Frequently Asked Questions

Placement scores are valid for 18 months. If 18 months have passed since you last took the exam, you must take it again.

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.

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

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 Languages, 568-6128.

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

No.  You must 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.

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 Students and Heritage Speakers

International Students and Heritage Speakers should look here for information.

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