All Western Michigan University students who wish to continue the study of a foreign language they began in high school or which they learned on their own need to take an online placement exam. The test determines the course in which students will begin their college study of the language and should only be taken once.
However, the monitored test-out exam is a qualifying examination to exempt students from the specific language requirements of many WMU programs. Although some requirements may be fulfilled with the monitored test-out exam, no credit is awarded. This monitored examination can be taken by new students with previous experience in French, German, Latin or Spanish. There is no fee for the monitored test-out exam. This exam may be taken only once and must be taken before students begin their first class in that language at WMU.
Exams are given in 1007 Brown Hall Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the fall and spring semesters, except during exam week or University breaks.
Those who wish to take the placement test must report to 1007 Brown and must arrive before 2 p.m. to ensure the test is finished by closing at 5 p.m.
Be on time and bring the following with you:
Test results will be available to students the following day by calling (269) 387-3001.
Native speakers of a foreign language may take the examination but are not required to do so. They must, however, consult with a departmental advisor before registering for language courses.
The monitored test-out exam takes approximately 90 minutes. It is multiple-choice and consists of 3 parts:
Regardless of background, all students of a particular language take the same monitored test-out exam. Students with minimum background will probably find the exam difficult in certain sections, so do your best without spending too much time on any one question.
To continue your study of the language, register according to the examination results. Changes can be made only in consultation with the language advisor or the department chairperson.
To enroll in a beginning class of a foreign language you have not studied previously, no exam (online placement or monitored test-out) is necessary; simply enroll in a 1000-level section of that language.
The test-out exam is given only once to each student. The results which you achieve will reflect your language level at this time. If you plan to continue to study the foreign language which you have studied in high school, you should make every attempt to do so without delay. If you postpone your language studies for even one semester, you may find the recommended class to be difficult.
Placement in a 2010 class or above can result in retroactive credits (up to four hours) if the student completes the next class in the sequence with a grade of "C" or better. Placement at the 3000 level can result in retroactive credits of eight credit hours. Questions concerning placement or language study may be directed to a Spanish academic advisor.