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Nevenka Korica-Sullivan, Director 38 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 02138 • 617-495-8127

CASA Selection Exam

The CASA proficiency exam provides the selection committee with a comprehensive measure of the applicant's current level of proficiency in Arabic, and helps to place her/him in the appropriate class if she/he is accepted into the program.  All CASA I applicants are required to take the exam.  CASA II and III applicants are generally NOT required to take the exam; however, this is contingent upon individual circumstances.  CASA II applicants will be required to take the exam if they completed the CASA I program more than 5 years ago.

The Selection Exam for 2014-2015 program will be administered at various locations around the U.S. and abroad.  If you are a Stateside applicant, the exam will be held on Friday, February 7, 2014. If you are an International applicant, the exam will be held on Wednesday, February 5, 2014.  CASA will not send reminders regarding the exam date and it will be the student's responsible to make all arrangements. Exams may not be scheduled for a different day or time unless approved by the CASA Administrative Office. It is the responsibility of the applicant to secure a suitable proctor (see Section 4: Proctor and Reference Information). Please note that exams must be proctored at all times, even at universities where the honor system is used, and the presence of the designated proctor is required during all sections of the exam.

2014 CASA Selection Exam Details

The CASA Selection Exam includes three sections: Listening Comprehension, Reading Comprehension and Writing. The listening and reading sections are administered online and applicants will need access to the Internet in order to complete these sections. The online sections of the exam are in a multiple choice format. All sections of the exam are intended to gauge different levels of proficiency, and may include material that is beyond an applicant's present level of competency in Arabic.  Examinees should answer as much as possible and attempt to answer all questions. Speaking ability is not part of this exam, but will be assessed through a telephone interview with a certified OPI tester after the applicant has been selected for a CASA fellowship.

For 2014, the CASA Selection Exam will be administered as follows with a total exam time of approximately 6 hours and 30 minutes:

I. Listening (Online) - Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (Please see Listening samples below.)
Sound clips are presented and the applicant is asked to select an appropriate response (in a multiple choice format) to a question about the content of each clip.
Level I - Intermediate- 5 Questions
Level II - Advanced- 20 Questions
Level III - Superior- 20 Questions
15 Minute Break

II. Reading (Online) - Time: 2 hours 15 minutes (Please see Reading sample below.)
A variety of written texts are presented for reading and the applicant is asked to select an appropriate response (in a multiple choice format) to a question about the content of each passage provided.
Level I - Intermediate- 5 Questions
Level II - Advanced- 20 Questions
Level III - Superior- 20 Questions
1 Hour Lunch Break* (*option to take another 15 minute break in place of the 1 hour lunch break)

III. Writing Section - Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (Please see Writing samples below.)
The writing section aims to test the applicant' s ability to compose in Arabic and demonstrate his/her ability to describe, narrate and express opinions in well-constructed and connected sentences and paragraphs.
End of Exam

Exam Policies

  • Dictionaries, textbooks and notebooks are not permitted in the exam room. Students may bring only writing utensils and scratch paper.
  • Exams may not be photocopied.
  • No exam may be administered at a time other than the day and time scheduled by the CASA office. Extenuating circumstances will be considered individually by the CASA Director.
  • Upon completion of the exam, the proctor must immediately return the writing sections of the exam to the CASA office, where they will be reviewed and scored.

CASA SELECTION EXAM SAMPLES

Samples of the online listening, reading, and writing questions may be downloaded below. 

LISTENING:  CASA Exam Sample-L1, CASA Exam Sample-L2, CASA Exam Sample-L3

READING: CASA Exam Sample-L1, CASA Exam Sample-L2, CASA Exam Sample-L3

WRITING: CASA Example Exam #1: Writing, CASA Example Exam #2: Writing

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