Language Placement and Placement Testing 

Placement Guidelines

Exemption from COM 2 and Placement into the 300-level: Students who have completed the equivalent of 202 or 221 in any language are encouraged to enroll in a 300-level course. Specific advice on course selection is available from the departments of Modern Literatures and Cultures and Latin American and Iberian Studies. Students who are exempt from COM 2 in a language have completed the equivalent of 202/221 in that language.

Complete Guidelines for French

Complete Guidelines for Spanish

Students who are uncertain of their placement or who wish to enroll in a higher-level course take a computerized placement test (French, German, Spanish) or consult with instructors of the relevant language (Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Russian).

If a student's years of high school and placement test score do not match (and placement is lower), the student should go to the appropriate language program director: Julie Baker in French; Ted Peebles in Spanish; the German instructor for the course they would like to take.

Students with 3-4 years of high school background do NOT belong at the elementary level. They should register for  the intermediate level (221/201).  For Spanish and French 121, there is a block on registration requiring departmental (program director) approval to prevent students from placing themselves into 121 based on placement test score. The elementary course is for BEGINNERS in the language. The intermediate (221) course is a review of structures that students have undoubtedly seen in high school and is only intensive in the amount of time in class (5 days a week with professors/2 practice sessions with undergraduate assistant teachers).

Placement test scores can only move students up a level or exempt a student from the COM II requirement altogether. Students with four or more years of high school language experience are thus strongly encouraged to take the placement test.

About the Computerized Tests

The Multimedia Language Laboratory offers computerized placement testing in French, German, Russian, and Spanish. The French, German, and Spanish tests are routinely given during First-Year Student Orientation in August and by appointment.

The Russian test is given by appointment only when the need is determined by a member of the Russian faculty.

Students of Chinese, Italian, and Japanese should consult the appropriate program director about placement or exemption.

The computerized tests are web-based and administered in the Language Lab. Students receive their scores immediately. The tests normally require 20 minutes to complete. Each test may only be taken once.

Scheduling a Placement Test

Several testing sessions are scheduled during Fall Orientation and during the first week of classes; incoming students planning to continue their language study should take the test during one of these sessions. After the first week of classes, students may schedule a test by using this form to request an appointment with the Language Lab Director.

A test is not scheduled until the student has received
an e-mail confirmation of time and date.

Last modified:August 23, 2007

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