Spanish Placement Exams

This site is designed to be used by prospective, first-year, and continuing students,  parents, LSU counselors, and anyone else who wants to learn more about Spanish placement exams.

WHO SHOULD TEST?

It is strongly recommended that students who have taken at least two years of Spanish in high school take the Spanish placement exam in the Office of Assessment & Evaluation. A student may only benefit by taking the Spanish placement exam. Specifically, students have the opportunity to earn up to four semesters (i.e., 14 semester hours) of credit in the introductory Spanish language courses via the Spanish placement exam. These semester hours may count toward a student’s foreign language requirement and/or their General Education Humanities requirement as appropriate.

Students who believe that their placement in any introductory Spanish course is not accurate should consult with Dr. Dorian Dorado, Undergraduate Advisor for Spanish levels 1101-2102, at ddorado@lsu.edu.

Students will only be allowed to take the Spanish placement exam one time. If a student is unable to enroll in a Spanish course within two years after initially taking the exam, the student will need to petition the Spanish language Coordinator to retake the placement exam.

After receiving permission from the Spanish language Coordinator, the student may then retake the Spanish placement exam during the drop/add period in the semester before enrolling in a Spanish course.

Any student who, after taking the online Spanish placement exam, places into SPAN 2101 or SPAN 2102 will be awarded advanced standing credit based on the placement exam score. Students placing into SPAN 1152 will be awarded credit for SPAN 1101 only after successfully completing SPAN 1152 with a “C” or better. Criteria outlined in the following chart shows how students are placed in Spanish courses and awarded advanced standing credit.  

Background

(Placement exam and/or transcripts)

 Placement  Awarding Advanced Standing Credit
 Less than 2 yrs. HS Spanish
 (transcript info.)
SPAN 1101 N/A
 Students who successfully complete  SPAN 1101 at LSU  SPAN 1102  N/A
Placement exam at LSU (score of 279 or lower) / transcript info.
NOTE: This is the lowest course in which a student can be placed if he/she has 2 or more yrs. of HS Spanish.
 SPAN 11521  Earn >= C in 1152 and receive credit in 1101.
Placement exam at LSU (scores between 280–315) SPAN 2101 Automatic credit awarded for SPAN 1101 & SPAN 1102.
Placement exam at LSU (scores between 316–350) SPAN 2102 Automatic credit awarded for SPAN 1101, SPAN 1102 & SPAN 2101.
 Placement exam at LSU (score of 351 or above) SPAN 2155 or higher

Automatic credit awarded for SPAN 1101, SPAN 1102, SPAN 2101 & SPAN 2102.

1

SPAN 1152 is a High Beginner language course and is suitable for students who have some background in language learning. It covers the same material in SPAN 1101 and SPAN 1102 in one semester instead of two. Once a student successfully completes SPAN 1152, the next scheduled course is SPAN 2101.

Transfer and graduate students may schedule Spanish courses for which they have the necessary prerequisites. 

NOTE: Some graduate students also have the option to enroll directly into SPAN 4002 (Spanish for Reading Knowledge). They are advised to contact the Undergraduate Advisor in Spanish for more information about this particular course/option.

Native speakers of Spanish are not permitted take the placement test or schedule courses below SPAN 2155. Sudents with the PR (Puerto Rico) state code are considered native speakers.

TEST DESCRIPTION

The Spanish Placement Exam is multiple-choice and covers grammar, reading, and vocabulary. It is an adaptive test which means that the question difficulty will vary depending on how a student responds. Do not get discouraged if you are unfamiliar with some of the material. Make your best guess and go on to the next question.

TEST GUIDELINES / LOCATION

  • The test will take 20 – 25 minutes.
  • Students may NOT use books, notes or any other materials or resources. However, students will be asked to provide an ID card/ID number on the day of the exam. Be sure to bring that information with you.
  • The Spanish Placement Exam is only administered on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge. The Center for Assessment and Evaluation, 51 Himes Hall, administers the exam on specific dates and times throughout the year.

SCORING

At the end of the test session, the student will see a score and suggested placement. The program will automatically archive the score; there is no need to write it down or save it. If you do not see a score, go back and sign into WebCAPE again and click on resume to complete your test. If you have problems, contact one of the proctors who are administering the exam.

TESTING PROCEDURES

Any first-year, transfer, or continuing students can take the exam by following these instructions:

  1. Contact your College or go to Foreign Languages and ask for a form called Request To Take Advanced Standing / Proficiency / Credit Exam. 
  2. Obtain approval signature from Foreign Languages and Literatures. Obtain a signature from your dean's office.
  3. Report to the Office of the University Registrar, Room 112 Thoms Boyd Hall, to be assessed a $20 fee.
  4. Report to the Office of Bursar Operations, Room 125 Thomas Boyd Hall, to pay your fee.
  5. Return to the Office of the University Registrar with payment receipt. You will receive a form to take to the appropriate department.
  6. Report to the Center for Assessment & Evaluation, Room 51 Himes Hall, to be assessed another $20 fee and to confirm the day and time of the next Spanish Placement Exam. 

Still have questions? Contact LSU Foreign Languages & Literatures at 578-6616 or write to forlang@lsu.edu for assistance.