Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Foreign Language Placement Exams

Frequently Asked Questions


I took a placement exam when I was a freshman in college, but it's been four years since I've had any language and I've forgotten everything.  Can I take the test again? 

If it has been three semesters or more since you took a placement exam (either the JMU placement exam or an SAT II), then you may take a placement exam again. Otherwise, you will need to enroll in whatever class you placed into.

I took the SAT II in a language. How do I know where I placed.

SAT II scores and placements can be found here.

I took two years of a language in high school, but that was a long time ago and I have forgotten everything. Can't I just enroll in 101?

No. You would still need to take the placement exam if you want to continue the language at JMU. You cannot receive credit for 101, 102 or 111 in a language if you have had two or more years of that language in high school.

I am a native speaker of a language. Can I take a placement exam to fulfill my language requirement?

Perhaps. See the page for International Students and Heritage Speakers for more information.


What about languages not taught at JMU? Can I take a placement exam or get credit for those languages?

We do not offer placement exams for languages not taught at JMU. To discuss the possibility of getting transfer credit for language work done at other institutions, you will need to talk to the head of the Department of Foreign Language, 568-6128.

What is covered on the placement exams? Do you have study guides?

The placement exams include reading comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar questions. We do not have a study guide or any other information for the exams.


I don't agree with my placement score. The class I placed into is either too hard or too easy for me. Can I just enroll in the level I think is best?

No.  You need to register for the class into which you placed. If you find the class too hard or too easy, then you can talk with the professor and the department head about changing classes.

Do I get credit for the foreign language placement exams?  How can I get credit by examination for languages?

You will not get any college credit for taking the foreign language placement exams. Only the AP and the IB exams give you a chance for college credit. Also, credit by examination is not awarded for language classes below the 300 (third-year) level.  If you are interested in receiving credit by examination for a 300-level or above class, you will need to get in touch with the contact person for your language. Go to http://www.jmu.edu/forlang/langs.html or call the Department of Foreign Languages at (540) 568-6128 to find out who you need to talk to.


 
 
Stephany Plecker
Director,Language Learning Center
James Madison University
Keezell Hall, Room 301, MSC 1802
Phone: (540) 568-3578
Fax: (540) 568-6904
Last Modified: 2/14/2013
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