Graduate Language Exam

Graduate students of Architecture, Mathematics, Linguistics & Philosophy, and the Program in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology & Society are expected to show second-language proficiency as part of their departmental requirements. For students who plan to show proficiency in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish, MIT Global Languages will administer the Graduate Language Exam (GLE). If the student wishes to be examined in a language not listed here, the student should contact the graduate department’s graduate administrator for the department to arrange the exam.

The spring 2023 GLE will be administered on Wednesday, April 5, 5-7 pm, in 14N-313, according to following rules and procedures:

  1. Candidates select texts (books, articles) relevant to their discipline and approved by their faculty advisors to be used as the source materials for the exam (i.e., passages for translation). 
  2. Candidates download and fill out the GLE Application and obtain signatures from their faculty advisors.  
  3. Candidates deliver the completed and signed application form to the Global Languages Academic Administrator, Joyce Roberge, along with the chosen text(s) approved by their faculty advisors by Friday, March 17, 2023. The texts provided should collectively amount to approximately 200 pages. The Global Languages examiner is free to accept those materials as appropriate or suggest alternate material. 
  4. From the provided texts, the Global Languages examiner will select two (2) distinct passages of approximately 40 lines each (at 70 characters per line length). One passage will be of a general nature, the other more technical.  
  5. The candidates will take the exam on the designated date*, where they will have two hours to translate both passages. Failure to complete both passages will result in a non-passing grade. Additionally, the examiner may request oral clarification of ambiguous translations should the need arise. If necessary, use of a dictionary is permitted during the oral clarification. 
  6. During the exam, candidates may use a paper dictionary in order to complete the exam. Electronic or online dictionaries are prohibited. 
  7. Judgment as to the accuracy of the translation rests with the Global Languages examiner. 
  8. Results of the test will be available by the end of the term in which the exam is administered, and sent directly to the graduate administrator. 

*Candidates who cannot take the exam on the designated date may arrange for separate proctoring with their department’s graduate administrator. They should reach out to their graduate administrator no later than the deadline to submit the application (March 17th).