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HLPE Exam Purpose

The purpose of the HLPE is to assess Hawaiian Language acquisition and proficiency for appropriate placement into the Hawaiian language courses offered at UH Mānoa in order for students to meet the Hawaiian and/or Second Language undergraduate graduation requirement. The HLPE is not a diagnostic test, nor is the HLPE a formative or summative assessment. As a placement test, students must complete subsequent course work to demonstrate language skills acquired, and/or language competency or proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, listening and reasoning using Hawaiian Language over time. After placement by HLPE score into a Hawaiian language course, the student must pass the course (C not C- or better for HAW 102-202; B- or better for HAW 301-402) to demonstrate proficiency and competency in Hawaiian language acquisition.


  • STUDENTS ENROLLING WITH PRIOR HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE: If you have prior Hawaiian Language experience (e.g., high school, kula kaiapuni, other university or community college courses, lived with native speakers, etc.), you must register to complete the HLPE in order to qualify for UH Mānoa placement into an advanced course, HSL back credits and/or to waive HSL credits.


  • STUDENTS ENROLLING IN ADVANCED COURSES IN HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE: We encourage students who have not been recently engaged in using Hawaiian frequently, to consider taking a placement exam if they are interested in taking advanced courses (300-400 levels) in Hawaiian Language. You must register for the exam.


  • STUDENTS ENROLLING IN HAW 101: You may enroll in HAW 101 with no prior consent or pre-requisites. A HLPE placement exam is not required to enroll in HAW 101.
  • CONTINUING UH SYSTEM STUDENTS: If you are transferring from a UH-system community college, you may continue to enroll in the next Hawaiian Language course for which you are eligible to meet your Hawaiian or second language requirements for your degree. No HLPE exam is required.
  • STUDENTS ENROLLING WITH PRIOR COLLEGE CREDITS IN HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE FROM NON-UH SYSTEM INSTITUTIONS: If you have already earned equivalent college or university credits for Hawaiian Language, taking a placement exam is optional (e.g., 100-200 levels at a community college or other accredited university with a C (not C-) grade or better). However, the HLPE is strongly recommended if you are interested in taking advanced courses (300-400 levels) in Hawaiian Language. You must register for the HLPE exam.

HLPE Exam Dates

HLPE exam dates and locations are established each semester and announced in the UH Mānoa Registration Guide and on-line. Please contact the Hawaiian Language Academic Advisor to register to take the exam. Please send your completed registration application with supporting documents and exam fees (if required) by the established due date. Click here to view the HLPE Exam Schedule.

HLPE Exam Site and Facilities

The exam site is located on the UH Mānoa campus at Moore Hall Lab 155B located at 1890 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822. The facilities will open and close one-half our before and after the exam. Parking is always a challenge on the Mānoa campus, so please plan ahead. For a campus map, click here.

HLPE Exam Protocols

Please bring along an official government issued picture ID (or valid student ID) along with your HLPE Ticket. Plan on participating in a four-hour period (4 hours) for uninterrupted examination. All exam materials will be provided. Only participants taking the exam may be present at the exam site. No smoking, eating or drinking is allowed. A short break will be scheduled after the second hour of the exam.

HLPE Exam Components & Schedule

The Hawaiian Language Placement Exam has two components that are evaluated and assessed by the Hawaiian Language faculty over 4 hours: (1) Overall Competency to Read, Write and Reason in the Hawaiian Language (2 hours) and (2) Oral Speaking and Listening Fluency using the Hawaiian Language (1 hour). Exam administration time and scheduled breaks add another 1 hour. To prepare for the HLPE exam, access the optional HLPE Study Guidelines by clicking here.

HLPE Exam Results & Reporting

The results of the HLPE are:

  • Valid for One Year: The exam results are valid for one year from the date of the exam. The results are final and cannot be appealed.
  • Use of Results: For placement purposes into credit courses, the results of the exam are only valid at UH Mānoa. The results may or may not be valid or acceptable at other universities and community colleges.
  • Results Reported: Allow four weeks after the exam for results to be reported in writing. Unless otherwise requested, exam results will be emailed.
  • Re-test: Students may re-test only after one year from the date of the exam.

Take the HLPE Exam Early

Since results of the placement exam are used to place students into appropriate Hawaiian language levels and courses, it is to the student’s advantage to take the exam well in advance of the UH Mānoa registration periods. In general, the Spring HLPE results are used for Summer and Fall registration. The Fall HLPE results are used for Spring registration. Test early!

No HLPE Exam Fees

Students who are enrolled at UH Mānoa or other UH System universities or community colleges are not assessed fees for the HLPE. Please consult the current UH Mānoa catalog and policy for a complete description of the Hawaiian and second language requirements for your degree by clicking here.

Non UH-System Institutions

As a professional courtesy to all non-UH System students, Hawaiʻinuiākea offers the HLPE at no charge in order to meet the requirements for their degree program at other universities and colleges in the US and elsewhere. At their discretion, the HLPE results may or may not be valid or acceptable at other universities and community colleges.



All students must register for the HLPE exam. To access the HLPE Registration Application, click here.

Submit a complete Registration Application for the Hawaiian Language Placement Exam by the due date. Only timely and complete registration applications will be accepted. Space is limited!


Attach the following documents or information to your Registration Application for the Hawaiian Language Placement Exam:

  1. Submit a copy of your university’s Foreign or Second Language Placement/Competency requirements with a full description (or other written criteria) from your university catalog or your college major department or program. The essential criteria for passing your course of study with regards to completing your degree should be accurately and fully described, including the number of course credits and/or instructional hours required.
  2. Complete and submit any forms that your university requires to inform officials of your HLPE placement results.
  3. Results of the HLPE are emailed to all students.
  4. If you prefer, on your registration form, you may provide a contact name and address and other information of the university official to whom the results of your HLPE will be sent. On the exam date, bring along a self-stamped, self-addressed no. 10 business envelope to mail your exam results. Please specify the name, title, department, and mailing address.

ADA Accommodations

If you have a disability and related access needs, please contact the KOKUA program (UH Mānoa Disabled Student Services Office) at 956-7511,, or report to the Queen Liliuokalani Center for Student Services. Please know that we will work with you and KOKUA to meet your access needs based on disability documentation. Specific information regarding receiving assistance during exams may be accessed by clicking here.

HLPE Exam Proctor

Please contact for more information or to register or cancel your HLPE registration.

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