Language Placement Exam
Information on Language Study, Language Requirement, and Placement.
The study of a second language is an essential component of the Core Curriculum goals of Saint Mary’s College, and all undergraduates must demonstrate proficiency in a second language. Students can also meet their Language requirement by taking Latin or Greek courses in the Classical Languages Department.
There are various means for you to demonstrate proficiency; please refer to the webpage of World Languages and Cultures for more information.
Incoming students are strongly encouraged to take the Foreign Language Placement Exam unless they have successfully completed three years of the same language with a 3.0 GPA or higher each term. The Placement Exam should be taken online at stmarys-ca.edu/orientation prior to attending orientation. Students should contact the Language Placement and Proficiency Coordinator who will assist them with access to the online exam. Students may take the placement exam once during each academic year and results are valid for one academic year. For placement in all other languages, students must contact the Placement and Proficiency Coordinator in the Department of World Languages and Cultures.
The results of the online Foreign Language Placement Diagnostic Exam are used solely for placement purposes; scores are not recorded on transcripts or academic records. Taking the exam in the language you want to study allows us to place you much more accurately. The exam is web-based, can be taken at any time on your personal computer or in the library computer lab. The exam takes about 40 minutes to an hour to complete and is accessed via a unique user name and password that will be provided to each student in an email.
We offer the exam in the following languages: French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish. Students who have taken Latin or Greek courses should contact the Classical Languages Department. Please send an email indicating the language exam you wish to take to Dr. Maria Luisa Ruiz at, placementandproficiency-WLC@stmarys-ca.edu
Additional information about the exam, including a user name and password, will be provided at this time.
Additionally, if you have:
1) Recently received your AP language or literature exam scores,
2) Received your final grade in your most recent language class, or
3) Lived immersed in a language other than English, whether at home or abroad, please share this information with the Department Chair.
This additional information will help us to place you in the language course that best serves your needs.
If you intend to study a new language, you can enroll in level 001 and do not have to take the placement exam. If you are continuing the study of the same language you took in high school, we highly recommend that you take the placement exam.
Students who place at level 004 or higher are eligible to take a written and oral proficiency exam during the academic year to satisfy the language requirement. Please contact Dr. Maria Luisa Ruiz at, placementandproficiency-WLC@stmarys-ca.edu
Statement on Academic Honesty
Saint Mary’s College expects every member of its community to abide by the Academic Honor Code. According to the Code, “Academic dishonesty is a serious violation of College policy because, among other things, it undermines the bonds of trust and honesty between members of the community.” As a practical matter, the Honor Code requires that any work that you submit for a grade must be your own, unless specifically indicated otherwise by your instructor. Violations of the Code include but are not limited to acts of plagiarism and cheating on quizzes or exams. The full text of the Academic Honor Code can be found in the Student Handbook. If a reasonable suspicion exists that you have violated the Academic Honor Code, you will be referred to the Academic Honor Council for further review and/or appropriate sanctions.
Examples of academic integrity violations include (but are not limited to): communicating -- in any format -- with other students about exam or quiz questions; taking credit for someone else’s work; using some else’s words as your own; searching online (i.e. “Googling”) for solutions to homework or exam problems (yes, the mere act of looking is a violation); or accessing any online “help” platform, such as Chegg or Cramster, for aid with any graded work. In addition, it is also a violation of academic integrity to post any items from your SMC courses to any website or venue (online or otherwise) without the explicit permission of your instructor. Students who are aware that an academic integrity violation has taken place and fail to report it to their instructor are also in violation of the honor code, even if they did not commit the initial infraction.