Foreign Language Placement Exams

Details for French, Spanish, and Italian

All incoming freshmen who plan to continue their studies in French, Italian, and Spanish are REQUIRED to take the online placement exam. Please complete the placement exam BEFORE you arrive on campus to register for classes.

If for some reason you are unable to take this exam from home, then you must take the exam upon your arrival to campus in the fall. You can take the exam in the Arts & Sciences Computing Lab Hall in Seigle Hall. Summer Hours until Aug. 27: The hours of the lab are Monday-Friday 10am-4 pm, Saturday and Sunday CLOSED.

You do not need to take the Foreign Language Placement exam if:

  • you do not wish to study a foreign language
  • you will be starting a new language

You do need to take the Foreign Language Placement exam if:

  • you wish to continue your study of a foreign language

Immediately after you complete the exam you will receive your score and placement. Do not log out of the placement exam until you have received your score and placement. 

At registration, you should enroll in the course in which you placed. You are not allowed to register for any course above or below the course in which you placed via this exam.

French or Spanish Placement Exam Instructions

Before taking the exam online, please make sure that you have access to a computer that meets the following software/hardware requirements:

  • Broadband network connection like DSL or Cable Modem (Dial-up modem access is not sufficient for audio components of modern language exams)
  • Working audio output (speaker or headphones)
  • A current internet browser such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Firefox (we do not recommend Safari as it has a default setting that does not allow audio to play automatically)
  • Do not attempt to take the exam on a mobile device

Please note: Be sure you have AT LEAST 90 minutes of uninterrupted time for the exam because once you start, you will not have the opportunity to pause then restart where you left off.

If your computer meets the requirements listed above, you may proceed to the exam...

Take the French or Spanish placement Exams

Next Steps & Notes

  • Click on the Box that says, "Placement Exam Click Here"
  • You will be asked to enter your WUSTL Key ID and Password.
  • Please choose which language exam you would like to take by clicking "Select" to the right of one of the exams: Spanish or French
  • You will then be asked to select a link, please choose "All entering freshmen click here"
  • The Directions Page should appear -- PLEASE read the entire page carefully!
  • Once you have finished reading the Directions, click at the bottom of the page to continue.
  • A sample audio test page should appear, once you have checked to be sure that your audio component is working, click the link to proceed. IMPORTANT: If your audio component does not work, you MUST NOT PROCEED!
  • Please fill out all the fields on the Student Information page, including First Name, Last Name, your active E-mail address, Social Security in the space labeled Student ID, and the four questions listed.
  • Once you have completed this form, submit the info and one last instructional page should appear, then you may proceed with the exam!

Several things to remember:

This is a placement test that determines which section of your foreign language program is best for you. Please understand that it is not possible to “fail” this exam, so do not be worried on this front. There are, however, negative implications for intentionally underperforming.

You will NOT receive any credits solely from taking this exam - you may, however, earn back credits at Washington University later by earning a B or better in the foreign language class into which you are placed. Please note that any back credits earned do not count towards the language track of the LCD requirement.

It is expected that you will have NO TEXTBOOKS, DICTIONARIES, OR OTHER ASSISTING MATERIALS to help you with this test. Violating this expectation will lead to an inaccurate assessment for you, and is considered a violation of academic integrity.

Important: don’t log off until you receive your score and placement. You’ll get this information at the end of the test.

Good Luck!

Italian Placement Exam Instructions

The Italian Language Placement Exam is in Canvas. Students will request an invitation to the exam. When the invitation arrives in your email, you will log into Canvas with your WUSTL Key to complete the exam.

Request Invitation to the Italian Language Placement Exam


If you have questions or concerns about this progress, please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies for that language for help.

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