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Language Placement

Hindi-Urdu Language Placement Test 2018-2019

If you have no previous knowledge of Hindi-Urdu and want to start Hindi-Urdu studies at
Northwestern, register for HIND_URD 111-1 (offered only in the fall).

Who needs to take the Hindi-Urdu placement test?

1. Students who want to use Hindi-Urdu to satisfy the Weinberg and the School of Communication’s two-year foreign requirement, by placing out of Hindi-Urdu 121-3.
2. Students who have prior knowledge of Hindi-Urdu and want to study Hindi-Urdu at Northwestern.
3. Students who have come back from study abroad and need to be placed into the appropriate level of Hindi-Urdu, or need to earn specific Hindi-Urdu language credits.

These criteria apply to all students, including transfer students and students in graduate
and professional schools.

Do I have to take the Hindi-Urdu placement test if I took the Urdu IB Exam or the Hindi IB exam, or the Hindi Board Examination in India?

No. You need not take the Hindi-Urdu placement exam if you took the Urdu IB exam Hindi IB exam, and got a score of 5 or above, or if you took the 10th or 12th grade Hindi Board Examination, and scored 70% or above. Instead, you will need to bring acopy of your IB exam or Board Exam grade sheet, and submit it to Dr. Rami Nair (Hindi) or Dr. David Boyk (Urdu) at the start of the placement test (see below for date, time and venue).

I can speak Urdu and/or Hindi, but am unable to read in either one or both the scripts. What are my options if I want to enroll in Hindi-Urdu classes at Northwestern?

You are in luck! The HIND_URD 116-0: Accelerated Hindi-Urdu Literacy was created for students just like you! This quarter long course is designed for heritage learners with speaking and listening skills in Hindi-Urdu but no reading and writing skills in either Devanagari or Nastaliq or both the scripts. You will learn how to read and write in Nastaliq and Devanagari, and will also be given a broad overview of the Hindi-Urdu grammar, with focus on areas that tend to be error prone for learners of Hindi-Urdu. At the end of the quarter you will take a test, on the basis of which you could be placed into higher level Hindi-Urdu courses, and be eligible to take courses such as HIND_URD 121-2 (second year level) or HINDI_URD 211-2 (third year level), etc.

What will the Hindi-Urdu placement test look like?

The Hindi-Urdu placement test consists of both oral and written components. Both components will be tested on the same day. The written test will be given in the Devanagari script for Hindi, and in the Nastaliq script for Urdu. The written test will evaluate general grammar knowledge, basic to intermediate vocabulary, short passage reading comprehension skills, and short passage writing skills. The oral test will consist of a brief oral interview in Hindi-Urdu.

How do I prepare for the Hindi-Urdu placement test?

The best way to start preparing for the test is to do some reading in Hindi and/or Urdu script. Try reading a story, and/or skim through the latest online newspaper articles. Watch a Hindi/Urdu movie clip or drama without subtitles, and practice speaking with a native speaker, if you have access to one.

When and where will the Hindi-Urdu placement test take place?

The Hindi-Urdu placement test will be offered on

Monday, September Sept 24, 2018
Location: Kresge Hall 2325

 Where will the placement test results be posted?

The Hindi-Urdu placement result will be emailed to each student.

How often is the placement test administered? How many times can I take it?
The placement test is given during Wildcat Welcome Week and on the first day of the Winter quarter (Monday, January 7, 2019, from 2:30 to 4:30 pm). There is no limit on the number of times you may take it, but you may take it only once a year.

How long are the results valid?

They are valid for one year.

I have more questions.

For questions regarding the Hindi placement test, please email Dr. Rami Nair at

For questions regarding the Urdu placement test, please email Dr. David Boyk at

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