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 level of 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 beginning of the following semester. The language proficiency tested for is equivalent to level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
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).
Dr. Frank Obenland is the test coordinator.

Dates and Deadlines

Current guidelines concerning the Corona virus and the language placement test:

  • The test for the winter semester 2021/22 will be online.

+++ Some general information on the test +++

  • The placement test usually takes place shortly before the start of term, so AFTER  April 1st for summer semesters or AFTER Oktober 1st for winter semesters.
  • The dates on this page will be updated as soon as times and places are fixed.
  • Please refrain from sending emails concerning dates and times and keep checking this page. We would very much appreciate it!
  • We strongly recommend not to go on a vacation after April 1st or 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!
  • The periods for signing up for the placement test differ from those 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 2021/22:
8 October 2021, 10 a.m.-12 (noon), online.

Before sitting the test, do the ONLINE TUTORIAL.

Special Jogustine registration period:
1 September 2021, 1 p.m., Uhr until 7 Oktober 2021, 1p.m.
Bachelor of Education
(freshmen only)
Date for the winter semester 2021/22:
8 October 2021, 10 a.m.-12 (noon), online.

Before sitting the test, do the ONLINE TUTORIAL.

Special Jogustine registration period:
1 September 2021, 1 p.m., Uhr until 7 Oktober 2021, 1p.m.
Test repeaters from SuSe 2020/21 or earlier Date for the winter semester 2021/22:
8 October 2021, 10 a.m.-12 (noon), online.

Before sitting the test, do the ONLINE TUTORIAL.

Special EXAM registration period for repeaters in the winter semester 2021/22:
1 September 2021, 1 p.m., Uhr until 7 Oktober 2021, 1p.m.
Students with a late JGU registration Special registration period for the test in the winter semester 2021/22:
Will soon be announced.
Students with a late JGU registration
who are admitted AFTER all phases have elapsed
The information for the winter semester 2021/22: 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 fully 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 send an e-mail to Dr. Frank Obenland (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 required to register two things on JOGUStINe:
1) Register for the "Modul Sprachtest (M.05.008.0001)" (module placement test).
2) Register for the "Lehrveranstaltung Sprachtest (05.008.001)" (course placement test).

-> Registering for the module alone means that you are NOT fully registered!

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

Preparing for the test: ONLINE TUTORIAL

Do the ONLINE TUTORIAL (in good time) before the actual test starts.

  • The online test and the tutorial are taken via the ILIAS online platform. No software download required!
  • You will need an activated JGU user name and password. (JGU user name and password can be used on both Jogustine and Ilias!)
  • On your first log-in, you will be asked to enter some personal data. Please fill them in and save them.

The tutorial consists of 3 parts:

  • A short explanation of the test.
  • A statement of integrity and academic honesty.
  • A trial version of the test:
    • The trial version contains 5 questions in the single-choice format.
    • There is only one correct answer to each question.
    • You have 10 minutes to answer the questions.
    • The questions are examples of the actual test questions.
    • Please note that NO answer page is provided. The tutorial is merely designed to give you an idea of the actual test set-up.

You will take approx. 20 minutes to complete the tutorial. Best make sure that you will not be disturbed while working on it.

  • We strongly recommend you use the same device you will use on the test day.
  • Please use the latest version of your web browser and computer software.
  • Make sure you have a stable internet connection before starting the tutorial.


Dr. Frank Obenland is the test coordinator.

Doing the test

On the day the registration period ends, you will receive an E-MAIL in the course of the afternoon/early evening containing a LINK which will grant you access to the test.

The online test comprises 50 questions to be answered in the single-choice format. You will have 30 minutes to answer the questions. There is only one correct answer to each question.

You will only be able to access the test if you have first done/completed the ONLINE TUTORIAL.

You will be tested on

  • English grammar (sentence construction, tenses, conditionals, etc.)
  • appropriate situational/communicational conduct (vocabulary, idiomatic expressions);
  • reading comprehension (short texts);
  • discerning paraphrases and ambiguities;
  • questions on syntax und vocabulary (style).

You will need

  • a stable internet connection. We strongly recommend using a laptop-/computer.
  • a very stable internet connetion when using a mobile device.
  • surroundings where you will be undisturbed for at least 30 minutes.


  • The test can only be done during the time span mentioned in the table, i.e. you must complete it before the ending of the test time.
  • Once you have registered yourself for the test, you will have to participate in it. If you miss the test, you will automatically fail the test (accept: see "illness").
  • You will receive the test result soon after you have done the test.

Dr. Frank Obenland is the test coordinator.

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

12 October 2021

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 shortly 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, i.e. Vorlesung, also short coded "V" in your exam regulations). See additional prerequisites for modules in your subject-specific exam regulations ("Zugangsvoraussetzungen").
List of possible enrollments:

Course of studiescourse/class/lecture
B.A. American Studies (major or minor)You can attend all the lectures. They either have the word "lecture" in the title or are marked with a "V" for "Vorlesung".
B.A. English Literature and Culture (major or minor) You can attend all the lectures. They either have the word "lecture" in the title or are marked with a "V" for "Vorlesung".

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.