Placement Test Information

Language placement tests

Placement examinations are required of any student whose most recent language course was not completed at Boston University. *Exception: if last course was in high school and the student received a score of 560 or higher on the SAT II Subject Test (540 if taken before April 1995 as the CEEB Achievement Test), s/he should consult the relevant department and course catalog for placement in literature and culture courses beyond the required level. Placement exams DO NOT fulfill the language requirement.

When you receive the results of the placement test, please see information about interpreting the results.

Please contact Jennifer Cavanaugh regarding placement exams during the summer months.

No advance sign-up required, but please arrive on time!

Placement Test Dates and Times

For further information, please call 617-353-2642.

French and Spanish

French and Spanish are now tested by means of an online examination. The password, once you access the page, is ‘terriers1′. You will need your university ID number when taking this test. Full instructions are provided within the test webpage. You can take this test at any time before the start of classes, from any location. Non-CAS colleges have their own specific requirements. Please do not use dictionaries or other assistance when taking the test. This may result in incorrect placement and you will have to change classes in the first week of the semester.

Italian

Italian is now tested by means of an online examination.  The password, once you access the page, is ‘test’. You will need your university ID number when taking this test. Full instructions are provided within the test webpage. You can take this test at any time before the start of classes, from any location. Non-CAS colleges have their own specific requirements. Please do not use dictionaries or other assistance when taking the test. This may result in incorrect placement and you will have to change classes in the first week of the semester. 

Portuguese

Students with prior study of Portuguese should contact Celia Bianconi, cbianc@bu.edu, Head of the Portuguese Language Program, for determining which course they should take.

SAT II Foreign Language Subject Tests

A student who wishes to take an SAT II exam (in order to fulfill the CAS language requirement) must sign up through CollegeBoard.

Interpreting the placement test results

Transfer students who have taken college-level courses in the relevant language before coming to Boston University should see an advisor at the CAS Academic Advising office, 100 Bay State Road, room 401, 353-2400, immediately to have transfer work evaluated for level (required, in addition to CAS credit evaluation). Duplicating previous college work means forfeiting credit!

French

If your score was… these are the courses that would be appropriate (see course descriptions for further information about these).
Below 231 LF 111
231-310 LF 112
311-350 LF 211
351-460 LF 212
461-500 LF 303
above 500 LF 304, 350, or another more advanced course with permission from advisor or professor

A student with a placement score at the extremes of an indicated range should consult Nicholas Huckle, 718 Commonwealth Ave., room 202A, 353-6241 to consider other factors before shifting to a higher- or lower-level course.

Italian

If your score was… these are the courses that would be appropriate (see course descriptions for further information about these).
0-35 LI 111
36-46 LI 112
47-57 LI 211
58-68 LI 212
69-80 300-level Italian courses

A student with a placement score at the extremes of an indicated range should consult Claretta Tonetti, 718 Commonwealth Ave., room 306A, 353-6224 to consider other factors before shifting to a higher- or lower-level course.

Spanish

If your score was… these are the courses that would be appropriate (see course descriptions for further information about these).
lower than 260 LS 111
261-340 LS 112
341-435 LS 211
436-510 LS 212
511 and above LS 306, LS 307, LS 308 or LS 310

Spanish Placement Test score:
If you have been placed at the 5th semester level or higher, this does not mean that you are have fulfilled your language requirement. You will need to enroll in one more course at the 5th semester level or higher to satisfy the language requirement.

A student with placement scores at the extremes of an indicated range or in excess of  670 should consult the Head of the Spanish Language Program, Mildred Basker-Seigel, 718 Commonwealth Ave., Room 202C, 617-353-6239, to insure correct placement.

SAT 11 score:
A score of 560 or higher (540 or higher if taken before April 1995) on the SAT II test fulfills your language requirement, but it does not give you credits towards graduation. If you wish to take a Spanish course for credit and/or continue with your Spanish studies, you should take the Spanish Placement Test which will determine the course that is best suited to your level. Consult Mildred Basker-Seigel, 718 Commonwealth Ave., room 202C, 617-353-6239.

Advanced Placement (AP) score:
With a score of 4 on the AP Spanish Language exam a student has received credit for LS 212 and is eligible to take two 300-level Spanish Language courses. With a score of 5 he/she has received credit for one 300-level Spanish Language course and is only allowed to take one more of these courses.

With a score of 4 on the AP Spanish Literature exam a student has also received credit for LS 212 and is eligible to take two 300-level Spanish Language courses. With a score of 5 on the AP Spanish Literature exam he/she has received credit for LS 307 and is only allowed to take one more of these courses.

A score of 5 on the AP Spanish Language or one 300-level Spanish Language course is also the prerequisite for the next level up, LS 350, which is an introductory course in Spanish literature.

See the link for CAS Language Requirements:  http://www.bu.edu/rs/undergraduate-languages-literatures-and-linguistics/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-cas-language-requirements