College of Arts & Sciences

Modern and Classical Languages

Spanish Placement Exam
Who has to take the Spanish Placement Exam?
All students who want to register for a Spanish course at SJU have to take the placement exam unless one of the following applies:
  • you have never studied Spanish in either middle school or high school; or
  • you received a score of 5 on a Spanish AP exam.

If you have never studied Spanish in either middle school or high school and you want to take Spanish classes at SJU, you must register for SPA 101. If you received a score of 5 on a Spanish AP exam, that score satisfies your GEP language requirement and you are not required to take Spanish at SJU. However, if you would like to continue with Spanish or seek a Spanish major or minor, you should get in touch with the Spanish Program for advising on the level of course for which you should enroll.

What is the Spanish Online Placement Exam and why do I have to take it?

The language requirement at SJU consists of 0-2 courses depending on your current language ability. Your performance on the Spanish placement exam and the number of years you have previously studied Spanish are the primary means used to determine how many and which Spanish courses you will be required to take at SJU to fulfill the language requirement. Doing well on this exam may reduce the number of SPA courses that you are required to take.

The Spanish placement exam is an online multiple-choice exam; it consists of questions on vocabulary, grammar and reading comprehension. There is no oral or listening part to the exam. Since it is a computer-adaptive test, the length varies from one individual to another, with the average time being about 20-30 minutes. A copy of your score will be sent to the SJU Spanish Language Program.

Your exam must represent your own work; it is in your interest to work to the best of your ability and you are expected to work without the help of anyone or any resources. By taking this test, you are bound by the terms of the SJU Academic Honesty Policy. Please familiarize yourself with this policy before taking the exam.

When should I take the Placement Exam?
You must take this exam online during the summer prior to coming to SJU. It is strongly recommended that you take the placement exam as soon as possible after completion of your last Spanish course to ensure that the results most closely correspond to your level.

What's the best way to take this exam?
1. Do your best. Your performance will positively influence the type and number of Spanish courses and language credits you will be required to take at SJU.

2.  Do NOT use any dictionaries, reference books, or human or online resources for help during this exam as this will result in an inappropriate placement and is considered an infraction of the SJU Academic Honesty Policy.

3.  Please supply all the required information on the exam. You may take this exam only once.

4.  Please keep a copy of your exam score that will be provided to you when you complete the exam.

Which SPA courses satisfy the GEP language requirement?
1. After you complete the placement exam, you will be placed in an SPA course sequence that satisfies the GEP language requirement. You should take the course in which you are placed.

2. You may NOT register for a Spanish course HIGHER or LOWER than where you are placed by the Spanish Language Program without permission from the Spanish Language Program Coordinator, Spanish Program Director or the Department Chair. If you do not take the Spanish course(s) in which you were placed, the Spanish course(s) that you take will NOT count toward your GEP language requirement.

Who is allowed to take SPA 101?
You belong in SPA 101 if you:
1. have never taken Spanish language courses before; or,
2. have studied Spanish for one year or less at the high school level; or,
3. have taken Spanish 101 before but did not get a passing grade

You will not be allowed to enroll in SPA 101 if the following applies:
1. you are a native or heritage speaker of Spanish; or,
2. you have any prior college-level Spanish classes, or,
3. you have taken more than 1 year of high school Spanish


Where can I take the online placement exam?
 To take the Spanish Placement Exam:

  • Log in to MySJU using your SJU username and password
  • Select the "New Hawks Tab"
  • In the "Items to Complete Box" (left-hand side), find "Language Placement" section.
  • Click "Spanish" to take the Placement Exam


Important Note on Placement and the GEP language requirement:

The Spanish Language Program will review the results of your placement examination in conjunction with your high school Spanish profile. The Program reserves the right to change a student's placement in a course if it believes that the student has not been placed at the appropriate level or in the most appropriate course based on the student's exposure to the language. Students may not place themselves, or change their placement, without department approval. Registration in a Spanish course higher or lower than the approved level will result in no GEP credit being award for the course. Any student who believes that s/he is unable to complete successfully the Spanish course into which s/he is placed should choose to study a different language with which s/he is unfamiliar (i.e., Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian) and register for a course in that language at the 101 level.