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Who is required to take an RLL Placement Test?
Any student who has taken French, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish previously and plans to continue study in that same language at UM-Ann Arbor must take the placement test prior to enrolling in an RLL language class.
If you have no prior knowledge of the target language, you do NOT need to take the placement test; you are eligible to directly enroll in either the 100 (intensive) or 101 (standard) level course.
Students who have not yet received their AP or IB scores by the time they arrive for U-M orientation are encouraged to take the placement exam. Students who have received AP or IB credit for Spanish, French, Italian, or Portuguese do not need to take the placement exam.
Should I study for the test?
No. Preparation is not necessary for the placement test – it is intended as a tool to place you in the course most appropriate for your skill level.
How many times can I take the test?
Only once. You may not take the same placement test more than one time.
When is the test offered?
French and Italian placement tests are offered during the orientation programs, at or near the beginning of each term, and during the backpacking/open enrollment periods. The dates, times, and locations of the French and Italian language tests are listed in the tabs below. Please understand that it is not possible to schedule a placement exam in French or Italian for one student.
The Spanish placement test is an online test. It is available prior to the start of each term, during the backpacking/open enrollment periods, and for sessions throughout the spring and summer. The availability of the Spanish language test is listed in the tab below. Details about registering for this test are also listed; they are different for both incoming and continuing students. Please understand that it is not possible to schedule a placement exam in Spanish for one student.
The Portuguese placement test is offered by individual appointment only. Details are listed in the tab below.
How far in advance should I take the test?
If you are an incoming student interested in the French or Italian placement test, you will take the test on site during your orientation visit.
If you are an incoming student interested in the Spanish placement test, you must take the test at least five business days prior to the start of your orientation visit so that you are able to receive your results by the time you register. Students who do not take the test in time may not be able to register for a language course during orientation. Results cannot be rushed.
If you are a current student, you should plan to take the French, Italian, or Spanish test at a time prior to your registration appointment (usually during backpacking).
All students interested in the Portuguese placement test should read the details in the tab below. Appointments are only available during the academic year (September through April).
What if I require special testing accommodations?
If you are an incoming student, you should write to the Office of New Student Programs before your stay on campus or before you plan to take the online test to request accommodations on the placement tests.
If you are a current student who has already registered with Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD), for Spanish you should email a copy of your VISA letter to
firstname.lastname@example.org with your request for accommodations at least two (2) business days in advance of when you will take the Spanish test. For French and Italian, write to email@example.com to notify them of your request. For Portuguese, please include this information in your request to take the test.
How long does it take to receive my results?
It typically takes 2-3 business days for your results to become available. Results cannot be rushed, so please plan accordingly.
How can I view my results?
If you are an incoming student, you will not see your placement result immediately, rather you will receive it during orientation.
If you are a current student, be aware that it takes 2-3 business days for scores to process. You will NOT be notified of your score automatically. You may view your placement results via: Wolverine Access > Student Business > Academic Records > View Placement Exam Results.
In which courses could I be placed?
You may be placed in one of the following courses: 101 (elementary), 103 (elementary review), 231 (second year, first semester), or 232 (second year, continued). In Italian, you may also be placed into 102 (elementary, continued). If you place beyond the 232 level in French, Italian or Portuguese you will have satisfied the LSA language requirement. For Spanish, you may be required to validate your placement, for more information please see the Spanish tab below. To navigate the RLL language sequence and help you in your course selection, please reference the RLL Course Progress Chart.
What if I have questions about my course placement?
For questions about your placement during the Fall and Winter terms, you should consult the course coordinator of the course into which you have been placed. In the Spring and Summer terms, please contact the RLL Main Office.
What if I have severe trouble learning a foreign language?
LSA students who believe they have a learning disability that interferes with their learning a foreign language may petition the LSA Academic Standards Board for a language substitution. Information and instructions on how to petition for a language substitution can be found on the Petitions for Requirement or Policy Exceptions portion of the LSA website.
What if I have AP/IB credit?
Information for students with AP/IB credit can be found here.
What if I have read this and still have questions?
Email the RLL Main Office.
French Placement Tests
Testing times begin on the hour. Please arrive 5 minutes before test is scheduled to begin. Students arriving after the start time will not be permitted to take the exam once the exam has begun. Bring a No. 2 pencil and your MCard.
The French placement exam will be offered on the following dates:
May through August.
These exam dates are scheduled to coincide with the Spring, Summer, and Fall Orientation programs scheduled by the Office of New Student Programs (ONSP). Although intended for incoming students, the exams are still open to ALL continuing UM students. The 2019 orientation placement exam schedule is available on the ONSP website.
September. To register for a September testing session, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wednesday, September 4th at 4:00pm, location TBD
- Friday, September 6th at 4:00pm, location TBD
All new or incoming transfer students should contact ONSP directly for more information about placement testing.
Italian Placement Tests
Testing times begin on the hour, not Michigan time. Please arrive 5 minutes before test is scheduled to begin. Students arriving after the start time will not be permitted to take the exam once the exam has begun. Bring a No. 2 pencil and your MCard.
The Italian placement exam will be offered on the following dates:
May through August. These exam dates are scheduled to coincide with the Spring, Summer, and Fall Orientation programs scheduled by the Office of New Student Programs (ONSP). Although intended for incoming students, the exams are still open to ALL continuing UM students. The 2019 orientation placement exam schedule is available on the ONSP website.
September. To register, email email@example.com
Thursday, September 5, 2019 at 4:00pm, location TBD
All new or incoming students should contact ONSP directly for more information about placement testing.
Portuguese Placement Tests
Portuguese placement tests are given by appointment only. If you are interested in taking the Portuguese placement test, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
Spanish Placement Tests
New and incoming students (including transfer students) must register for an orientation session to obtain placement exam access and information. Each student, once they pay the U-M enrollment fee, will receive information directly from the Office of New Student Programs (ONSP) regarding orientation and the Spanish placement test. ONSP can be reached at email@example.com or (734)764-6413.
Continuing students, testing sessions are available during backpacking and registration, and at the beginning of each semester. Testing times begin on the hour. Please arrive 5 minutes before test is scheduled to begin. Students arriving after the start time will not be permitted to take the exam once the exam has begun. You will need to present your MCard and it is recommended to bring your own headphones.
Spanish Validation Tests
New and incoming students who place into SPANISH 277 are eligible to meet the language requirement for their school or college by taking an in-person, proctored exam called the Spanish Validation Test.