Graduate foreign language reading examination

A foreign language reading examination for graduate students can be taken in lieu of language coursework requirements. Students must translate a scholarly work in their chosen foreign language into a comprehensible, grammatically correct English text. Please contact Ashley Lawless ( for additional information.

Fee: $100 

(SILC students are exempted from the $100 fee)

Please make your check or money order payable to Arizona State University, include GFLE on the memo line, and submit with your application. You may also mail your application and money order to:

ASU School of International Letters and Cultures
Testing coordinator
P.O. Box 870202
Tempe, AZ 85287-0202

or click the button below to complete the payment online

Complete payment

Test details

The passage for translation for the examination will be in the student’s chosen foreign language. It must be a scholarly work of at least 200 pages, excluding fiction or poetry. The text may vary in length from test to test but generally will range from 300 to 400 words. The chosen text should relate to the examinee's field of study or research. Approval by both the examinee's advisor and the School of International Letters and Cultures is required.

The examination lasts for two hours, and examinees are expected to translate the entire passage. Graders are looking for an accurate translation that preserves both idiomatic content and the diction of the text to the degree possible. The text is not to be summarized, nor is it to be translated mechanically word-by-word; rather, the selected passage is to be rendered into comprehensible, grammatically correct English.

The results will be reported within four weeks.

All examinations take place at 2–4 p.m. on the scheduled test date. The room for the examination will be decided upon later and sent to each examinee by a confirmation letter.

You must turn in your book and application to the main office by the deadline to be eligible to take the exam.

Exam application

Please print, fill out and return the examination application with your selected text to the School of International Letters and Cultures no later than the designated approval deadline for each examination.

Graduate foreign language exam application

Dates and deadlines


Application deadlines

Examination dates

Fall 2024 Aug. 23, 2024 Sept. 13, 2024
Spring 2025 Jan. 24, 2025  Feb. 14, 2025

Tips for preparation graduate foreign language exam

Testing coordinator contact information