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Incoming First-Year & Transfer Students

Language Placement Testing

What is the language placement test?

Incoming 1st year and transfer students:

Language Placement Test Deadline: August 15, 2018

Follow the instructions in the "FALL QUARTER PLACEMENT TEST DETAILS BY LANGUAGE" section below.

The Common Curriculum requires that undergraduate students complete the elementary sequence of a language or take one four-credit course at their level if they place beyond the elementary sequence (level 2001 or higher). The placement test determines which language class is appropriate for the student’s language level. Alternatively, students may choose to start a new language and complete the first-year sequence in that language (levels 1001, 1002, and 1003). To satisfy the foreign language requirement, students must take and pass level 1003 or higher and will take 4, 8, or 12 language credits. For more information on common curriculum and specific major requirements, check the bulletin and/or contact Academic Advising.

How the language placement process works
  • Use the Language Requirement Flowchart to determine which language placement test(s) to take.
  • Take the placement test and submit it by August 15, 2018 (see below for more details):
    • Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish: Take the online placement test.
    • Latin and Russian: Print the placement test and send it to the Center for World Languages & Cultures.
    • Arabic, Hebrew, and Japanese: Follow the process below.
  • Review your score with the Foreign Language Advising Guide.
  • Meet with a language faculty advisor during the scheduled language placement time during Discoveries Week who will go over your score and determine the best language class for you.
  • Register for your language class as early as possible for the right level to avoid being closed out.
  • Take language classes early on in your DU career, in case you want to study abroad and/or you need the language for graduate research.
  • Please remember that language classes, unlike any other type of classes, must be started from the first day of classes because of the intensity of daily work, and the importance of daily preparation and class engagement.
Who takes the language placement test?
  • Students who want to study a language they have not previously studied do not need to take a placement test and may register for the first course in the elementary sequence (1001) of the language they wish to study.
  • All incoming undergraduate students who know or have studied one of the languages offered at DU and plan to continue that study are required to take the language placement test prior to class registration to place them properly in that language’s curriculum.
    • Students who know or have studied one of the languages offered at DU and hope to study another language at DU are strongly advised to take the placement test for the language they already know or have studied. In the event that there is a scheduling or other conflict with the student’s chosen beginning language class, the placement results give the student an option to register in the previously studied language.
  • Non-native English-speaking international students who are directly admitted to the University will take the English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA) through the English Language Center to be placed for the Common Curriculum language requirement.
  • NOTE: If students do not complete and submit a placement test for a previously studied language by August 15, 2018, the test results will not be processed until AFTER the Discoveries Orientation registration time on September 5, 2018. This may prevent students from registering for their preferred language class until the drop/add period begins. AP or IB scores do not fulfill language class prerequisite requirements.
Is anyone exempt from the language requirement?

Students are exempt from the language requirement in the following degree programs:

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering (BSCpE)
  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE)
  • Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME)
  • Bachelor of Music (BM) students may choose between eight credits in one foreign language or eight credits in Scientific Inquiry: The Natural and Physical World (SI). BM students who choose the foreign language option must take the placement test unless they have not previously studied the language, in which case they register for the 1001 level of the language of their choice.
  • Non-native English-speaking international students should contact the English Language Center.

PLEASE NOTE: 

  • The placement test is designed to place you into the appropriate level based on what you know of the language without the support of outside materials. Do not use dictionaries, verb books or other materials for the test. The use of outside materials can result in incorrect placement.
  • You may take the tests for more than one language.
  • Even though DU may award you credit hours based on your AP or IB scores in a particular language, you still have a language requirement (unless your degree program is exempt) and will still need to take the placement test to place you in a DU language class.
  • Check the computer-based placement test Frequently Asked Questions.
  • International students should direct questions to the English Language Center.
  • IMPORTANT DEADLINE INFORMATION: If students do not complete and submit a placement test for a previously studied language by August 15, 2018, the test results will not be processed until AFTER the Discoveries Orientation registration time on September 5, 2018. This may prevent students from registering for their preferred language class until the drop/add period begins. AP or IB scores do not fulfill course prerequisite requirements.

Fall Quarter Placement Test Details by Language

IB and AP scores do not fulfill placement requirements; students who have taken IB and AP exams must also take the appropriate DU placement test.

Students who plan to begin studying a new language do not take a placement test and do not need to see a language advisor. They register for 1001 in the language they wish to begin learning.

Arabic | Hebrew | Japanese

Placement testing and advising for Arabic, Hebrew, and Japanese are completed during the language advising session on Wednesday, September 5, 2018, during Discoveries Week.

If you have previously studied Arabic, Hebrew, or Japanese and plan to continue, email cwlc@du.edu by August 15, 2018. Include:

  • Your name
  • Your DU ID number
  • Which language (Arabic, Hebrew, or Japanese) placement test/advising you need during Discoveries language advising.
Arabic registration and testing guidelines:
  • If you have never studied Arabic, please register for Arabic 1001.
  • If you speak Arabic but do not have experience reading or writing in Arabic, please register for Arabic 1001.
  • If you have not had formal instruction in Arabic, please register for Arabic 1001.
  • If you have had formal instruction and are able to read and write in Arabic, you must take the placement test and speak with a faculty advisor before registering during Discoveries Week.
  • Native speakers who can speak, read, and write Arabic fluently may not enroll in 1000 and 2000 level Arabic language classes.
Hebrew registration and testing guidelines:
  • If you have never studied Hebrew, please register for Hebrew 1001.
  • If your Hebrew knowledge is based on preparation for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration, please register for Hebrew 1001.
  • If your Hebrew knowledge is based on having attended a Jewish Day School until grade 6-8, please register for Hebrew 1001.
  • If you have had any other Hebrew experience, e.g. an Ulpan in Israel, Hebrew studies in a public High School, a Gap year in Israel, etc. and/or any other question, please contact Prof. Sari Havis, sari.havis@du.edu, for further information.
Japanese registration and testing guidelines:
  • If you have never studied Japanese, please register for JAPN 1001.
  • If you have any questions, please contact Professor Orna Shaughnessy, Japanese  Program Coordinator, orna.shaughnessy@du.edu.
Chinese

This test is offered through the Canvas learning management system. Complete the test by August 15, 2018.

The Chinese placement test is a multiple-choice test that will take 15-45 minutes depending on your knowledge of the language. If you get disconnected , simply return to the website. If you are using the same device, it should resume your quiz. If not, reenter your name, ID and e-mail address exactly as you did before. You will need to start the test over.

  • Go to the Chinese Placement test website.
  • Complete the multiple choice questions.
  • Write and bring a copy of an essay (instructions at the end of the placement test) to the language advising period on September 5, 2018, during Discoveries Week.
  • At the end of the test, you will receive instructions regarding advising. Read this section carefully. 
  • Your score will be recorded and sent to the registrar.
English

Non-native English speaking international students who are directly admitted to the University, please contact the English Language Center for information regarding the English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA).

French | German | Spanish

This test is a multiple-choice, computer-adaptive test that will take 15-45 minutes depending on your knowledge of the language. If you get disconnected or forget to print your placement results, simply return to the web site, reenter your name, ID and e-mail address exactly as you did before, and press "resume." This will take you back to the test results or let you continue the test. Complete the test by August 15, 2018.

  • Log on to the WebCAPE placement testing website.
  • The password is "lang246".
  • The WebCAPE is multiple-choice and covers grammar, reading, and vocabulary. It is an adaptive test, meaning that the question difficulty will vary depending on how you respond. The goal is to find out what you do know and what you do not know. The test is designed to give you a number of opportunities to answer questions at different levels of skills.
  • At the end of the test, you will receive instructions regarding advising. Read this section carefully. 
  • Print and keep a copy of your language placement score.
  • Your first score will be recorded and sent to the registrar. However, if you score a 0, retake the test, and your second score will be recorded.
  • Students who have questions about their language placement scores or who disagree with their placement scores should plan to speak with a faculty advisor at the language advising session on Wednesday, September 5, 2018, during Discoveries Week.
Spanish registration and testing guidelines:
  • The test will take 20-25 minutes.
  • You may not use books, notes, or other materials or resources.
  • The Spanish WebCAPE Placement Test may be retaken once. A one year interval is required prior to retaking the test, and it can only be retaken twice in all. If you take it several times, the first score will be the one used for placement.
  • Note that after two years, placement scores are no longer reliable, and students will be required to retake the WebCAPE test, or a proctored test with the Language Program Coordinator for accurate placement.
Italian

This test includes listening comprehension, grammar, reading comprehension and writing. You must complete the test in one sitting and will have only one hour to complete it.  Complete the test by August 15, 2018.

  • Before you begin, make sure you have functioning headphones or speakers.
  • Log on to the Italian Placement Test.
  • At the end of the test, you will receive instructions regarding advisement.
Latin | Russian

Please read the following instructions and click the links below to access PDFs of the Latin and Russian Placement Tests. Complete and submit the test by August 15, 2018.

  • Print the placement test below.
  • Carefully follow all directions on each section of the test.
  • Do not use dictionaries, grammar references, or other help while taking the test. This can result in incorrect placement and course scheduling complications.
  • Type or clearly hand-write your answers.
  • Return the test to the Center for World Languages and Cultures by August 15, 2018. You may submit your completed test through email or physical mail:
    • Scan and email: cwlc@du.edu
    • Mail: 2150 E. Evans Avenue, 336, Denver, CO 80208
  • Come to your assigned language advising session on September 5, 2018, during Discoveries Week to retrieve your score and complete any follow-up placement questions.

For more information about language placement tests, scores, and advising, please see the Foreign Language Advising Guide.

Discoveries Orientation language advising will take place on Wednesday, September 5, 2018, between 8:00am and 10:30am in the Anderson Academic Commons Special Events Room (290).

Incoming and Transfer Students Enrolling after Fall Quarter

Incoming and transfer students enrolling for the first time in the winter, spring or summer quarters do not have a dedicated day for testing or advising. Please follow the instructions below to complete your placement tests and get the advising you need to register.

  • Non-native English speaking international students who are directly admitted to the University, please contact the English Language Center for information regarding the English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA).
Arabic | Hebrew |  Japanese

Please contact the CWLC to arrange an appointment to take these exams as they are not available online. You must complete the placement exam and speak with a language faculty advisor before registering for a language class. To speak with a language faculty advisor, please contact the Languages and Literatures department.

Arabic registration and testing guidelines:
  • If you have never studied Arabic, please register for Arabic 1001.
  • If you speak Arabic but do not have experience reading or writing in Arabic, please register for Arabic 1001.
  • If you have not had formal instruction in Arabic, please register for Arabic 1001.
  • If you have had formal instruction and are able to read and write in Arabic, you must take the placement test and speak with a faculty advisor before registering during Discoveries Week.
  • Native speakers who can speak, read, and write Arabic fluently may not enroll in 1000 and 2000 level Arabic language classes.
Hebrew registration and testing guidelines:
  • If you have never studied Hebrew, please register for Hebrew 1001.
  • If your Hebrew knowledge is based on preparation for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration, please register for Hebrew 1001.
  • If your Hebrew knowledge is based on having attended a Jewish Day School until grade 6-8, please register for Hebrew 1001.
  • If you have had any other Hebrew experience, e.g. an Ulpan in Israel, Hebrew studies in a public High School, a Gap year in Israel, etc. and/or any other question, please contact Prof. Sari Havis, sari.havis@du.edu, for further information.
Japanese registration and testing guidelines:
  • If you have never studied Japanese, please register for JAPN 1001.
  • If you have any questions, please contact Prof. Orna Shaughnessy, Japanese  Program Coordinator, orna.shaughnessy@du.edu.
Chinese | French | German | Italian | Latin | Russian | Spanish

To take and submit the placement test, please follow the directions above. You must complete and submit the placement exam and speak with a language faculty advisor before registering for a language class. To speak with a language faculty advisor, please contact the Languages and Literatures department.

Additional Undergraduate Language Requirements

If you are an INTS undergraduate student who needs to demonstrate second-year language proficiency as part of your degree requirement, you may take the language test once per quarter. Please email us at cwlc@du.edu, and we will provide instructions.