The Placement Exam

Who takes the exam?

If you have at least two years’ prior study in a romance language at the high-school level, you should take the online placement exam.

You should NOT take the exam if you are: a heritage speaker, a native speaker, or if you have or plan to get AP or IB scores. Contact the advisor for assistance.

Where to Take the Exam

Students of French or Spanish can access the online exam at:

Students with previous experience in Italian or Portuguese can contact their language coordinators for placement.

You may also arrange to take placement tests in person at the at the Testing Office (207 Student Services Bldg., 517-355-8278). 

Exam Results and Placement

You are expected to enroll in the course indicated by the test. There are no exceptions.

You must take the course at the level you placed into. You may not enroll at a lower level you did not test into.

If you want to test into a higher level, you may retake the placement exam after 6 weeks.


External Credit and Placement

AP scores of 3 or better place students in 300-level classes.

The Department of Romance and Classical Studies recognizes the Seal of Biliteracy for placement purposes for its languages. Please reach out to the advisor for more information.

For questions regarding equivalencies of language courses from other institutions, consult:

See also College Board Advanced Placement Program and International Baccalaureate Program equivalencies.


Placement into Specific Levels

Placement into FRN 101/SPN 101

FRN 101/SPN 101 is reserved for those students who have limited prior experience with the language. Do not enroll if:

  • You have more than two (2) years of high-school study,
  • Have spoken the language at home,
  • Or have lived in a French- or Spanish-speaking environment.

The Department reserves the right to remove students from a 101 course if it is not appropriate for their level. These students will be placed into a more suitable course, assuming availability.

Placement into FRN 102/SPN 102

Students with two to three years of high school French or Spanish may self-place into 102. Or, they may take the placement test to see if they place higher. Students with one semester of college study (i.e., 101 equivalent) may enroll directly into FRN/SPN 102.

Contacts for 100- or 200- level placement:

Placement into FRN/SPN 201 or 202

Students may place into these courses:

  • Via the placement test, or
  • Students may enroll into FRN/SPN 201 after completing 102 (or its equivalent) at another college or university, or
  • They may enroll in FRN/SPN 202 after completing 201 (or its equivalent) at another university or college.

Contacts for 100- or 200- level placement:

Placement into 300-level courses

Students may place into 300-level courses:

  • Through appropriate scores on the AP exam (3 or better),
  • By completing the equivalent of FRN/SPN 202 at another college or university, or
  • Through the placement test.



No instructors are authorized to issue overrides for 100- and 200-level courses. If you want to get into a full course, stay on the waiting list and watch enrollment for an opening.

RCS does not grant overrides for 300- and 400- level courses until the drop/add period is over. If you want to get into a full course, stay on the waiting list and watch enrollment for an opening. If you are unable to add a course before the semester begins, attend the section that you would prefer to enroll in, do the work, and speak with the instructor. Only the course instructor can provide the authorization for the override.


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