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. 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 Deparment of World Languages.

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. Please send an email indicating the language exam you wish to take to:

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 Dr. María Luisa Ruiz, Placement and Proficiency Coordinator at:  placementandproficiency-WLC@stmarys-ca.edu

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 the Placement and Proficiency Coordinator, Dr. Maria Luisa Ruiz, at placementandproficiency-WLC@stmarys-ca.edu for more information.