FAQ Placement Exam

FAQ Foreign Language Placement and Course Pre-requisites

Question 1: Have foreign language degree requirements changed for students in the College of Arts & Sciences?

Answer: No.  Foreign language degree requirements for students in the College of Arts & Sciences have not changed.  Students may satisfy the Arts & Sciences foreign language requirement. You may do so in one of the four ways listed below:

1.    Graduating from a high school where all instruction was conducted in a language other than English;

2.    Demonstrating proficiency in the language on the 2020 course level or 1020 course level for BFA programs in the School of Art.;

3.    Having completed four years of one language in high school (student must have completed the fourth full year, for example, Spanish IV, and received credit for those courses);

4.    Having completed one of the departmental options listed in the Student Handbook, found here: https://www.bgsu.edu/arts-and-sciences/student-resources.html. Please be sure to select the Handbook that corresponds with the year you began your study at BGSU. Foreign language information is found under Foreign Language/Group II.

Question 2: Can I use the placement exam to demonstrate proficiency in a language as stated in option 2 above?

Answer: No. If you are proficient in a language other than English as a heritage speaker, native speaker, or if you have prior language study and experience at the proper level, please meet with a faculty member to have that faculty member assess and validate that you meet or exceed proficiency at the 2020 level.  The faculty member will send a brief memo to an advisor in the college to document the assessment and to inform the College of Arts & Sciences that the requirement has been satisfied. Please call World Languages and Cultures at (419) 372-2667 to arrange for a meeting with a faculty member.

Question 3: I am proficient in a language other than English. Can I use the placement exam to earn college credit in a language?

Answer: No. The placement is used solely for purposes of placing you in the language class that is appropriate to your current proficiency level to ensure your success. For the Credit by Exam option, please see Question 4, below.

Question 4: I am proficient in a language other than English and I wish to receive college credit for my proficiency in this language. Can I do so?

Answer: You may be eligible to earn Credit by Examination (CBE) for the 2020 level as long as you meet the university’s eligibility requirements for Credit by Examination.  In order to be eligible for Credit by Examination, students must not have been enrolled in the course in which credit is sought and must not have completed a course in which the Credit by Exam course serves as a pre-requisite.  For more information and for the full eligibility criteria and associated costs, please visit: https://www.bgsu.edu/catalog/academic-policies/credit-by-examination.html. For more information, please call World Languages and Cultures.

Question 5: I am a native or heritage speaker of a language other than English. I wish to have my language requirement fulfilled under option #2 in question 1 above. What do I do?

Answer: Contact World Languages and Cultures at (419) 372-2667 to set up an appointment with a faculty member.

Question 6: What languages does the placement test evaluate?

Answer: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Russian.

Question 7: Do I have to take the placement test?

Answer: If you have studied Chinese, French, German, Italian, Spanish, or Russian and you wish to continue your language study or to complete your foreign language requirement, you must take the placement test, unless you meet one of the exceptions listed below.

Exception: If you have completed three years of study in high school in French or in Spanish, you may complete your foreign language requirement by taking either French 2120 or Spanish 2120. With this option you do not need to take the placement exam.

Exception: If you have completed two years of study in high school in German or in Russian, you will still be able to enroll in any of their qualified culture courses in which case you do not need to take the placement exam.  

Question 8: I have studied Arabic, ancient Greek, Japanese, or Latin in high school and wish to further my language study or to fulfill my foreign language requirement. Do I have to take the placement exam?

Answer: No, there is no placement exam for these languages. You will be placed in them in accordance with your level of study—years in high school or level in college.

Question 9: I have studied Chinese or Italian in high school and wish to further my language study or to fulfill my foreign language requirement. Do I have to take the placement exam?

Answer: Yes. The placement exam puts you in the course that is appropriate to your level      so as to ensure your success.

Question 10: I wish to begin study of a language at the 1010 level. Do I have to take the placement exam?

Answer: No. The 1010 level is designed for beginners with no previous language study.

Question 11: How long does the placement exam take?

Answer: Between 5 to 25 minutes, depending upon your proficiency

Question 12: I have previous language study but it has been a while since I have taken a course. What class is it appropriate for me to take?

Answer: if you have studied Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian, or Spanish, please take the placement exam, which will put you in the class that offers you the level most appropriate for your continued language success. For other languages, consult a faculty member. To set up an appointment please call World Languages and Cultures.