Placement test of English proficiency

Studying American Studies (B.A.), English Literature and Culture (B.A.), TEFL (B.Ed.) in a major or minor and Business Pedagogy with a major in English/Wirtschaftspädagogik mit Wahlpflichtfach Englisch (B.Sc.) is very challenging and requires a high language proficiency from our students.
All (!) newly matriculated students must give proof of sufficient knowledge of English in order to take and pass courses successfully. Because of this, we ask all (!) students to show their proficiency by passing a practical placement test. Without this proof of necessary English skills, students can only register for a selection of lectures. Registration for all scientific and linguistic courses will be denied!
The placement test will take place electronically using the ILIAS platform of Mainz University- The test can be repeated twice only - at the beginnings of the following semester and the semester thereafter. The language proficiency tested for is equivalent to level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (Gemeinsamer Europäischer Referenzrahmens GER).
Participation in the test at the dates listed on the German version of this page is MANDATORY:
1) Register for the test on Jogustine (see registration).
2) Complete the ONLINE TUTORIAL (see preparation for the test): Link to ONLINE TUTORIAL
Taking the test is exclusively possible during the times given on the German version of this page (see here).
Dr. Frank Obenland is the test coordinator.

Dates and Deadlines

Current guidelines concerning the Corona virus and language placement tests:

  • We will post all changes to placement test and registration times in the table below.

The test for the summer semester 2021 will take place online. All information necessary can be found on this page. All dates can be found in a table on the German language version of this page.

+++following are general informations about the test+++

  • The placement test usually takes place shortly before lectures begin, so AFTER  April 1st during summer semesters or AFTER Oktober 1st during winter semesters.
  • The dates on this page will be updated as soon as times and places have been fixed.
  • Please do refrain from sending emails concerning dates and times and instead, regularly check this page. We would very much appreciate it!
  • We strongly recommend not to plan vacations after April 1st or after October 1st during your freshman semester.
  • Please pay attention to the information pertaining to YOUR course of studies.
  • The times on test days refer to the preceding information session in which all attendees are divided up into test groups FOR EACH COURSE OF STUDIES.
    For technical reasons in JOGUStINe, it is currently not possible, to differentiate various times for various study programs, therefore: the times printed in this table are the times you should note down! Everything else will be explained there and then.
  • The periods for signing up for the placement test differ from the times for other JOGUStINe registrations! Therefore, only the times in this table for special registration of the placement test are valid.


Course of studiesTEST DAY - DATE AND TIME

B.A. American Studies
B.A. English Literature and Culture,
B.Sc. Wirtschaftspädagogik

(freshmen only)
Date for the winter semester 2020/21:
Will soon be announced.

Information on the test AND division into test groups:
Will soon be announced.

Special Jogustine registration period:
Will soon be announced.
Bachelor of Education
(freshmen only)
Date for the winter semester 2020/21:
Will soon be announced.

Information on the test AND division into test groups:
Will soon be announced.

Special Jogustine registration period:

Will soon be announced.
Test repeaters from SuSe 2020/21 or earlier Date for the winter semester 2020/21:
Will soon be announced.

Special EXAM registration period for repeaters in the winter semester 2020/21:
Will soon be announced.
Students with a late JGU registration Special registration period for the test in the winter semester 2020/21:
Will soon be announced.
Students with a late JGU registration
who are admitted AFTER all phases have elapsed
The information for the winter semester 2020/21 will be added at short notice.

You can only take the placement test if you have previously registered for it (see above).

Not showing up for the placement test without a doctor's note or otherwise acceptable excuse will result in a failing mark.


There are two ways of registering for the placement test, depending on whether you are taking it for the first time or for the second or third time:

  • You are taking the test for the first time? Please read on here: "Registration for new students."
  • You have already taken the test before but unfortunately failed to pass it? Please read on here: "Registration for repeaters."

Registration for new students

1. What do you need for registration?

  • You must be registered as a student at JGU. Without a complete registration by the student administration (Studierendensekretariat), registration for the placement test is not possible.
  • You need a user log-in and a password in order to log into the JGU intranet.
    You will receive these from the center for data processing (Zentrum für Datenverarbeitung ZDV) at JGU after you have been registered as a student at JGU.
  • You will also need a transaction number/TAN (Transaktionsnummer TAN).
    Please carefully read the information on the transaction process that you get with your university documentation. For further information:see the links (in the upper right-hand corner).
  • Should you not have received any documents by the day BEFORE you are taking the test, please contact Dr. Obenland via email (see "contacts" in the left menu).

2. Registration periods see above: dates are to be found in the table

3. How do I register succesfully?
Please take your time for your first registration in our administrative tool "JOGUStINe," to make sure you are REALLY registered when you are done.

Please use the pictorial manual "Registering for the placement test: STEP-BY-STEP" (pdf). You can download it from the upper right-hand corner on this page.

Important tip:
You are only registered successfully for the placement test if you have registered for "Modul Sprachtest (M.05.008.0001)" (module placement test) as well as for "Lehrveranstaltung Sprachtest (05.008.001)" (course placement test).
Registering for the module alone does not register you for the test as well!

Registration for repeaters

Repeaters register ONLY for the EXAM (to be found among „exam registrations“ by the title „Placement test repeater" (Eingangstest Wiederholer). Please, do NOT register for the "course" again, otherwise your registration will be invalid
As for all other exams: unexcused absences will be counted as failed attempts!

Registration period see Point 1: Dates in the table.

For detailed information about Jogustine registraiton: see "Further links."


Should you be ill on the date of your test, IMMEDIATELY hand in (or send in) a doctoral attested note to our exams manager, Frau Alexandra Velten. More extensive information can be found here: "Further links - doctoral attested absence."


Alexandra Velten, M.A.
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department of English and Linguistics
Jakob-Welder-Weg 18
55128 Mainz

Execution and organization

The electronic exam is taken via the ILIAS platform in the computer pools at JGU:

Prior to the test date, try whether you can actually log into ILIAS.

Here's how it's done:

  • You need an activated ZDV user name and your ZDV password. If, during your first log-in, you are asked to fill in your personal data, please do so and save your entries.
  • On the test day, you log into ILIAS with your activated ZDV-account.
  • Your user name and password for JOGUSTINE and ILIAS are identical.
  • Bring your ID (Personalausweis) (OR travel passport OR driver's license or like photo ID) to the test. Before entering the test rooms, your ID will be checked.

Dr. Frank Obenland is the test coordinator.

Kind and extent of the test

The electronic test comprises a hundred questions in a multiple choice format. You will have exactly 60 minutes to answer the questions. For each question, there is ONLY ONE CORRECT ANSWER. Areas tested include:

  • problematic areas of English grammar (syntax, tenses, conditionals, etc.)
  • situational communicative performance (vocabulary and idiomology);
  • questions concerning reading comprehension of short texts;
  • Paraphrasing and ambiguities
  • Questions concerning syntax, vocabulary, and style

Examples and peparations: see Point 11.

The test results will immediately be available to you.

Recognition of equivalent language proficiency

Students may also give proof of their English proficiency by submitting equivalent language test results. We accept the following documents as substitutes for the placement test:

Cambridge Certificate:

  • the „Certificate in Advanced English“ (offered by: Cambridge ESOL; grade must be at least: C)
  • the „Certificate of Proficiency in English“ (offered by: Cambridge ESOL; grade must be at least: C)

We accept certified/notarized copies only. Please send these documents to the following address.

In order to be exempt from our placement test, the documents showing equivalence and test results  must meet the following deadline

Will soon be announced.

upon arrival at Frau Velten's office in the departmental studies office:

Alexandra Velten, M.A.
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department of English and Linguistics
Jakob-Welder-Weg 18
55128 Mainz


We only accept original certificates of the ETS test results  (no photocopies!).

  • "Test of English as a Foreign Language" (TOEFL; provider: Educational Testing Service ETS) The result of the internet-based TOEFL (iBT) must have a score of at least 85 of 120 points.

You can have them send the results to us already when you take the test; please give them our institutional code - here's how to:

  • Provide the tester with our institutional code (see below) and have them mail the results to us as a hard-copy (the online results alone are not sufficient!).
  • This hard-copy to us must be ordered directly with ETS and must be sent directly from ETS to us. We cannot accept test results that were sent from ETS to you directly; those detailed copies are for your personal use only!

Institutional Code:
The Code number for Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Department of English and Linguistics is: C 171


Tips for students changing universities

Students who have begun their studies at another university already and who have been placed into a higher semester upon starting at JGU, may get a waiver for participation in the placement test as long as they can give proof of the successful participation in enough language-qualificatory courses within the frame of their previous studies.

In order to be placed into a higher semester, please go and see one of our departmental student counsellors as soon as possible: FAQ Recognition and Crediting

Tips for students changing their subjects

Students, who are changing from a State Exam program into a B.A., B.Ed., or B.Sc. program and who have already successfully completed our Integrated Language Course, do not have to take the placement test. In order to be able to register for scientific or language-qualificatory courses, you must show your graded transcript to Frau Velten (room 02-596) in time BEFORE course registration takes place.

TEST RESULT and registration for courses

The placement test result (pass/fail) will be shown to you immediately after the test.

Test passed
You can now register - via the regular JOGUStINe registration period at the beginning of the semester - for all course types planned for the first regular study semester.

Test failed
You can only register for courses offered in lecture form (Lecture L/V Vorlesung) (see additional prerequisites for modules in your subject-specific examination order (Zugangsvoraussetzungen der Module im jeweiligen Prüfungsordnungsanhang).
List of possible enrollments:

Course of studiescourse/class
B.A. American Studies (major or minor)You can attend all lectures, meaning all lectures than have "lecture" in their title or that are marked with a "V" for "Vorlesung."
B.A. English Literature and Culture (major or minor) You can attend all lectures, meaning all lectures than have "lecture" in their title or that are marked with a "V" for "Vorlesung."
B.Ed. EnglischYou can attend all lectures in Modulle 1:
Introduction to English Linguistics, and
Introduction to Teaching English,
Introduction to Literary Studies

Repeating the placement test
If you have failed the placement test, you can repeat it only at the beginning of the next two semesters.

How can I prepare for the test?

Next to the usual grammar text books, you can also resort to preparatory materials for the TOEFL test or the Cambridge Certificate to prepare for the placement test.

On the following webpages, you will find examples and training questions, which can be helpful in your preparations:

- Grammar:

- Vocabulary:

- Reading comprehension:

The following sample questions may also give you a better understanding of how the test questions may appear:

Example 1: Each item has four possible responses. Choose the best of the four alternatives given and mark the appropriate item on your answer file. There is only one correct alternative.

He________________here for a long time.

(A) lived

(B) lives

(C) is living

(D) has been living

Solution: Only (D) would be correct.

Example 2: Which dictionary item best fits the underlined word in the text?

The burglar entered the house. When he heard a noise from another room, he quickly tiptoed up two flights.

(A) slides

(B) lifts

(C) sets of stairs

(D) u-shaped tubes

Solution: Only (C) is correct here.

Example 3: Which of these expressions is not used in coll
oquial English before enjoying a drink?

(A) I salute you!

(B) Cheers!

(C) Here’s to you!

(D) Bottoms up!

Soultion: Here, (A) would be the correct answer.

Example 4: The following passages have one word or expression underlined that is inappropriate to the style of the rest. Which is it?

The Reading Room has been known as a world famous (A) centre of learning since the 19th century when it opened and was immediately hailed (B) as one of the great sights (C) of London. It stands at the heart of the Museum, smack-dab (D) in the centre of the Great Court.

Solution: Here, (D) is the correct answer.