Placement Test

How to take a Placement Test

The Foreign Language Institute does not offer credit by exam for any language. Students may take a placement test to see which language level is right for them.

Placement tests for Spanish, French, and German only are available online. To take these tests, please take the department's placement exam. Be sure to follow the directions on that page. It lists a password and tips for taking the exam. Placement tests for all other languages are done by the instructor who teaches the intermediate language levels. Please email to get more information about how to set up an appointment with the appropriate instructor.

Placement Policy

Initial Placement

Initial placement refers to the specific level at which students begin coursework in a language in the department. Proper initial placement safeguards the integrity of the department’s lower-division courses, recognizes students’ prior learning experiences, and helps them save time and money.

Taking into consideration various levels of previous language exposure, the department has adopted and enforces the following guidelines with respect to initial placement:

  • Students with no prior experience in a language must enroll in the 101-level course
  • Students with transfer credit in a language (including dual credit) must enroll in the next course in the sequence, may not take the placement exam, and are not eligible to receive retroactive credit.
  • Students who have studied a language in high school (without receiving dual credit), heritage speakers (students exposed to a language other than English in their homes), and other non-native speakers with prior exposure to a language must take the department's placement exam prior to enrollment in their initial language course.
  • Native speakers may not take elementary level courses.
  • Students must initially enroll in the course indicated by their prior language experience, placement score, or faculty proficiency assessment, as set forth above. However, an initial placement may be adjusted downward or upward upon request by the student and with faculty approval. This request must be made during the first week of the course.

Retroactive Credit

Students who bypass levels in a language sequence as a result of initial placements determined through placement exam scores or faculty proficiency assessments may request retroactive credit for lower courses in the sequence. The following conditions apply:

  • Applications for retroactive credit must be made in person at the departmental office in SICL 223.
  • Students must pass the course into which they are initially placed with a B or better in order to receive the agreed upon retroactive credit.
  • Students who intend to major or minor in a language program may receive a maximum of 12 hours of retroactive credit. For all other students the limit is 6 hours.
  • Retroactive credit will be shown as P on a Missouri State University transcript and does not affect GPA. Partner students wishing to receive these credits at their home institution may request their Missouri State University transcript to transfer these credits back to their home institution. Students must inquire with their home institution to see if the home institution allows the transfer of retroactive credit.