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Foreign Language Placement Testing

Online placement exam

Students who wish to study Spanish at Western Michigan University for the first time should enroll in SPAN 1000-Basic Spanish I.

Students who have had some contact with the language, either through high school coursework or through other experiences, must take the Spanish online placement test found within the GoWMU portal. Students will need a Bronco ID and password to enter the GoWMU portal and will be asked to give their Western Identification Number to take the placement exam.

The online placement exam is available in French, German and Spanish. It is designed to help students determine which WMU language course is appropriate for their level of preparedness. The online exam cannot be used to satisfy any foreign language requirement nor are any credits awarded on the basis of the online exam. Thus, accepting help of any kind, for instance consulting a dictionary or another person, could result in a course placement beyond the student's readiness.

The online exam may be taken only once and must be taken before students begin their first class in that language at WMU.

The online placement exam presents questions of different ability levels, adapting the next question’s level according to the previous answer. The total number of questions in the exam and the duration of the exam may vary, but the exam usually takes 15-20 minutes.

When the online placement exam is complete, an overall score and the corresponding WMU course in which to register will be given.  For example, a score of 256 on the test might indicate a placement of 1010, meaning SPAN 1010-Basic Spanish II. The online test results are also available to the Spanish academic advisor. It can take up to 24 hours for the system to update the score and allow you to register for the approved course.

Please contact the Department of Spanish regarding placement questions.

Native speakers and transfer students

Native speakers are not required to take the online exam. They should consult a Spanish academic advisor to determine an appropriate first class for their foreign language studies at WMU. Likewise, the exam is not required for transfer students who have successfully completed Spanish courses at a community college or another four-year college. They should ascertain the WMU equivalent for the courses taken at the other institution and then enroll in the next course in the sequence. A Spanish advisor can help determine the next course.

Monitored test-out exam

A monitored exam (different from the online placement exam) may be taken by students who wish to try to place out of the foreign language requirements that exist for majors or minors in certain programs at WMU or for all students in the College of Arts and Sciences. The monitored exam may be taken only once and must be taken before students begin their first class in that language at WMU.

Other languages

For placement in languages other than French, German and Spanish, contact the Department of World Languages and Literatures.