Second Language Placement Test

The Second Language requirement at St. Michael’s requires students earning a Bachelor of Arts degree to complete or place out of the equivalent of two semesters of college-level language learning. Students can meet the requirement in four ways:

  1. Pass the 101 and 102 courses (101/211 in Latin) at St. Michael’s in any language (students may possibly place into 102 via the placement test and successfully meet the requirement in one semester). Spanish, French, and Latin will be offered at St. Michael’s in the 2019-20 academic year.
  2. Score a 3 or higher (4 in Latin) on a language Advanced Placement exam.
  3. Achieve the following scores on an SAT Subject Test: Modern Hebrew – 510; Chinese – 590; Italian, Japanese, Latin, or Spanish – 600; French – 610.
  4. Test out of the requirement via the St. Michael’s Placement Test (info below)

It is strongly recommended that all students who have previously studied a language take a placement test, regardless of their intended major (B.A. or B.S.) or desire to continue a particular language at St. Michael’s. Students who have fulfilled the language requirement via testing may wish to continue studying that language; if so, you should request an upper-level course in a language via the Course Interest form or a conversation with your entrance advisor.

French and Spanish Placement

All students who have previously studied French or Spanish should complete the two-step placement process.
The placement test is essential for students pursuing at B.A. degree, who are required to study two semesters of a foreign language or demonstrate equivalent proficiency.

The placement test is also important for students pursuing a B.S. degree: some already know they wish to continue studying a language; others might decide later to continue studying a language; or a student might change majors to one that is a B.A. degree, which has a foreign language requirement. (Students pursuing a B.S. degree who have a second major from a B.A. degree field are not subject to the foreign language requirement.)

If a student has previously studied French or Spanish but wants to begin studying a new language at Saint Michael’s College, the student should still take the placement test — since some students later change their minds and revert to the language they previously studied.

STEP 1: ONLINE TEST

  1. Access the required, online placement test at this link
    Or use this web address: http://bit.ly/32tAgkM
  2. Create an account and password as required.
  3. After a successful login, choose the appropriate language: French or Spanish.
  4. Answer all the questions about your experience with the language or other languages.
  5. Read instructions, complete sample item, and begin test.
    The test should be completed without any outside assistance, books, or other materials
  6. The test takes approximately 20 minutes, depending on your level. Results will be displayed once the test is complete
    If your test session is interrupted and you have not completed the placement test, you must login again and enter your information exactly as you did when you started the test and then click Resume.
  7. Once completed, scores will also be visible to the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures. Students should print or download a copy for their records.
    * Students take the placement test only once. If taken multiple times, only the first score will be counted.

Preliminary placement is recommended as follows:

>Online Score

Preliminary Placement

Written Test

0-239

FR/SP 101

NA

240-258

FR/SP 101

Required to finalize placement

259-319

FR/SP 102

Required to finalize placement

320-369

FR/SP 203 (if desired)

Required to finalize placement

370 and above

FR/SP 206 (if desired)

Required to finalize placement

STEP 2: WRITTEN TEST

Students who score above 240 on the online test must also take the written portion of the placement test on campus to confirm and finalize their placement. This consists of responding in writing to a broad, generic question that asks you to describe yourself and compare yourself to another person in order to demonstrate your range of vocabulary (attributes, preferences, family, activities, emotions, etc.) and which verb forms you can use. Students are allowed up to one hour for the written test.

  • If you entered SMC in fall 2019, to complete the written test please see the instructions for the appropriate language in the Canvas course Language Placement 2019
    Or here is the full web address: https://smcvt.instructure.com/courses/11587

    • If you have any problem accessing Canvas, you can find the same instructions on the next page below, and you can send your completed written exam to the Chair of the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures, Peter Vantine (pvantine@smcvt.edu). (The preferred method, however, is for you to upload your completed written exam within Canvas.)
  • If you entered SMC prior to fall 2019, use the written exam instructions below and then send your completed written exam to the Chair of the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures, Peter Vantine (pvantine@smcvt.edu).

Students whose online and written placement results qualify them for FR/SP 203 or above have met the foreign language proficiency requirement for B.A. degrees. However, even students who have met the requirement are encouraged to consider continuing their study of the language at the level of their placement. Similarly, although B.S. students have no foreign language requirement, they are encouraged to consider continuing studying a language at the appropriate level.

Latin Placement

Students who have previously studied Latin and wish to continue at St. Michael’s will be placed in Latin courses based on previous experience, with placement then confirmed by a multiple-choice placement test at the outset of the fall semester (online version of this test forthcoming, and placement may then be confirmed sooner). Students who wish to study Latin at St. Michael’s should discuss their prior experience with their entrance advisors.

Languages Other Than French, Spanish, or Latin

Students who have studied languages other than French, Spanish or Latin may still test for proficiency for the purposes of fulfilling the Bachelor of Arts Core Curriculum requirements. (Courses in those languages may be available at the University of Vermont, with applicable tuition costs. Students at Saint Michael’s should avoid taking a class off campus during their first semester).

For those who have studied Chinese, Italian, or German, an online placement test is available. Follow instructions below to take this exam. For those with experience in other languages, please contact Prof. Peter Vantine, Chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literature, to arrange a written placement test after arriving on campus this fall.

  1. Access the required, online placement test at this link
    Or use this web address: http://bit.ly/32tAgkM
  2. Create an account and password as required.
  3. After a successful login, choose the appropriate language.
  4. Answer all the questions about your experience with the language or other languages.
  5. Read instructions, complete sample item, and begin test.
    The test should be completed without any outside assistance, books, or other materials
  6. The test takes approximately 20 minutes, depending on your level. Results will be displayed once the test is complete
    If your test session is interrupted and you have not completed the placement test, you must login again and enter your information exactly as you did when you started the test and then click Resume.
  7. Once completed, scores will also be visible to the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures. Students should print or download a copy for their records.
    * Students take the placement test only once. If taken multiple times, only the first score will be counted