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Spanish Placement Test

ALL Placement Tests have switched from Classroom format to Online with Canvas testing!!!

The Placement exam can be purchased through the Texas A&M University Store.

Here are some frequently asked questions about the placement test:

Who should take the test? 

Students who intend to enroll for the first time in a college Spanish language course, who have any prior knowledge of the language, whether acquired at home or through formal studies, and who have no college credit in the language (AP or other) MUST take a placement test to determine the appropriate course for their level of ability. If your high school transcript shows that you have taken Spanish, you will be required to take the placement test.

What if I came to the United States from a Spanish-speaking country for college? 

If you completed all your elementary and secondary education in a Spanish-speaking country, then Spanish is not a foreign language to you, and you may not receive credit for elementary or intermediate Spanish, either by test or through coursework. If you are in this category but wish to continue studying Spanish, the department offers a number of content classes that may be appropriate for your needs. Please consult with our advisor and/or our undergraduate director.

Why should I take the test? 

There are two benefits to taking the placement test. First, you will start your language studies at the most appropriate level for your abilities. Second, you will receive academic credit for levels of Spanish that you have already mastered, free of charge.

Which test should I register for? 

There are two different Spanish placement tests. One test is for students learning Spanish as a Second Language (SL), and the other one is for Heritage Learners (HL).

Very briefly , a heritage learner is someone who grew up in an environment where Spanish was spoken, even if that person does not feel they have very strong language abilities in Spanish. In order to determine which test to take, please answer the following questions.

  1. _____ I studied Spanish in middle school or high school for 2 or more years.
  2. _____ I attended a dual immersion or bilingual program but I feel that my understanding of the Spanish language is very basic.
  3. _____ I attended a dual immersion or bilingual program and feel that my understanding of the Spanish language is strong.
  4. _____ Spanish is or was spoken in my home by at least one of my relatives (parents, grandparents, siblings, other).
  5. _____ My first language was Spanish and/or I lived in a Spanish speaking country for a year or more.

If you ONLY answered yes to questions 1 or 2 you need to take the Placement Test for Second Language Learners.

If you answered yes to questions 4 or 5 you need to take the Placement Test for Heritage Learners.

If you answered yes to question 3 you are invited to take the test for heritage learners but may choose to take the test for second language learners.

Can I request testing accommodations?

Disability Services (DS) provides testing accommodations for eligible students with disabilities.  Reasonable testing accommodations are provided to allow students with documented disabilities an opportunity to demonstrate their skills and knowledge.  In order to receive testing accommodations, the student must submit documentation to DS at least two weeks prior to the scheduled testing date.  Please contact Disability Services at (979) 845-1637.

How much does the test cost? 

There is a $30 fee that is due at the time of registration.

How do I register and pay for the test? 

In order to register for the test, you must establish an account at, and then you may shop for a test, by determining whether you need to take the Second Language Learner of the Heritage Learner Test. To determine which test to register for, please see “Which test should I register for?” above.

What does the test cover? 

The Language Placement Tests in Spanish begin with the first course in the language program sequence and credit may be earned for as many as four semesters of course work. If you want to prepare for the test you may want to revisit your previous coursework/textbook or do some practice using the language, but this is not required.

How long is the test? 

Both Spanish placement tests are 1 ½ hours long.

What should I bring to the test? 

The test is currently administered online via Canvas.

When and where is the test taken? 

The placement test is offered regularly during the spring and fall semesters and during part of the summer. Specific dates and options available for the test can be found at the registration site. More information is available through Placement Test Registration Instructions.

Currently, the test is online via Canvas.  Specific information will be sent to you after you have registered for the test.

When will I get my scores? 

Results will be ready in two business days.

Note: In times of high demand (i.e., registration time), the results may be delayed. Please schedule your test with plenty of time so that you can have the results ready for when you need them.

Where do I accept my credit if I place out of a Spanish course? 

Go to your Howdy portal, click on the “My Record” tab, under “Grades and Transcripts” click “Credit By Examination”. This is where you will accept credit if you tested out of any courses. Be sure to read carefully and select the correct option you want. Usually the last option will consist of all courses to accept.

I tested out of multiple courses but accidentally accepted credit for one course. How can I accept credit for the other courses I tested out of? 

If you incorrectly accept only one course when testing out of multiple courses you must contact Bertin Ortega,, to have the credit reoffered to you. This process may take 2-3 business days.

Placement Test Instructions Quick Link