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  placement test. Without this proof of their 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 JGU Mainz. The language proficiency tested for is equivalent to level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).The test can be repeated twice only - at the beginning of the following semester. After that, students can prove their language skills by means of equivalent language certificates (see Recognition of equivalent language proficiency on this page).

MANDATORY PREREQUISITES if you intend to do the test:

1) Correct registration on Jogustine (see "registration").
2) Complete the ONLINE TUTORIAL (see "preparing for the test").

Note that test dates are NOT negotiable.

Dr. Frank Obenland is the test coordinator.


  • 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. Thank you for your co-operation.
  • 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.
  • Not showing up for the placement test without a doctor's note or otherwise acceptable excuse will result in a failing mark.

More information after registration

  • After the registration period has ended, you will receive an e-mail with more details concerning your test time later that day.
  • Note that there might be last minute changes due to the staff/room situation. Therefore, please pay special attention to the e-mail/system message that confirms the test dates and read it most carefully.
  • Any messages will be sent to your JGU student mailing account.
Course of studiesTEST DAY - DATE AND TIME
B.A. American Studies
B.A. English Literature and Culture

(First-year students only)
Date for the summer semester 2024:
[coming soon]

Before sitting the test, do the ONLINE TUTORIAL.

Special Jogustine registration period:
[coming soon]
Test repeaters from WiSe 2023/24 or earlier Date for the summer semester 2024:
[coming soon]

Before sitting the test, do the ONLINE TUTORIAL.

Special EXAM registration period for repeaters:
[coming soon]
Students with a late JGU registration Date for the summer semester 2024:
[will be added if necessary]

Before sitting the test, do the ONLINE TUTORIAL.

Special Jogustine registration period :
[will be added if necessary]
Students with a late JGU registration
who are admitted AFTER all phases have elapsed
Date for the summer semester 2024:
[will be added if necessary]

Before sitting the test, do the ONLINE TUTORIAL.

Special registration:
[will be added if necessary]

Registration - 1st or 2nd attempt

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:

  • 1st attempt:
    Please read on here: "Registration for new students (1st attempt)"
  • 2nd attempt:
    Please read on here: "Registration for repeaters (2nd attempt)"

Registration for NEW students (freshers - 1st attempt)

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. Find registration periods above: "Registration periods - Test dates"

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 2 (!) parts on JOGUStINe:

1) "Modul Sprachtest (M.05.008.0001)" (module placement test).
2) "Lehrveranstaltung Sprachtest (05.008.001)" (course placement test).

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

Registration for repeaters (2nd/3rd attempt) - exam registration ONLY

Repeaters register ONLY for the EXAM (to be found among "exam registrations“ by the title "Eingangstest Wiederholer". Please, do NOT register for the "course" again, otherwise your registration will be invalid
Unexcused absences will be counted as failed attempts!

Registration period: see "Registration periods - Test dates" above.

Finding the exam on Jogustine: see "Download" on this page "Registration for repeaters (PDF)". The screenshot used is in German, but you should still find your way on Jogustine.

For detailed information about Jogustine registration: 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 Alexandra Velten. For more information see: "Further links - doctoral attested absence."


Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department of English and Linguistics
Studienbüro Englisch
Alexandra Velten, M.A.
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.


Dr. Frank Obenland is the test coordinator.

Doing the test

The language test will be conducted at the time and location as indicated under Registration Periods – Test Days above (look for TEST DAY – DATE AND TIME for your course of studies).

The language test comprises 100 questions to be answered in the single-choice format. You will have 60 minutes to answer the questions. There is only one correct answer to each question. You need to give 50 correct answers to receive a passing grade.

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

  • to use your JGU account credentials (i.e. user name and password for Jogustine, university emails etc.) to log onto our e-learning platform ILIAS
  • to show photo ID (e.g. passport, driver’s licence etc.) before you are allowed to participate in the test


  • Unexcused absences will result in a failing grade!

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:

  • These test result must not be older than two years.
  • Tests that are part of your admission to another university as well as other certificates cannot be accepted.

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

for the summer semester 2024

[coming soon]

upon arrival at Alexandra Velten's office.


According to our exam regulations we can ONLY accept the following test results/certificates:


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

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

Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department of English and Linguistics
Studienbüro Englisch
Alexandra Velten, M.A.
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 already have the results sent to us when taking the test - here's how to:

  • Provide the tester with the Department's own INSTITUTIONAL CODE:
    The INSTITUTIONAL CODE for the Department of English and Linguistics at JGU Mainz is:
    C 171
  • Have them mail the results to us as a hard-copy (the online results alone are not sufficient!).
  • This hard-copy must be ordered DIRECTLY with ETS and MUST be sent DIRECTLY from ETS to the Department. We cannot accept test results that were sent from ETS to you directly; those detailed copies are for your personal use only!

Tips for students changing universities

Students who have begun their studies at another university already and who have been placed into a higher semester when 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

TEST RESULT and registration for courses

You will receive the test result (pass/fail) 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 to 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

Our online tutorial will also give you a good idea what the test will be like.

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

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

He________________here for a long time.

(A) lived

(B) lives

(C) is living

(D) has been living

Auflösung: Only (D) would be correct.

Beispiel 2: Which dictionary item best fits the word in bold letters?

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

Auflösung: Only (C) is correct here.

Beispiel 3: Which of these expressions is not used in colloquial English before enjoying a drink?

(A) I salute you!

(B) Cheers!

(C) Here’s to you!

(D) Bottoms up!

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

Beispiel 4: The following passage has a word or expression highlighted 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.

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