Foreign Language Competency Test

  • FLCT Registration ButtonDescription

    Native Proficiency

    The Foreign Language Competency Test (FLCT), for individuals who have native proficiency in a particular language, is an essay test in their native language. Students will be required to write for one hour on an assigned topic. An experienced native speaker of the language will evaluate the essay. The criterion for passing is that the work is representative of the writing of an educated native speaker of the language.

    Second Language

    Individuals who have studied another language as a second language will have one hour to translate a passage of approximately 300 words from the second language to English. Use of a dictionary is permitted. An expert in the language will evaluate the translation. Students will be expected to translate the passage accurately enough to show that they could utilize material from the language in their research or studies. The competency level expected is intermediate (the equivalent of three to four semesters of course work in the language).


    The FLCT is given three times each academic year (October, February, and July). Because advance arrangements must be made for tests to be read and evaluated, no late or walk-in registrations are possible.

    Off-Site Testing

    In some instances, the exam may be taken at another college or university on scheduled test dates. A student who lives more than 1.5 hours away from the IUP campus may have their exam proctored at another university. Please complete the off-site testing form in addition to the FLCT registration.

    Completed off-site testing forms should be e-mailed to


    After registration ends, you will receive a confirmation via e-mail with test day instructions and a link to schedule your test. In order to accommodate class and work schedules, you will be able to schedule your test on any day during the test administration week.    

    FLCT Test and Registration Dates
    Test Week Registration Deadline (receipt)
    October 12-16, 2020-canceled N/A
    February 15–19, 2021 February 8, 2021
    July 12–16, 2021 July 5, 2021


    Tests are given in the following languages; please consult University Testing Services to determine if other languages can be accommodated.

    Arabic | Chinese | French | German | Hebrew | Italian

    Japanese  | Korean | Portuguese | Russian | Spanish

    Registration and Fees

    The test fee is $50, payable when you register for the test through Marketplace. IUP accepts American Express, Discover, and MasterCard, as well as electronic checks. The form on Marketplace serves as your registration for the test.


    All registrations and fees must be received by the deadline listed on the registration form. You may cancel with no penalty if your request is received at least ten (10) business days prior to the test. If you wish to change to a later test date, an administrative fee of $20 will be charged.


    The FLCT is graded on a “pass/fail” basis by independent evaluators. Results will be mailed as soon as possible after the test date. Please allow a minimum of six to eight weeks for receipt of your results.

    What Readers Look for in Second Language Exams

    The competency level expected is intermediate (the equivalent of two to three semesters of course work in the language). You will be randomly assigned a passage of approximately 300 words from a book, newspaper, or magazine to translate. The reader will evaluate your translation based on your understanding of the general sense of the passage; your knowledge of vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure; and your comprehension of idiomatic expressions in the language. Readers are not interested in a literal, word-for-word translation; however, they will not accept a synopsis of the passage.

    Suggestions for Preparing for Second Language Exams

    There are no “official” study materials for the FLCT. Students who have successfully completed the exam have offered the following suggestions to help you prepare.

    • Review vocabulary, verb forms, and grammar. A textbook in the language may be helpful. Some students have purchased study guides for standardized tests (such as CLEP) to aid them. Another helpful tool is Exambusters Language Flash Cards (available for $11 per set in Spanish, French, Japanese, Italian, and German) online at Exambusters. Try a Google search: “Learn language at home.”
    • Do some outside reading in the language. Translating newspapers, magazines, or even fiction will help you become more fluent and familiar with the idiomatic use of the language. One resource that has been suggested by test readers is MSN Worldwide. Go to and scroll down to the MSN Worldwide section. You can then choose a language and read the news in that language.
    • Audit an intermediate language class or request tutoring from a faculty member or another experienced speaker of the language.

    Your Test Results

    Evaluation of this type of test is necessarily subjective. Because each reader is an expert in his or her language, your test will be read by only one person, and the reader’s evaluations of your work is final. You may request to see the reader’s evaluation and comments by making an appointment with the coordinator of University Testing Services. Your may request a copy of the reader’s comments for your reference; however, copies of test questions and translations will not be provided.

    For More Information

    For more information about the testing process, please contact University Testing Services in 107 Pratt Hall at 724-357-4994 or by e-mail Questions regarding testing requirements should be directed to your advisor or graduate program director.