Transitioning from high school to college
For students who have studied Japanese in high school, the question of how their skill levels compare to the expectations of college courses is an important consideration. Some sources may estimate that a student who has excelled for two years of a high school language course may have skills similar to a college student who has completed one year, but there is wide variation.
Each college or university has its own policies on how to assess the skills of incoming students. Some have written placement tests, while others use interviews. This is an important topic to ask about on any college visit!
Students who have reached an appropriate skill level may wish to take the AP Japanese Language and Culture Exam. This exam is available to any high school student who attends a school offering any AP-designated courses, even if there is no AP Japanese course offered. However, the AP Japanese Language and Culture Exam is a computer-based test, so some high schools may face considerable challenges arranging an appropriate testing site. Any student wishing to take the AP Japanese Language and Culture Exam should discuss this with a guidance counselor early in the school year.
Ohio Board of Regents policy is that all public colleges and universities in Ohio must grant credit and placement equivalent to the beginning sequence of Japanese study (two semesters) for a passing AP Exam score of 3 or higher, or equivalent general elective credit hours if Japanese is not offered. Many colleges and universities award an additional semester for an AP Exam score of 4, and two full years for a score of 5. Private colleges and universities are not bound by this policy, so please be certain to research individual policies.