Frequently Asked Questions

Why this exam, and how does it work?
Elon's Department of World Languages helps place incoming students in appropriate language courses. We take into account the number of classes you have previously taken in the language. But placement on that basis ignores factors that can determine your actual facility: the effectiveness of your past coursework, the specific information covered, or out-of-class exposure to the language.
The majority of our placement exams are "adaptive," which means the test selects each question based on the answer to the previous question. If you answer an item correctly, a more difficult question is presented; if you answer one incorrectly, an easier question is given. This process accurately determines competency in about 20 minutes.

When shall I take the exam?
All new students are advised to take the test by June 1 to help the Center for Academic Support and Academic Advising create your fall schedule, and to indicate whether you have met the language proficiency requirement. To be fully assured of placement in the appropriate class during your first year at Elon, the placement test needs to be completed by June 1st. If the test is taken later, the appropriate class may not be available.
If exceptional circumstances keep you from taking the test before June 1, the test will again be available August 25-October 1 for on-campus administration only in Carlton 221. Students who test between August 25th and October 1st may not be able to take the desired class during the fall semester.
If you have questions, contact the Department of World Languages at

How many times can I take the exam?
You have two tries. You must complete the exam by Oct. 1 of your first year at Elon.  The higher score will be recorded.

What if I know more than one foreign language?
You can take the test in each language you know. As indicated above, you can test twice in each language. So if you know German, Latin, and Italian, you can take the test twice in German, twice in Latin, and twice in Italian.

What does this exam determine?
The placement exam helps you decide which course to take if you want to continue with your language study, or if you need to for your chosen major, minor or to fulfill the graduation requirement. The test may also let you place out of the language requirement for graduation.

What happens with my score?
Your score will be uploaded to the registrar's database. We upload twice: on June 1 and October 1.

Can I see my score?
When you're done with the exam, it will display your score and placement. WE URGE YOU PRINT OUT THE RESULTS AND SAVE THE PAGE FOR FUTURE REFERENCE. Scores will also be posted to OnTrack by the end of June.

How do I know whether I placed out of the language requirement?
If your placement score puts you in a 200-level course or higher, you've met the language requirement for graduation.

What do I do if there's no test for my language?
For now, we have tests only in French, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish. For other languages, email the Department of World Languages at

I am an international student whose native language is not English.  Do I need to take the placement exam?
You do not need to take the language placement exam.  Contact Francois Masuka (  or 336-278-6700) in the Global Education Center for information about fulfilling the language proficiency requirement.

Testing Dates


Honor Code

Begin the Exam


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