- Who should take the test?
- What if I came to the United States from a Spanish-speaking country for college?
- Why should I take the test?
- Which test should I register for?
- What if I have college level credit?
- How much does the exam cost?
- How do I register and pay for the test?
- What does the test cover?
- How long is the test?
- What should I bring to the test?
- Where and when is the test taken?
- When will I get my scores?
Students who intend to enroll for the first time in a college Spanish language course, who have any prior knowledge of the language, whether acquired at home or through formal studies, and who have no college credit in the language (AP or other) MUST take a placement test to determine the appropriate course for their level of ability.
One exception to this rule is students with ONE year or less of Spanish in middle or high school. Those students should register for Spanish 101, unless they feel strongly about their language abilities, in which case the may choose to take the placement test.
If you completed all your elementary and secondary education in a Spanish-speaking country, then Spanish is not a foreign language to you, and you may not receive credit for elementary or intermediate Spanish, either by test or through coursework. If you are in this category but wish to continue studying Spanish, the department offers a number of content classes that may be appropriate for your needs. Please consult with our advisor and/or our undergraduate director.
There are two benefits to taking the placement test. First, you will start your language studies at the most appropriate level for your abilities. Second, you will receive academic credit for levels of Spanish that you have already mastered, free of charge.
There are two different Spanish placement tests. One test is for students learning Spanish as a Second Language (SL), and the other one is for Heritage Learners (HL).
Very briefly put, a heritage learner is someone who grew up in an environment where Spanish was spoken, even if that person does not feel they have very strong language abilities in Spanish. In order to determine which test to take, please answer the following questions.
- _____ I studied Spanish in middle school or high school for 2 or more years.
- _____ I attended a dual immersion or bilingual program but I feel that my understanding of the Spanish language is very basic.
- _____ I attended a dual immersion or bilingual program and feel that my understanding of the Spanish language is strong.
- _____ Spanish is or was spoken in my home by at least one of my relatives (parents, grandparents, siblings, other).
- _____ My first language was Spanish and/or I lived in a Spanish speaking country for a year or more.
If you ONLY answered yes to questions 1 or 2 you need to take the Placement Test for Second Language Learners.
If you answered yes to questions 4 or 5 you need to take the Placement Test for Heritage Learners.
If you answered yes to question 3 you are invited to take the test for heritage learners but may choose to take the test for second language learners.
Second Language Learners who have taken the Advanced Placement (AP) test, the SAT II Achievement test, or other advanced Spanish test should consult with their advisors. Heritage Language Learners MUST always take the placement test, regardless of their scores in high school tests. This is because those tests sometimes are not a good reflection of the language abilities of those students.
There is a $30 fee that is due at the time of registration.
In order to register for the test, you must establish an account at marketplace.tamu.edu, and then you may shop for a test, by determining whether you need to take the Second Language Learner of the Heritage Learner Test. To determine which test to register for, please see “Which test should I register for?” above.
Specific instructions on how to register for the test are HERE .
The Language Placement Tests in Spanish begin with the first course in the language program sequence and credit may be earned for as many as four semesters of course work. If you want to prepare for the test you may want to revisit your previous coursework/textbook or do some practice using the language, but this is not required.
Both Spanish placement tests are 1 ½ hours long.
You should bring a number 2 pencil and your UIN. You will not be allowed to use any reference materials, so you will be requested to leave your books, cell phone, and backpack in a safe place.
The placement test is offered regularly during the spring and fall semesters and during part of the summer. Specific dates and options available for the test can be found at the registration site. Please follow the link with instructions on how to register for the test (HERE).
The test is taken in the Academic Building. The exact location will be given to you once you have registered for the test.
You should plan on taking the test before the start of the semester when you plan to take Spanish at A&M for the first time.
Results will be ready in two business days.
For the New Student Conferences, if the student takes the exam on the pre-Conference Day, the results are ready by the second day of the Conferences, in time for the meeting with the advisor for registration purposes.