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Who Should Take this Test?

At Anderson University, most students want to continue to study a foreign language. To better assess your proficiency in French or Spanish, current students, transfer students and incoming freshmen who have previously studied French or Spanish in middle or high school should take our online placement test in that language. Placement tests are mandatory for any student who intends to continue in a language previously studied. Placement exams for other languages, such as Portuguese, may be completed in consultation with the Department of Modern Languages and Culture if needed. 

Students who opt to begin a language they have not previously studied do not have to take a placement test in that language, though this will need to be verified before the student is allowed to register for 111, the first semester of the beginning level of that language.

Native speakers of a language other than English are not normally allowed to earn credit for the first two years of college credits in their native language. They may be allowed to earn credit at the third year and beyond; ultimately, however, the language department has the right to place the student at the appropriate level.

Understanding What a Language Placement Test Does

The purpose of Anderson University’s computer adaptive language placement exam is to provide individualized testing, identifying the student’s ability level with combinations of grammar, reading, and vocabulary questions. In order to achieve the most appropriate placement consistent with the student’s language level, students are expected to complete the placement examination to the best of their ability, without the use of textbooks, dictionaries, or any other type of assistance.

The placement exam should only be taken once, though you may be asked to repeat the exam if the results are not valid. 

Understanding Test Scores

Any semester placement you may receive with your online numerical test score is not based on AU’s official placement rubrics and should not be taken as an indication of your actual placement. Placement into Foreign Language classes is based upon Anderson University’s placement exam test scores, previous experience with the language and, in some cases, individual consultation with Language faculty.

The Department of Modern Languages & Cultures will review the results of the placement examination in conjunction with other information, such as number of years that the language was studied, heritage, grades earned, etc. The department reserves the right to change the student’s placement in a course if it believes that the student has not been placed at the appropriate level, or in the most appropriate course based on the student’s exposure to the language.

Students who believe themselves to have been misplaced on the basis of the placement test should contact Prof. Liz Butler in Watkins 121  ( Such a determination will be made after a more detailed evaluation of speaking, listening, reading and writing proficiency, which will be conducted by a Language faculty member.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You may not place yourself into a course lower than where you tested without permission of the Department of Modern Languages & Cultures. If you do so and attend the incorrect class, you may not receive credit for the course.

Remember, the point score indicated at the end of your placement exam is a suggested placement score, but your placement is not complete until it is reviewed by the Department of Modern Languages and Culture. This usually takes a day or two, so make sure you take the test in plenty of time before you are scheduled to register. You will be notified of your placement via email.

Here are the AU course equivalencies for your initial placement score:

  • Semester 1 = Spanish/French 111
  • Semester 2 = Spanish/French 112
  • Semester 3 = Spanish/French 211
  • Semester 4+ = Please contact the department for placement advice, or Prof. Liz Butler in Watkins 121 (

Please remember that your initial placement score is not final. This score will be examined by the department and may be adjusted. Your final placement will be emailed to you in a few days. All questions concerning final class placement should be emailed to Prof. Butler at the address above.

If you have technical difficulties please contact

Jennifer Campbell
Administrative Assistant to the Dean of The College of Arts & Sciences
Honors Program Coordinator
(864) 231-2150