 minute recording of you introducing yourself in German

4. A paragraph (5-10 sentences) describing a memorable experience in your past

Don’t get help on the recording or the paragraph. Just share what you can do. If you end up in a class that is too difficult or too easy for you, we can always make a switch.

Can I get credit for the courses I test out of? Yes, but only if you continue on to take German 330, for which 202 is a prerequisite. During 330 you will be invited to take the German Challenge Exam (described below) and will receive a grade only for those courses you haven’t already taken. So if you tested out of 101 but not 102-202, you would get 4.0 hours of challenge credit for 101.

The German Challenge Exam (for upper-division placement and exam credits)

Students with very extensive German experience (such as a German-speaking LDS mission, attendance at German schools, or German spoken in the home) may receive credit for German 101, 102, 201, and in most cases 311R by taking the German Challenge Exam. With rare exceptions, a student must be enrolled in German 330 (Deutsche Kulturgeschichte) in order to take this exam, and the credits are contingent on a successful completion of the course. The German 330 instructor will help students sign up for the exam.

Students starting their German coursework directly in German 330 should not take any part of the German 301-303 sequence (required for any German degree) before they take the Challenge Exam. The exam will place you in the appropriate course in the German 301-303 sequence.

Further general information about BYU Challenge Exams can be found here. Any questions about the German Placement Exam can be directed to the German section head, Dr. Teresa Bell (

Native Speakers

Native speakers should consult individually with the German section head, Dr. Teresa Bell (, before taking any courses or exams.