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Washington and Lee University

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Placement Testing for Romance Languages

All incoming first-year students are expected to take a foreign language placement test in the language they used for admission to the University (i.e., the student who has studied French for three years in high school will take the French placement test). Students who have pursued more than one language in high school and wish to continue study in both, may take more than one placement test, otherwise they should decide which language they wish to pursue at Washington and Lee and take the placement test in that language only.

Students who do not take the placement test in a language they studied in high school will not be able to enroll in that language at Washington and Lee. Student who perform poorly on the placement test may be excluded from continuing study in the language tested. 

Italian and Portuguese

Students who have studied Italian or Portuguese will be placed through advising and consultation with the Department of Romance Languages upon arriving on campus in the fall.

French and Spanish

Incoming students wishing to take the French or Spanish placement test must do so between June 1 and July 31, 2014. The procedures for taking these tests are described below and should take an average of fifteen minutes. Additional information is included in the new student packet provided by the Student Affairs Office.

Detailed instructions and test access are provided below.

Should you require assistance with testing procedures or should you encounter any difficulty in taking either the French or Spanish test, please contact one of the following individuals: 

Mrs. Shirley Richardson (540 458-8821,
Dr. Dick Kuettner (540 458-8995,
Dr. Matthew Bailey (540 458-8160,

Help is available to you between the hours of 9 AM - 4 PM EDT Monday through Friday. If at all possible, schedule your testing time in conjunction with the times that assistance is available.


Remember that you are on your honor when you take this on-line placement test. The test must be taken in one sitting (normally about fifteen minutes), and assistance of any kind (books, dictionaries, on-line glossaries, help from others - except the three individuals listed above) is absolutely forbidden. You may take the test only once. More on the Washington and Lee Honor System.


After completing your placement test you receive points, a raw score, which W&L uses to place you into the appropriate level language class. In your WebAdvisor ‘Test Summary' screen, the placement score posted is the actual course number that you are placed into. For example, a WebAdvisor French score of 161, means that your raw score places you into FREN 161. More information about interpreting your placement scores and registration recommendations can be found at


Good luck, and we wish you great success as you enter Washington and Lee University.

Testing Instructions

1. Read these instructions in their entirety before you start the placement test. If the instructions are not fully clear to you, feel free to contact one of the three names above prior to taking the test.
2. A user name is not required when you begin the testing process; however, you will be required to enter the password   test   in order to pass through the gateway.
3. Once the password is typed, click on login.
4. Select your language (French or Spanish). Click begin.
5. Type in required information as specified here -- First Name (no nicknames), Last Name, and Email Address. No other information is needed.  Look to the right on the information screen, and note RESUME instructions for actions to take if the test is interrupted for any reason.
6. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click continue.
7. Read the provided instructions very carefully. DO NOT USE THE BACK BUTTON AT ANY TIME DURING THE TEST.
8. Complete the practice question. Select your answer using your mouse. Click on submit answer.
9. Now you are ready to start the actual test. Review carefully the instructions provided for each question before reading the question and answer choices.
10. Questions will stop automatically, and this means the test is over.
11. At this point you will see a screen that has the following type of information:

ID Number: (blank)
Started: 12:35 PM Sun 30 Jun 2013
Ended: 12:56 PM Sun 30 Jun 2013
Duration: 0 hours 21 minutes
Points: 438

12. Make note of the points.  These points are a raw score which the Department of Romance Languages also receives and will use for placing you at the appropriate level. 
13. Scroll down and click on finished.  The raw score data will now be transferred to WLU and compiled. 
14. If you fail to click on finishedno valid raw score will be submitted.
15. After reading all the above instructions, go to WebCAPE to begin the testing process.