Spanish Placement Exam

  • In order to place students into the appropriate Spanish courses, the Department of Spanish administers a placement exam to those incoming freshmen who have previously studied Spanish.

    The hour-long exam consists of a series of writing tasks designed to test global proficiency in the language. Department faculty members give individual oral interviews in Spanish to a few students whose written exam results do not clearly indicate their levels; in general, these exams are only given to those who appear to place clearly beyond the 201 level, and may even place out of 220.

    Students are encouraged to review basic vocabulary and grammar (verb tenses, moods, pronouns, idiomatic expressions, etc.) and to practice language functions such as describing daily routine, school activities, and interests; asking personal questions; describing past, present, and future events; expressing opinions; and hypothesizing.

    In many cases, the written placement instrument enables the student to proceed to Level 2 (SPAN 102) or 3 (SPAN 201) of Spanish or, in a few cases, to place out of the college requirement, thereby freeing those credits to be used toward a minor or second major.

    Students who have placed out of Intermediate Spanish (Spanish 201) have fulfilled the foreign language requirements of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and of the departments in the Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. However, those students may fulfill a Writing Intensive (W) Liberal Studies elective by completing Spanish 230. If these same students choose to take Spanish as a major or a second major, they will need only 33 credits in Spanish instead of 37. If they choose Spanish as a minor, they will need only 18 credits in Spanish instead of 22. Students are encouraged to seek additional information by contacting the chairperson of the Department of Spanish in Sutton Hall, Room 464.