Test your languages online

The University of Westminster runs language courses in about 20 languages. In fact I did 3 of their evening courses in the mid 90s.

For some languages they have a brief online diagnostic quiz. This tests how much you know so you can enrol at the right level. The quiz contains 50 questions, in a multiple-choice format.

To follow up on my Scandinavian challenge of earlier this year, I did the Norwegian and Swedish tests today. Although the University also offers Danish classes, it doesn’t provide a quiz for Danish.


I got 33 for Norwegian and 31 for Swedish. I also had a go at Hungarian, getting 33 for that test too. The University says a score of 29-44 equates to lower intermediate level.

The scores overstate my ability in all 3 languages, particularly in Norwegian and Swedish. For one thing, those two tests were much less complex than the Hungarian test—they were short, simple sentences, and I could guess some things I didn’t know. (On the other, for some of the more complex Hungarian sentences, some of the options provided were just pure word salad, so it was sometimes easy to eliminate all but one of the options without understanding the right answer.)

Also, the quiz tests just basic vocabulary and grammar, without forcing you to produce anything. So some questions are more about eliminating incorrect answers than about producing correct answers. Still, it’s an interesting and quick (and painless) exercise.

I haven’t spent much time on the Norwegian, Swedish and Danish since July, when I finished my challenge. Scandinavian challenge: how did it go? – Language Miscellany

In the last couple of weeks, though, I have been dipping into a Swedish reader (some simple detective stories) for people who read German. If I hadn’t done that, I would definitely have scored less in both Swedish and Norwegian.

Finding the quizzes

When I find a bit more time, I’ll try the tests in other languages.

You can get to the quizzes from Language Courses Online & On Campus | University of Westminster, London

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