Language Placement

This information is useful for incoming first-year students during summer orientation as well as for all students and their advisors throughout the academic year in determining their course of language study. Registering for the right level course is crucial for your success in studying a foreign language.

Despite the availability of quantitative exams and general guidelines, proper language placement is not an exact science. In some cases, placement might be determined by attending the first days of classes and consulting with your language instructor or the language coordinator immediately. If you believe you fall into this category (the class seems too difficult or too basic for you), please contact the appropriate language coordinator before the end of the first week of the drop/add period. It is important to follow the professional advice of your instructors or the coordinators in this matter.

Given the expense involved, it is also not advisable to purchase language textbooks from non-refundable sources in advance of the new semester unless you are absolutely certain of which course you will be taking.

Our language curriculum is structurally "progressive": that is to say, one course builds upon the previous one in helping you to develop mastery of the various, necessary skills (reading, listening, writing, speaking) in order to reach true mastery of the language. Experience has shown that, frequently enough, if you skip one of the courses in this carefully constructed sequence, it is likely that you will not do well in the course or, just as importantly, will not reach the level of competence necessary to succeed in higher-level courses in literature and culture.

For specific details about the French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish placement tests, refer to the following individual language sections:

French

Italian

Portuguese

Spanish


French Placement Test

The online placement test is designed to help you determine the most appropriate course level for your ongoing studies in French. The test usually takes from 5 to 30 minutes to complete (depending on your background), consists of multiple choice questions, and covers grammar, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. Once you have completed the test, you will be able to view your score and your suggested placement. Information about the placement test can be found below “Taking the Test”.

Guidelines for French Placement

If you scored a four or five on the French Language AP exam or over 600 on the SAT Subject Test* in French, consult with Professor Jeff Flagg who will be present at registration during Freshmen Orientation, or you can e-mail him at james.flagg@bc.edu.

If you scored a three on the French Language AP exam or in the 550-600 range on the SAT Subject Test* in French, take FREN2209, French Conversation, Composition, and Reading I.

If you scored less than three on the French Language AP exam or less than 550 on the SAT Subject Test* in French or if you have not taken either exam, take the online test. Information about the placement test can be found below Taking the Test. You must take this test prior to your campus Orientation session. Register for the course suggested upon finishing the online test. Please write down your score if you would like to discuss your placement with an advisor at Orientation.

If you have never studied French, take FREN 1009, Elementary French I.

*Note that either form of the SAT Subject Test is acceptable: with or without the listening component.

Instructors and students should still confer on the first day of class in August to confirm accurate placement.

Further Questions: For advising on placement in:

•   Elementary and Intermediate French, e-mail Professor Andrea Javel;

•   French CCR and upper-level courses, e-mail Professor Jeff Flagg.

Taking the French Placement Test

The test is offered online and can be taken at any time. You will need your BC username; the password is eagles1. For questions about the test, e-mail the French Placement Test Coordinator, Professor Andrea Javel.


 

Italian Placement

Guidelines for Italian Placement

There is no on-line placement test in Italian. Please contact Coordinator, Brian O'Connor at brian.oconnor@bc.edu for any questions that are not addressed in the following guidelines.

If you have never studied Italian or if you have studied it in high school for one year or less, take ITAL 1003, Elementary Italian I.

If you have studied Italian for two to three years in high school, take ITAL 1004, Elementary Italian II (spring semester).

If you have studied Italian for three to four years in high school or for one year at the college level, take ITAL 1113, Intermediate Italian I.

If you scored a three on the Italian Language AP exam or in the 550-600 range on the SAT Subject Test* in Italian, or have studied Italian in high school for more than four years or for two years at the college level, take ITAL 2213, Italian Conversation, Composition, and Reading I.

If you scored a four or five on the Italian Language AP exam or over 600 on the SAT Subject Test* in Italian, consult with Professor Brian O’Connor at brian.oconnor@bc.edu.

*Note that either form of the SAT Subject Test is acceptable: with or without the listening component.


 

Portuguese Placement

NOTE: There is no placement test in Portuguese; students should contact the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at rll@bc.edu for more information.


 

Spanish Placement Test

The online placement test is designed to help you determine the most appropriate course for your ongoing studies in Spanish. This test will be proctored and will take up to 45 minutes to complete. 

For Freshmen:

The Spanish Placement Test will be administered on each Sunday morning before Freshmen Orientation check-in. For questions about the Placement Test, contact the RLL Dept. at: rll@bc.edu

Spanish Placement Test Procedures:

If you have taken Spanish in high school, it is highly recommended that you continue taking Spanish during your freshman year until you fulfill the language requirement with Intermediate Spanish II (SPAN1116). If you postpone the Spanish courses until your second year or later, you might forget part of what you previously learned, making the courses more demanding.

To register for the appropriate Spanish course in order to work toward the fulfillment of the language requirement in Spanish, you should do the following:

  • Take the Spanish Placement Test on the Sunday of the summer orientation. The Spanish Placement Test is delivered online and proctored. It can be taken only once.
  • Arrive at Hillside Cafe at 10:30 am on the Sunday of summer orientation and check in for the test. Hillside Cafe is located on the first floor of Maloney Hall, adjacent to the Commonwealth Ave. Garage (GPS Garage: 2599 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467).
  • Bring your picture ID and your Boston College username and password. You won’t be able to take the test if you do not have this information.
  • If you have taken the AP Exam and have not yet received the score, you should take the Spanish Placement Test and register for the course suggested upon finishing the test. When you receive the score, you should do the necessary changes according to the information provided in the table below.
  • You will receive your grade after finishing the Placement Test and will be ready to register on Tuesday during the registration session. If you have questions, speak with a language advisor at your registration session.

For Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors:

The Spanish Placement Test will be administered each semester during the week before the start of classes until the end of the drop/add period, as well as in advance of course registration periods in November and April.

For more information about specific dates and times, see the calendar information in the Spanish Placement Test Sign-Up Form below.

Who needs to take the Spanish Placement Test

  • If you have studied Spanish but have not taken the SAT Subject Test or the Spanish Language AP Exam, take the Placement Test.
  • If you have taken the AP Exam and have not yet received the score, you should take the Spanish Placement Test and register for the course suggested upon finishing the test. When you receive the score, you should do the necessary placement adjustment according to the information provided in the table below.
  • If you scored 550 or above on the SAT Subject Test* or a 3 or above on the Spanish Language AP Exam, or 6/7 on the IB Language Exam (higher level), you have fulfilled the language requirement and do not need to take the Spanish Placement Test unless you would like to pursue further studies in Spanish.
  • If you have never studied Spanish, you do not need to take the Spanish Placement Test.
  • You should register for SPAN1015 Elementary Spanish I and SPAN1017 Elementary Spanish Practicum I. SPAN1017 is an intensive one-credit supplementary course open to all students concurrently enrolled in SPAN1015 who feel they need extra practice to fine-tune their Spanish skills. Students with no previous experience in Spanish will be given priority for enrollment.
  • If you are a student from the Carroll School of Management you have two options to complete the foreign language requirement at the university.  You should complete a year of Intermediate Spanish (Intermediate Spanish I and Intermediate Spanish II) or a year of Elementary Spanish if you have not studied Spanish in high school. You should take the Placement Test if you did study Spanish in high school.
  • If you transfer Spanish courses from another institution, are a student in Education and/or Nursing or have never studied Spanish, you do not need to take the Placement Test. Make sure you have contacted the Admissions Office to transfer your courses.

*Note that either form of the SAT Subject Test is acceptable: with or without the listening component.

Guidelines for Spanish Placement

  • If you scored 550 or above on the SAT Subject Test or a 3 or above on the Spanish Language AP Exam, or 6/7 on the IB Language Exam (higher level), you have fulfilled the language requirement.
  • If you wish to continue working on your linguistic skills, and have scored 659 or less on the SAT Subject Test or a 3 on the Spanish Language AP Exam, or if you have not taken either exam, take the Placement Test during the summer orientation session (see Spanish Placement Test Procedures).
  • If you scored in the 660-710 range on the SAT Subject Test, or a 4 on the Spanish Language AP Exam, take SPAN2215 Spanish Conversation, Composition, and Reading I (CCR1).
  • If you scored 710 or above on the SAT Subject Test or a 5 on the Spanish Language AP Exam, take SPAN3392 Advanced Spanish.
  • If you scored 6/7 higher level on the IB Spanish Language Exam and wish to continue working on your linguistic skills, take SPAN2215 Spanish Conversation, Composition, and Reading I (CCR1).
  • If you are a native speaker of Spanish but would like to improve and expand your linguistic skills, speak with a language advisor at your registration session during the summer orientation.
IB Language Exam In Spanish SAT Test Scores in Spanish AP Exam Scores in Spanish Course or Test to be taken

 6/7 higher level

 550 or above

 3 or above

 Language requirement fulfilled

 

 659 or less

 3

 Take the Placement Test during  the summer orientation session if  you wish to continue further  studies in Spanish

 6/7 higher level

 660-710

 4

 SPAN2215 Conversation,  Composition and Reading I

 

 710 or above

 5

 SPAN3392 Advanced Spanish


Instructors and students should still confer on the first day of class in August to confirm accurate placement.

SPANISH PLACEMENT TEST FAQS and SIGN-UP FORM

Should I study for the test?

No. Preparation is not necessary for the Spanish Placement Test.

How many times can I take the test?

You can take it only once.

How long is the test?

You will be allowed a maximum of 45 minutes to complete the test.

Am I penalized for guessing the answers?

No. However, you should take the test seriously and answer each question to the best of your ability in order to obtain an accurate placement. If you do not know the answer to a question, it is best to simply leave it blank.

Am I penalized for not responding to all the questions?

You are allowed to submit the test even though you may not have answered all the questions.

Can I have help during the test?

During the test, you cannot solicit outside help of any kind, including that of personal notes, print/electronic resources, or any person.

When is the test offered?

For freshmen, during the FYE summer orientation sessions.

For sophomores, juniors and seniors, in advance of the first day of class and on selected dates and times during the first 8 days of classes (drop/add period) each semester, as well as in advance of course registration periods in November and April.

Do I need to sign up in advance?

Yes, you need to sign up online. The Spanish Placement Test Sign-Up Form (BC login required) will be available in late October for Spring Registration.

Where can I take the Spanish Placement Test?

During the FYE summer orientation session freshmen need to go to Hillside Cafe to register for the test and then they will be guided to specific computer labs on campus.

During the first 8 days of classes (drop/add period), the test will be offered in the Boston College Language Laboratory in Lyons Hall 313.

During the registration period in November and April, the test will be offered in the Boston College Language Laboratory in Lyons Hall 313.

What do I need to bring to the test?

Bring your picture ID and your Boston College username and password. You won’t be able to take the test if you do not have this information. Make sure you have signed up online. The Spanish Placement Test Sign-Up Form (BC login required) will be available in late October for Spring Registration.

What if I require special testing accommodations?

It is crucial that you register with either the Disability Services Office or the Connors Family Learning Center as soon as possible so that they will be able to issue you a letter of accommodation. You will need to contact Professor Silvana Falconi and present this letter in order to receive the necessary accommodation at the ‘special accommodations’ testing session to be scheduled for Fall 2017 on the Wednesday afternoon of the first week of classes.

How can I see my test results?

After submitting the test in Canvas, click the “next” button in the lower right of the screen to access your Placement Test score. If, at a later time, you wish to consult your test grade again, you may access the score at Canvas > Dashboard > “Spanish Placement Test” course > Grades.

What if I have questions about the course placement?

For advising on placement in:

Spanish Placement Test Dates

The online Spanish Placement Test is or will be open during the following period:

  Open Testing Period
Spring 2018 Registration 11/03/17 – 11/16/17


YOU MUST SIGN UP IN ADVANCE.
  When testing opens, please sign up for the test by completing the requested information on the Spanish Placement Test Sign-Up Form (BC login required) which will be available here in late October for Spring Registration.