Language Testing

The CWLC offers foreign language proficiency exams required by several undergraduate and graduate programs. These are given at specific dates during the fall, winter and spring quarters. Tests are not offered during academic breaks or during summer, so plan accordingly. The cost is $75 per test, payable by exact change or check only. Undergraduate language majors required to take the proficiency test as an exit assessment do not pay the fee.

The Undergraduate Placement Assessments let students know which course is most appropriate for their current level of language proficiency.

Previous AP and IB scores cannot serve as course prerequisites for undergraduates.

We understand that lives are busy and things happen. However, cancellations and no-shows have an impact on CWLC staff and other students who take this exam. If we receive and acknowledge a cancellation email from you more than 24 hours before the exam for which you have registered, there will be no penalty. If you do not show up on the exam day, you will be assessed a fee of $75 and the no-show will be counted as a fail and one of your three attempts to pass the exam.

 

students on the stairs

Testing for Undergraduates

To satisfy the Common Curriculum language requirement, students must take and pass level 1003 or higher depending on their placement.

  • Students who are starting a new language may skip the language testing and take levels 1001, 1002 and 1003.
  • Students who are continuing a language will complete the language placement test. If they place within the elementary sequence, they will complete the elementary sequence through 1003. If they place beyond the elementary sequence they will take one four-credit course at their level (2001 or higher) to fulfill the requirement.
  • IB and AP scores do not fulfill placement requirements. Please take the language placement test and follow the two bullet points above to determine your foreign language requirements.
  • If you earned a Seal of Biliteracy prior to joining DU, please take a placement test for the language you studied. The Seal of Biliteracy will likely allow you to place into an upper-level course and take less courses to complete your language requirement. Please take the test to determine your exact placement.

Step-by-Step Process:

  • Use the Language Requirement Flowchart to determine which language placement test(s) to take.
  • It is recommended that incoming students take the placement test before July 1 to be ready for registration. Returning students can take the placement test at any time. See language-specific details below.
  • Review your score with the Language Advising Guide.
  • Register for your language class during the advising period.
  • If needed, follow up with a language advisor during the first week of class.

You may take the tests for more than one language.

 

Undergraduate Placement Testing for Specific Languages

  • Arabic
    • If you have never studied Arabic, please register for Arabic 1001 (only offered in the fall quarter).
    • If you speak Arabic but do not have experience reading or writing in Arabic, please register for Arabic 1001.
    • If you have not had formal instruction in Arabic, please register for Arabic 1001.
    • All other students, please follow these steps to access the Arabic Placement Assessment, located in Canvas learning management system:
      1. Go to the Arabic Placement Assessment
      2. Enter your DU ID and Password and click "Enroll in Course"
      3. Click "Go to the Course"
      4. Read the instructions and take the placement assessment
    • Students will receive an email from a representative from the program with their scores and further information regarding advising and course offerings.
    • Please contact Professor Maha Foster with Arabic advising questions.
  • Chinese
    • If you have never studied Chinese, please register for Chinese 1001 (only offered in the fall quarter).
    • If you speak Chinese but do not have experience reading or writing in Chinese, please register for Chinese 1001.
    • All other students, please follow these steps to access the Chinese Placement Assessment, located in Canvas learning management system:
      1. Go to the Chinese Placement Assessment
      2. Enter your DU ID and Password and click "Enroll in Course"
      3. Click "Go to the Course"
      4. Read the instructions and take the placement assessment
    • Students will receive an email from a representative from the program with their scores and further information regarding advising and course offerings.
    • Please contact Professor Jing Wang with Chinese language advising questions. There also will be an opportunity for advising during Discoveries Week.
    • If you have any questions regarding the intermediate and advanced Chinese language program, and the full spectrum of Chinese Studies courses at DU, please contact Ping Qiu.
    • There will be a delay between placement test completion and the score being uploaded to the registrar. Please email the CWLC if you are still struggling with registration a week after test completion.
  • English

    International students whose first language is not English can complete the foreign language requirement through the ENGG course sequence (also called English General). Please direct questions about ENGG placement to Ethel Swartley at the Office of Internationalization. 

  • French
    • If you have never studied French, please register for French 1001 (only offered in the fall quarter).
    • All other students, please follow these steps to access the French Placement Test:
      1. Go to the True North placement testing website. The French Placement Test is multiple-choice and covers grammar, reading and vocabulary. The test is designed to give you a number of opportunities to answer questions at different levels of skills. Plan on 15-45 minutes for the test.
      2. Create an account. Please note your password! If you get disconnected or forget to record your placement results, you can return to the site to log in and view your score.
      3. At the end of the test, you will receive instructions regarding advising. If you feel your score is inaccurate, you may retake the test.
      4. Consult the Overview of Topics to confirm your placement. If you feel your score is inaccurate, you may retake the test.
    • Note your score and the corresponding course level, you will register for the level into which you placed. The list below shows which levels are offered during each quarter. If your level is not offered in the fall quarter, you may be advised to take another course.

    Fall quarter – 1001, 2001, 2400

    Winter quarter – 1002, 2002, 2400

    Spring quarter – 1003, 2003

    First-year coordinator: Terri-Jo Woellner 
    Second-year coordinator: Frédérique Chevillot

     

    French Placement Scoring Matrix
    Score Course
    0-279 1001
    280-319 1002
    320-359 1003
    360-399 2001
    400-439 2002
    440-479 2003
    480+ 2004
  • German
    • If you have never studied German, please register for German 1001 (only offered in the fall quarter).
    • All other students, please follow these steps to access the German Placement Test:
      1. Go to the True North placement testing website. The German Placement Test is multiple-choice and covers grammar, reading and vocabulary. The test is designed to give you a number of opportunities to answer questions at different levels of skills. Plan on 15-45 minutes for the test.
      2. Create an account. Please note your password! If you get disconnected or forget to record your placement results, you can return to the site to log in and view your score.
      3. At the end of the test, you will receive instructions regarding advising. If you feel your score is inaccurate, you may retake the test.
    • Please contact Professor Gabi Kathoefer with German language advising questions. There also will be an opportunity for advising during Discoveries Week.

     

    German Placement Scoring Matrix
    Score Course
    0-279 1001
    280-319 1002
    320-359 1003
    360-399 2001
    400-439 2002
    440-479 2003
    480+ 2100
  • Hebrew
    • If you have never studied Hebrew, please register for Hebrew 1001 (only offered in the Fall Quarter).
    • If your Hebrew knowledge is based on preparation for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration, please register for Hebrew 1001.
    • If your Hebrew knowledge is based on having attended a Jewish Day School until grade 6-8, please register for Hebrew 1001.
    • If you have had any other Hebrew experience, e.g. an Ulpan in Israel, Hebrew studies in a public High School, a Gap year in Israel, etc. and/or any other question, please contact the Hebrew Language Placement Advisor Professor Smadar Rauff or the Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures
    • All other students, please follow these steps to access the Hebrew Placement Assessment, located in Canvas learning management system:
      1. Go to the Hebrew Placement Evaluation
      2. Enter your DU ID and Password and click "Enroll in Course"
      3. Click "Go to the Course"
      4. Read the instructions and take the placement assessment
    • Students will receive an email from a representative from the program with their scores and further information regarding advising and course offerings. There also will be an opportunity for advising during Discoveries Orientation Week.
  • Italian
    • If you have never studied Italian, please register for Italian 1001 (only offered in the Fall Quarter).
    • Before you begin, make sure you have functioning headphones or speakers.
    • This test includes listening comprehension, grammar, reading comprehension and writing. You must complete the test in one sitting and will have only one hour to complete it.
    • Students will receive an email from a representative from the program with their scores and further information regarding advising and course offerings.
    • Please contact Professor Emily Sposeto with questions concerning the placement test or the first year language program.
    • Please contact Professor Angelo Castagnino with advising questions for the Italian program.
    • There will be a delay between placement test completion and the score being uploaded to the registrar. Please email the CWLC at cwlc@du.edu if you are still struggling with registration a week after test completion.

    Take the Italian Placement Assessment.

  • Japanese
    • If you have never studied Japanese, please register for JAPN 1001 (only offered in the Fall Quarter). 
    • If you speak Japanese but do not have experience reading or writing Hiragana and Katakana, please register for JAPN 1001.
    • All other students, please follow these steps to access the Japanese Placement Test:
      1. Go to the Japanese Placement Test
      2. Click “Test Application” (under “Taking the TTBJ for Individuals”) 
      3. Select and take “SPOT90 + Grammar90 + 漢字SPOT50”
      4. Complete the test (Test times: 30-60 minutes)
      5. After you complete the test, download the score report PDF file. The score report will be also sent to your email address.
      6. Send the score report PDF file with your name and DU ID number to Professor Miho Hamamoto
        There are two scores at the end of your report; please look at the one on the left “日本語力の総合スコア” and register for the class you are placed in. 
      7. Complete the Japanese Placement Survey.
      8. Note your score and the corresponding course level. You will register for the level into which you placed. This chart shows which levels are offered during each quarter. If your level is not offered in the fall quarter, you may be advised to take another course.
        Fall Quarter – 1001, 2001, 2101
        Winter Quarter – 1002, 2002
        Spring Quarter – 1003, 2003
    • If you have any questions regarding the placement test and the first-year Japanese program, please contact Professor Miho Hamamoto
    • If you have any questions regarding the intermediate and advanced Japanese language program, and the full spectrum of Japanese Studies courses at DU, please contact Professor Orna Shaughnessy
    • There also will be an opportunity for advising during Discoveries Week. 
    • There will be a delay between placement test completion and the score being uploaded to the registrar. Please email the CWLC if you are still struggling with registration a week after test completion.

     

     

    Japanese Placement Scoring Matrix
    Score Course
    0-29 JAPN 1001
    30-38 JAPN 1002
    39-47 JAPN 1003
    48-54 JAPN 2001
    55-61 JAPN 2002
    62-68 JAPN 2003
    69- JAPN 2101 or above/see advisor

     

  • Latin
    • If you have never studied Latin, please register for Latin 1001 (only offered in the Fall Quarter).
    • If you have previously studied Latin, print and take the Latin Placement Assessment.
    • Return Latin Placement Assessment to the Center for World Languages and Cultures and cc Professor Victor Castellani.
    • Students will receive an email from a representative from the program with their scores and further information regarding advising and course offerings.
    • Please contact Professor Victor Castellani with Latin language advising questions. There also will be an opportunity for advising during Discoveries Week.

    Take the Latin Placement Assessment

  • Russian
    • If you have never studied Russian, please register for Russian 1001 (only offered in the Fall Quarter).
    • All other students, please follow these steps to access the Russian Placement Test:
      1. Go to the True North placement testing website.
      2. The Russian Placement Test is multiple-choice and covers grammar, reading and vocabulary. The test is designed to give you a number of opportunities to answer questions at different levels of skills. Plan on 15-45 minutes for the test.
      3. Create an account. Please note your password! If you get disconnected or forget to record your placement results, you can return to the site to log in and view your score.
      4. At the end of the test, you will receive instructions regarding advising. If you feel your score is inaccurate, you may retake the test.
    • Please contact the Department of Languages, Literatures, & Cultures with Russian program advising questions over the summer. There also will be an opportunity for advising during Discoveries Week.
    • Please consult the Russian placement matrix below for your placement information. 
    Russian Placement Scoring Matrix
    Score Course
    0-250 RUSS 1001
    251-380 RUSS 1002
    381-500 RUSS 1003
    501-650 RUSS 2001
    651-750 RUSS 2002
    751-850 RUSS 2110
    851-1000 Above RUSS 2110
  • Spanish
    • If you have never studied Spanish, please register for Spanish 1001 (offered in Fall and Spring Quarters).
    • If you speak Spanish at home, grew up speaking Spanish or think you might be a Heritage Speaker, please see the Spanish for Native/Heritage Speakers section below.
    • All other students, please follow these steps to access the Spanish Placement Test:
      1. Go to the True North placement testing website. The Spanish Placement Test is multiple-choice and covers grammar, reading and vocabulary. The test is designed to give you a number of opportunities to answer questions at different levels of skills. Plan on 15-45 minutes for the test.
      2. Create an account. Please note your password! If you get disconnected or forget to record your placement results, you can return to the site to log in and view your score.
      3. At the end of the test, you will receive instructions regarding advising. If you feel your score is inaccurate, you may retake the test.
    • Please contact Professor Stefan DuBois with questions concerning the placement test or the first year language program.

     

    Spanish Placement Scoring Matrix
    Score Course
    0-279 SPAN 1001
    280-319 SPAN 1002
    320-359 SPAN 1003
    360-399 SPAN 2001
    400-439 SPAN 2002
    440-479 SPAN 2003
    480-519 SPAN 2050
    520-1000 SPAN 2050 or 2100
  • Spanish for Native/Heritage Speakers
    • If you speak Spanish at home with parents, siblings or extended family members, and have personal ties to a Spanish-speaking community, please complete the Spanish Heritage Language Assessment before enrolling in Spanish for Heritage Speakers (SPAN 2200).
    • If you have significant experience studying abroad or have completed part of your education in a Spanish-speaking country, please contact Lina Reznicek-Parrado, PhD
    • Please follow these steps to access the Spanish Heritage Placement Assessment, located in Canvas learning management system:
      1. Go to the Heritage Spanish Placement Assessment
      2. Enter your DU ID and Password and click "Enroll in Course"
      3. Click "Go to the Course"
      4. Read the instructions and take the placement assessment
    • If you place into the Spanish for Heritage/Bilingual Speaker course, you will register for SPAN 2200 during the Fall Quarter of 2020. Please plan accordingly.

International Undergraduate Students

Students in the undergraduate International Studies program can take the STAMP4S assessment to fulfill their language requirement beyond the university common curriculum requirement. STAMP4S is a computer-based assessment that measures reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. The scoring system for this test is based off national norms for foreign language proficiency and is widely recognized.

Transfer Students

Incoming and transfer students enrolling for the first time in the winter, spring or summer quarters do not have a dedicated day for language testing or advising. Please follow the instructions above to complete your placement tests and get the advising you need to register.

International students whose first language is not English can complete the foreign language requirement through the ENGG course sequence (also called English General). Please direct questions about ENGG placement to Ethel Swartley at the Office of Internationalization. 

pattern

Want to major in a language? Learn what languages DU offers.

Learn More

Testing for Graduate Students

Students in International Studies and International and Intercultural Communication programs take the STAMP4S assessment, a computer-based assessment that measures reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. The scoring system for this test is based off national standards for foreign language proficiency and is widely recognized.

Students in social sciences and humanities-focused programs, art history, anthropology, religious studies, English or geography, take the Reading Proficiency Test (RPT). The Reading Proficiency Test (RPT) is remotely proctored online through Language Testing International. Please review the Technical Requirements to be sure that your computer meets the required specifications and review the Examinee Handbook and the Familiarization Manual for information about the test, scoring and preparation.

 

campus

Graduate Proficiency Testing

Testing for IIC and Korbel Students

Testing for All Other Graduate Programs

  • How to register
    1. Go to the Language Testing site
    2. Choose one of the languages. Please note that Reading Proficiency Tests are only available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. If you need to test in another language, please contact the CWLC to discuss your options.
    3. Choose the Reading test, Reading (ACTFL Reading Test - 50 mins).
    4. Click the button on the bottom of the screen to Schedule Test and complete the Schedule form.
    5. Create and account. Note your account information to reschedule or cancel tests and to view your scores later.
    6. Check out. Your payment of $50 can be made by debit or credit card.
    7. Confirm. 
  • What languages are offered?

    Reading Proficiency Tests are only available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. If you need to test in another language, please contact the CWLC to discuss your options.

  • How should I prepare for the test?

    Free drop-in tutoring in available at the Language Center, and the Self-Directed Language Study program is available for more focused, individual preparation. You should also review the Technical Requirements to be sure that your computer meets the required specifications and review the Examinee Handbook and the Familiarization Manual for information about the test, scoring and preparation.

  • What do I need to pass?

    The benchmark scores for passing the Reading Proficiency requirement are set at an intermediate-high level on the ACTFL scale.

  • When will I know my results?

    Results should be available within three business days of completing the assessment. You will receive an email from LTI when your results are available. Please do not call the CWLC for exam results.

    1. Log in to your account to view your results.
    2. Download the PDF of your certificate and email it to cwlc@du.edu.

    The CWLC will verify your score and notify your program advisor.

  • What alternatives are available to fulfill my language requirement?

    The CWLC Director and your Program Director can approve external assessments, certifications, and/or courses to fulfill your requirement. Please contact us for more information.