Language Placement

All students are required to complete a foreign language placement exam before registering for a language class if they have had previous coursework or significant exposure to the foreign languages in which placement testing is available.

Students who have had no previous language study do not need to take a placement test; they simply register for the introductory language course.

Placement exams are taken online, and are available in French, German, and Spanish.

The tests follow a multiple choice format and generally take 15-20 minutes to complete. Test questions will assess grammar, vocabulary, and reading skills.

The tests are adaptive and will automatically structure the type and number of questions based on responses. These adaptive tests will report that the student has completed the test successfully and give a 3-digit score. This score will determine the student’s suggested course placement. The tests are usually quite accurate in determining the best match for continuing language study at the appropriate level. However, it is not an exact science, and, particularly in “borderline” cases, students are encouraged to discuss their placement with a language department faculty member.

Those considering study abroad are STRONGLY advised to begin language study as early as possible in their Allegheny careers.

For more information about the placement process or how to register to take a placement test, please contact Department Coordinator Sabina Gora at