The Catholic University of America

Foreign Languages Placement Information

In order to enroll in undergraduate 101-104 language classes at CUA, you must first be placed in a level that is appropriate for you given your previous language experience and ability. For placement, you must have one of the following:

If you took the SAT II Language test or the AP or IB exam and had your score sent to CUA, the Dean's office will notify you of your placement as soon as the test results are received.

The CUA Placement Tests in French, German, Italian and Spanish are available online. A fee of $74 per test will be billed to your Student Account.

For all CUA placement tests, you will receive an email stating your official placement. You should register in the course indicated in this email. If you do not get this information within a week of taking the test, please call the Dept. of Modern Languages (202.319.5240).

RECOMMENDATION:
It is often a good idea to review prior to taking the test. Looking over your high school textbooks or a review grammar will help ensure that some rustiness with the language doesn't set you back unduly. We want your language class to be challenging (but not too challenging) for you, so you'll have the opportunity to put your language to work as soon as possible in internships, study abroad or any of the thousands of international and cultural events and venues available to you in the DC area.

The following FAQ will provide you with the information you need to determine your placement.

1. WHO NEEDS TO TAKE A PLACEMENT TEST?

2. WHAT IF I AM A HERITAGE SPEAKER/SPANISH IS SPOKEN IN MY HOME?

3. WHAT IF I ONLY HAD 1 YEAR OF LANGUAGE STUDY?

4. WHAT IF I HAD LANGUAGES A LONG TIME AGO?

5. WHAT IF I WANT TO START A NEW LANGUAGE?

6. WHAT IS THE CUA PLACEMENT TEST LIKE AND WHEN CAN I TAKE IT?

7. WHAT IF I DO NOT TAKE ONE OF THESE TESTS?

8. WHAT IF I WANT TO STUDY A LANGUAGE NOT OFFERED AT CUA?

9. IS THE PLACEMENT TEST THE SAME AS THE GRADUATE LANGUAGE TEST?

10. WHAT DO I DO IF I AM NOT SATISFIED WITH MY PLACEMENT?

11. WHAT IF I AM PLACED AT THE 200+ LEVEL?

12. WHO DO I CONTACT IF I WANT TO MAJOR OR MINOR IN A LANGUAGE? 

 

To register for the online Italian Placement Test contact 202-319-5240 during office hours. You will need your CUA Username and Password to take the Test 

 

For Placement in Arabic contact Prof. Kamaleddine Tabine @ Tabine@cua.edu  or call 202-319-5240

 For Placement in Chinese contact Prof. Shufen Hwang  @ Hwang@cua.edu or call 202-319-5240 

 

 For technical assistance between the hours of 9-4 Eastern Time, call Koorosh Azhandeh, Multimedia

Director, at 202-319-5240 or email azhandeh@cua.edu

1. WHO NEEDS TO TAKE A PLACEMENT TEST?

All students who have studied a foreign language for two years or more in high school are required to take a placement test if they plan to continue in that language at CUA.

 

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2. WHAT IF I AM A HERITAGE SPEAKER/SPANISH IS SPOKEN IN MY HOME?

You should register for Spn 111 in the fall. This course is designed for the needs of heritage learners and fulfills the CUA language requirement. Please contact the department of Modern Languages (202-319-5240) to acquire the appropriate permission to register for this class.
 

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3. WHAT IF I ONLY HAD 1 YEAR OF LANGUAGE STUDY IN THE HIGH SCHOOL?

You should register for 101. No placement test is needed. However, if you wish to try to place at a higher level, you may take the CUA Placement Test.

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4. WHAT IF I HAD LANGUAGES A LONG TIME AGO?

f you are interested in starting a new language and you have no prior experience taking course work in that language, you can go ahead and register for 101. You may want to start a language you were unable to take in high school or a language that complements your major and general interests very well. Our advisors in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish are always available for you to discuss our degree programs and course offerings. You can find their names and email addresses here: http://modernlanguages.cua.edu/undergrad/index.cfm.

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5.WHAT IF I WANT TO START A NEW LANGUAGE?

To help you make your decision about starting a new language, we recommend that you take the placement test in the language you studied in high school. You may find it advantageous to complete the language requirement with the language you studied previously and then to add the third language whenever you want. If you decide to start a new language, register for 101.

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6. WHAT IS THE CUA PLACEMENT TEST LIKE AND WHEN CAN I TAKE IT?

• Arabic

Contact department of Modern Languages and Literatures @ 202-319-5240.


• 
 Chinese, French, German, Spanish

o Multiple choice
o Includes reading comprehension, vocabulary, grammar
o Requires approximately 25 minutes to complete.
o Available 24/7; technical assistance is only available weekdays 9-4pm ET

Italian

o Multiple choice
o Includes reading and listening comprehension, vocabulary, grammar
o May take up to one hour to complete
o Available 24/7, but you must register for it during business hours (9-5 M-Thurs, 9-12 F) by calling the Dept. of Modern Languages and Literatures at 202-319-5240 or by emailing the Media Director, Koorosh Azhandeh, at azhandeh@cua.edu .
o CUA username and password required to take the test.
o Speakers required for the video portion of the exam.
 

 

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7. WHAT IF I DO NOT TAKE A PLACEMENT TEST?

Should you fail to take a placement test before the semester begins, you must take the CUA Placement Test during the first week of classes. You will not be allowed to stay in your language class until you have completed the test. Please note that such a delay will result in greater difficulties registering for the class section of your choice.

 

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8. WHAT IF I WANT TO STUDY A LANGUAGE NOT OFFERED AT CUA?

Languages not currently offered on campus such as Russian, Japanese, etc., may be studied through CUA at one of the Consortium Universities in the area. Though it is not advisable for first year students to do this in their first semester, please call the Arts and Sciences Dean's Office for further information (202-319-5114) in order to plan for the future.

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9. IS THE PLACEMENT TEST THE SAME AS THE GRADUATE LANGUAGE TEST?

No. The Placement Test is only for entry into the 101-200 level modern language courses. The Graduate Language Test in French, German and Spanish is administered by the CUA Counseling Center (202-319-5765). Click for information about the graduate level test in Italian.

 

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10. WHAT DO I DO IF I AM NOT SATISFIED WITH MY PLACEMENT?

  • Do NOT  take the test more than once unless we instruct you to retake it. Retaking the test without authorization will result in additional charges.

  • Register for the level assigned to you and report to that class when the semester begins.
  • DO alert your instructor to your concerns about the level at which you have been placed. This will help him or her better evaluate if a change would be appropriate. We want you to be in the class that is right for you.
  • Requests for a change of placement level will only be accepted Tuesday, Aug. 27, after you have first attended your assigned class.

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11. WHAT IF I AM PLACED AT THE 200+ LEVEL?

You have demonstrated that you are well on your way to becoming proficient in the language you have studied. All students scoring at the 200+ level on the online test are required to complete an on-campus oral interview in order to fulfill the CUA language requirement. You will receive more information by email.

We encourage you to consider continuing in higher level classes in order to develop a solid working knowledge of the language that will be useful to you in your future career. We invite you to contact the faculty advisor for your language and hope you will join us in further exploration of the language and culture. 

If you do not complete the oral interview procedure within one semester's time, you will receive an academic hold that prevents you from registering for classes until the status of your language requirement has been resolved.

 
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 12. WHO DO I CONTACT IF I WANT TO MAJOR OR MINOR IN A LANGUAGE?

• French: Dr. Stieber (Stieber@cua.edu)
• German: Dr. Bornholdt ( Bornholdt@cua.edu)
• Italian: Dr. Lucamante (lucamante@cua.edu)
• Spanish: Dr. Colón (Colon@cua.edu)
 

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