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Language Resource Center

Placement Exam Services

Have you completed at least two years of a language in high school? Have you never taken a college credit course in that language? If so, you are required to complete the online foreign language placement examination.

Not all majors specifically require you to complete a foreign language, but completing a two-course sequence of a foreign language at the intermediate level will fulfill one of your General Education requirements (“Cultures & Civilizations”, to be precise). Completing and doing well on the online foreign language placement exam gives you a boost before you even take your first college course! It means you can skip the beginner language courses and move directly to the intermediate level, and therefore closer to completing your General Education requirements.

What Can I Expect?

The online placement exam is a series of multiple-choice questions focusing on vocabulary, grammar and reading comprehension. You will need a stable internet connection, an Internet browser, and a quiet environment for about 15-30 minutes. The introductory survey must be completed in order for the exam to be evaluated.

It is important to note that there is no advantage to using anything other than your own brain power to complete the language examination. If you place at a level above your actual knowledge, you'll find yourself out of your league in a class that's beyond your abilities — perhaps even risking a failing grade. Save yourself some future stress, be honest with yourself, and don't try to exceed your limits!

How Does Placement Work?

Your exam score will determine your placement in the appropriate course. If you place into a 200–level course, you will receive departmental credit for elementary language courses upon successful completion of a 200–level course in the same language at UTK, provided you do not enroll and receive credit for any 100–level courses in the same language. If you place into a 300–level course, you will receive departmental credit for intermediate language courses upon successful completion of a 300–level course in the same language at UTK, provided you do not enroll and receive credit for any 200–level courses in the same language.

Placement test scores expire after one year!

This means you have one year from the date you take the placement to register for the course you place into or to take the Confirmation Exam if you place out of the language requirement and do not wish to continue to the next course. After that point, you will have to re-take the placement test. Keep in mind that your score is likely to drop the longer it has been since you studied the language, so you should start your language requirement as soon as possible.

What is the Confirmation Exam?

If you place into a 300–level course and do not wish to continue in the language but wish to receive departmental credit for intermediate language courses for your online placement exam results, you may do so by completing a proctored Confirmation Exam during the twelve months following your original placement exam and confirm the results of your online placement examination. For information about how and where to take this confirmation exam, click here.