Who needs to take a placement test?
All students who have studied a foreign language for two years or more in high school are required to take a placement test if they plan to continue in that language at Catholic University.
What if I am a heritage speaker/Spanish is spoken at home?
If you are a Spanish Heritage Speaker, do not take Catholic University's Spanish placement test. Instead, you should take the Heritage Speaker Placement Test. Generally speaking, heritage speakers have had experience with the language at home or with family and speak or understand the heritage language to some degree. If you are not sure if you are a Heritage Speaker and/or to schedule a date and time to take the placement test, contact Dr. Mayka Puente at email@example.com.
Students take the heritage placement test on campus, at the Media Language Center (McMahon 206C) during the orientation week.
What if I only had 1 year of language study in high school?
You should register for 101. No placement test is needed. If Departmental consent is required, contact 202-319-5240 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to try to place at a higher level, you may take Catholic University's Placement Test.
What if I had languages a long time ago?
If you are interested in starting a new language or if you have 0-1 year of prior experience taking course work in that language, you may register for 101. You may choose to start a language you were unable to take in high school or a language that complements your major and general interests. If Departmental consent is required, contact the Modern Languages and Literatures office at 202-319-5240 or email email@example.com. Our advisors in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish are always available for to discuss our degree programs and course offerings.
What if I want to start a new language?
To help you make your decision about starting a new language, we recommend that you take the placement test in the language you studied in high school. You may find it advantageous to complete the language requirement with the language you studied previously and then to add the third language whenever you want. If you decide to start a new language, register for 101.
What is Catholic University's Placement Test like and when can I take it?
Arabic, Chinese: Contact the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at 202-319-5240.
French, German, Spanish:
- Multiple choice
- Includes reading comprehension, vocabulary, grammar
- Requires approximately 25 minutes to complete.
- Available 24/7; technical assistance is only available weekdays 9-4pm ET
- Multiple choice
- Includes reading and listening comprehension, vocabulary, grammar
- May take up to one hour to complete
- Available 24/7, but you must register for it during business hours (9-4 M-Thurs, 9-12 F) by calling the Dept. of Modern Languages and Literatures at 202-319-5240 or by emailing Flor Argueta, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Catholic University's username and password required to take the test.
- Speakers required for the video portion of the exam.
What if I do not take a placement test?
Should you fail to take a placement test before the semester begins, you must take Catholic University's Placement Test during the first week of classes. You will not be allowed to stay in your language class until you have completed the test. Please note that such a delay will result in greater difficulties registering for the class section of your choice.
What if I want to study a language not offered at Catholic University?
Languages not currently offered on campus such as Russian, Japanese, etc., may be studied through one of the Consortium Universities in the area. It is not advisable for first year students to do this in their first semester. Call the Arts and Sciences Dean's Office for further information (202-319-5114) and to plan for the future.
Is the placement test the same as the graduate language test?
No. The Placement Test is only for entry into the 101-200 level modern language courses. The Graduate Language Test in French, German and Spanish is administered by the Counseling Center (202-319-5765).
More information about the graduate level test in Italian.
What do I do if I am not satisfied with my placement?
- DO NOT take the test more than once unless we instruct you to retake it. Retaking the test without authorization will result in additional charges.
- DO register for the level assigned to you and report to that class when the semester begins.
- DO alert your instructor to your concerns about the level at which you have been placed. This will help him or her better evaluate if a change would be appropriate. We want you to be in the class that is right for you.
- Requests for a change of placement level will only be accepted after you have first attended your assigned class.
What if I am placed at the 200+ level?
You have demonstrated that you are well on your way to becoming proficient in the language you have studied. All students scoring at the 200+ level on the online test are required to complete an on-campus oral interview in order to fulfill Catholic University's language requirement. You will receive more information by email. Contact the Dept. for an appointment.
We encourage you to consider continuing in higher level classes in order to develop a solid working knowledge of the language that will be useful to you in your future career. We invite you to contact the faculty advisor for your language and hope you will join us in further exploration of the language and culture.
If you do not complete the oral interview procedure within one semester's time, you will receive an academic hold that prevents you from registering for classes until the status of your language requirement has been resolved.
Who do I contact if I want to major or minor in a language?