If you have previous experience in a language offered at Illinois State, you can take our Online Placement Exams (Readiness Tests) in French, German, or Spanish to determine the appropriate Illinois State course level for you.
Your score on this test will help you to make a more informed decision about which course to start with at Illinois State. It does not confer any course credit or grade, and it will not serve to block or permit your enrollment in a given course.
If you have previous experience in a language not offered at Illinois State, ISU will accept certification via LTI (Language Testing International), an organization affiliated with ACTFL (the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages). You will find more information about this process at the following page under Language Proficiency Assessments.
For more information or for placement advice about other ISU-offered languages that do not have placement tests, contact Academic Advisor Laura Edwards.
Students who come in with strong oral skills in Spanish can receive credit for SPA 214 by taking an Oral Proficiency Exam with one of our faculty.
Students may take the OPE if they meet any of the following:
The OPE is an interview all in Spanish over Zoom that takes between 15-30 minutes. Students who wish to take the OPE should fill out this online form to set up a date and a time.The OPE will cost $10 whether you pass or not. If you miss the appointment for your exam, you will not be able to make another appointment until the following semester, unless your absence falls under the Student Absences due to Service as a Volunteer Emergency Worker policy or the Student Bereavement Policy.
Students who have an ACTFL OPI official rating of Intermediate High or above will automatically earn credit for SPA 214 and should not take this exam. Please submit OPI transcript to the LAN department office (STV 114) to apply for credit.
Placement Guidance for Spanish Courses at Illinois State
Generally, students with 0 years of high school Spanish are advised to begin in SPA 111, 1-2 years in SPA 112, and 3-4 years in SPA 115.
Students who have had some previous experience (1-2 years) with Spanish should begin in Spanish 112 and not Spanish 111. Spanish 112 includes a review of 111 at the start of the semester.
Heritage Spanish-Language Speakers see bottom.*
Students who begin at the 112 level or higher and earn a C or better will earn credit for free (CAP) for up to 8 hours that they skip to begin at a higher level. Students must fill out a CAP form to request this credit.
Since Spanish programs in high schools and community colleges vary widely, so the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures has developed this readiness test to help you decide which of our courses is right for you. After you take the test, you will see a recommendation based on the score you received.
Below you will find a link to the multiple choice, online readiness test for Spanish. The test is confidential but the advisor has access to the results in order to better help you if you have questions or concerns. For this reason, we ask you to give your name. The test should take between 30-40 minutes to complete. We encourage you to not seek help while you complete the test so that you place in the level of Spanish that is right for you.
Please consider that ALL of our Spanish classes are taught in Spanish and oral skills (speaking) are emphasized in the classroom. If your experience with Spanish is not recent, we recommend that you register for a lower Spanish class than you may have anticipated.
Readiness Test for SPA 112 - (take if you've had 1-2 years of HS Spanish)
Readiness Test for SPA 115 - (take if you've had 3-4 years of HS Spanish)
Readiness Test for SPA 116 - (take if you've had 4+ years of HS Spanish
Please contact Dr. Edwards with questions or concerns about the test and/or your results.
*Heritage Spanish-Language Speakers should consider Spanish 119 and/or Spanish 120. Spanish 119 is for students who understand the basics of most conversations in Spanish but are less confident in formal situations in Spanish and who have not had any formal Spanish classes in school. Spanish 120 is intended for heritage speakers who are very comfortable speaking Spanish in a variety of situations and have had some instruction in Spanish grammar and/or reading and writing in Spanish (including Spanish 115 at ISU). We are working on a placement exam for these two courses, but in the meantime, please contact the instructor, Marinelly Castillo (firstname.lastname@example.org) with placement questions.
Traditionally, students with 0-1 years of high school French have been advised to begin in FRE 111, 2-3 years in 112, and 4 years in 115.
However, French programs in high schools and community colleges vary widely, so the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures has developed placement tests to help you decide which of our courses is right for you. These are placement tests to help you determine whether you are ready to begin at a given level.
Traditionally, students with 0-1 years of high school German have been advised to begin in GER 111, 2-3 years in 112, and 4 years in 115.
However, German programs in high schools and community colleges vary widely, so the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures has developed placement tests to help you decide which of our courses is right for you.
In German, there is one general placement test to help you determine whether you are ready to begin at a given level. Do not feel that getting all of the questions correct is the only way that to be placed at a higher level; on the contrary. Read the key to understand how the scoring and placement work.