James Madison University

Department of Foreign Languages,
Literatures, and Cultures

 
 
Placement Exams FAQ
 

Dr. Giuliana Fazzion, Department Head
Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures
MSC 1802
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807
Phone: 540-568-6128
FAX: 540-568-6904

 
 
 


 

I DIDN'T TAKE SPANISH, FRENCH, GERMAN OR RUSSIAN IN HIGH SCHOOL!

What about Other languages?
To take the Italian placement exam contact Laura Cambriani, cambrilx@jmu.edu.
We currently do not have a placement exam in Latin. If you have had two or more years of Latin in high school, then enroll in Latin 231.
If you have taken Chinese or Japanese in high school (or anywhere else before college), and are interested in taking those languages at JMU,  you will need to talk to the head professor in that language as listed on the department's languages page. If you have studied another language that you believe should count as a foreign language you will need to speak to the department head, Dr. Fazzion, at 540-568-6128

I DIDN'T TAKE ANY LANGUAGES IN HIGH SCHOOL, OR I ONLY TOOK A YEAR

Starting a new language:
If you have had one year or less in a language in high school, or you would like to start a new language, you simply enroll in 101 of that language, without taking a placement exam. For instance, if you took French in high school, but really want to start Spanish or Italian at JMU, just enroll in SPAN 101 or ITAL 101.  No placement exam needed.
Note that if you have had two or more years of a language in high school, you will not get credit for the beginning level of that language (101, 102, 111). So if you took two or more years of French in high school, you would not get credit for FR 101, 102 or 111.

WHAT IS COVERED BY THE PLACEMENT EXAM? DO YOU HAVE STUDY GUIDES?

The placement exams include reading comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar questions. We do not have a study guide because the FLPEs are placement tools, not assessement tools. If you study for the exam, you may be placed in a class that is too difficult for you.

 

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 FLPEs?

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 or call the Department of Foreign Languages at (540) 568-6128 to find out who you need to talk to.

 

Also, once again:

If you place into SPAN 300, FR 300, GER 300 or RUS 300:
If you place one of these classes, you must either to go to the language lab in Keezell 103 and retake the exam to confirm your score OR enroll in the 300 class. If you do not do this, your 2-year foreign language requirement will not be waived and you will not be able to graduate.