Language Placement Test
Who should take this test?
All entering students, including transfer students, who have studied French, German, Latin, Russian, or Spanish must take the language placement test, even if you do not plan to study that language at Cornell. If you are planning to begin a new language you should complete the questionnaire portion of that language in addition to completing the placement test for the language you have previously studied.
All French, German, Latin, Russian, or Spanish exams will be provided online. All other exams (Japanese, ESL, etc.) will be scheduled during New Student Orientation or within the first few blocks of the academic year.
Frequently asked questions
If I choose to take the recommended course, do I have to take it immediately or in my first year?
You may take the course at any time during your Cornell career; however, the longer you wait, the more likely it will be that you may forget what you had learned and the more difficult it may be for you to catch up.
What if I don’t do well on the exam or receive a low placement?
Your score and placement will not be recorded on your transcript, nor will your grade point average be affected. You cannot “fail” a placement exam.
What if I'm not comfortable with the recommended course level?
If you wish to continue in a language but feel uncomfortable about starting at the level recommended, consult your academic advisor.
Do I receive credit if I pass the language placement test?
No. This test does not award any credit. If you place into 301 or another 300-level course, you are automatically exempt from the Foreign Language Requirement. If you place into 103, you need take only one year of a foreign language instead of the usual two required of those who begin their language with 101.
What if I’d like to take the exam in two or more languages?
You may take multiple language tests on-line; however, make sure you take the language that you are most likely to continue at Cornell.
What if I don’t want to continue in a language previously studied?
Please take the exam anyway. If you decide at a later date to continue your previously studied foreign language, the exam score will assist in your course placement. Plus, you will satisfy your curiosity and see how you fit in with our program.
Exam dates and details
- You should complete the language placement test by August 14
- The exam is available on Moodle, Cornell's course management system
- Find more general information on placement testing
If you have additional questions, contact the professor in your specific language area as listed below.
- French: Professor Rebecca Wines
- Spanish: Professor Carol Lacy-Salazar
- German: Professor Johanna Schuster-Craig
- Russian: Professor Lynne Ikach
- Latin: Professor John Gruber-Miller