Placement exams & retroactive credit

Language placement tests demonstrate your current strengths and abilities in a foreign language and are used to ensure your language learning success.

Are placement tests required?

Yes, placement tests are required for all students who wish to take French, German, or Spanish at UWL, even if you have previous credit from high school or another college or university. For students who wish to take a Chinese course above the 101-level, please contact Professor Hongying Xu to schedule an in-person assessment.

Are placement decisions binding?

Yes, decisions made regarding your placement are binding. You may register for any course at your placement level, but not above. If you believe you have been misplaced on the basis of the placement test, you should talk to the department chair. A retest may be suggested.

What are retroactive credits and how can I earn them?

If you receive a B or better in the course you placed into, you will receive retroactive credit for courses preceding that level. For example, if you place into a 300-level Spanish course and earn a B or higher, you would earn credit for each Spanish course preceding the 300-level, equaling 16 credits. See retroactive credit policy below for more information on each language.

What is the policy on AP scores?

A score of 3, 4, or 5 on an AP test gives the student credit in a given course. If you want to earn retroactive credits, you must take the next higher course and receive a B or better to get credit for courses preceding the one with which the AP score is associated.

If I took an AP test in French, German or Spanish, should I still take the placement test?

Yes. AP scores often do not arrive until well into July. Students should take the placement test and be prepared to take the course indicated. If the AP score indicates a higher placement, the AP score takes precedence. However, students may be more comfortable taking the course indicated by the placement tests. If the AP score is 1 or 2, the placement test score will determine placement, in any case.

You can find more information on placement exams here.

Retroactive Credit Policy

Chinese expanding section

For information on placement tests and retroactive credit for Chinese, please contact Professor Hongying Xu.

French expanding section
Course Course Credits Retroactive Credits
Elementary French II (102) 3 3
Intermediate French I (201) 3 6
Intermediate French II 3 9
300-Level French 3 12

For more information on placement tests and retroactive credits for French, please contact Professor Anna Keefe.

German expanding section
Course Course Credits Retroactive Credits
Elementary German II (102) 4 4
Intermediate German I 4 8
Intermediate German II 3 12
300-Level German 3 15

For more information about placement tests and retroactive credits for German, please contact Professor Shelley Hay.

Russian expanding section

For information on placement tests and retroactive credits for Russian, please contact Professor Natalia Roberts.

Spanish expanding section
Course Course Credits Retroactive Credits
Elementary Spanish I & II (103) 4 4
Intermediate Spanish I (201) 4 8
Intermediate Spanish II (202 or 221) 4 12
300-Level Spanish 3 16

For more information about placement tests and retroactive credits for Spanish, please contact Professor Rose Brougham.