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Foreign Language Placement Exams

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Foreign Language Placement Exams FAQ

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 SPAN 300, see this page.  For other languages, you will need to get in touch with the contact person for your language. Go to or call the Department of Foreign Languages at (540) 568-6128 to find out who you need to talk to.



Do you Need to Take them?

You will need to take a Foreign Language Placement Exam if all of the following are true:

  • If you plan to continue studying your high school language at JMU.
  • You've taken 2 or more years of Spanish, French, German or Russian in high school.
  • If you have not taken the SATII for the language you studied in high school.

Not sure if you need to take the Foreign Language PLacement Exam? 
Answer these questions to find out.



Ready to take a placement exam?

If you are already sure that you want or need to take the Foreign Language Placement Exam, 
you may proceed to the instructions.
 
You will need to log into the next page with your JMU e-ID and password. (The same ID and password you use with MyMadison.)



International Student, Heritage Speaker

International Students and
Heritage Speakers 

should look here for information.