Placement Test Information

Placement and exemption tests during Covid-19 response 

Spanish, French and German placement tests are available online. Go to Moodle and select the Language Placement Test or click here: Language Placement Tests

Placement tests for Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Latin, and Arabic; and exemption exams for all languages---including languages not offered at Oxy---will not be offered this semester. We apologize for the inconvenience. Thank you for your understanding. If you have any questions, please email Yovanna Cifuentes-Goodbody at mcifuentes@oxy.edu

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Fulfillment of the Core Language Requirement

Core Language Requirements are outlined in the college catalog. Some majors or minors, such as languages, Diplomacy and World Affairs, as well as some programs to study abroad, may have additional requirements.

Language Placement

You must take a placement exam if:

  • you have taken more than one quarter in college or more than one year in high school (grades 10-12)

  • you have participated in after-school or weekend language programs; or

  • you have extensive background in but no formal training in a language.

If you fall into any of the categories above, you must take the placement exam before you can register into the appropriate class. However, if you are going to begin study of a language you have never taken previously, you don’t need to take a placement test.

Language Placement for Spanish, French, and German:

To take the online placement test follow the instructions below. After completing the placement exam online you can log in to my.oxy.edu and view your result and placement under the Academics tab.

Instructions (For Spanish, French, or German only):  

  • Make sure you have a username to login onto campus email and computer systems (consult your frosh orientation packet or contact Information and Technology Services)

  • Go to Moodle and select the Language Placement Test or click here: Language Placement Tests

  • Read the instructions carefully, and make sure you have a full hour ahead of you. The test must be taken in one sitting.

Language Placement for Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Latin, and Arabic:

Language placement for these languages is not available online. Please contact Yovanna Cifuentes-Goodbody at mcifuentes@oxy.edu for more information on how to take the exam.

SAT II and AP Scores for Placement

Students who have taken an SAT II or AP exam may be able to use their score for placement instead of taking Occidental's placement exam. Please note that the official AP or SAT II test scores must be received by Occidental from the testing agency before you can be registered in the relevant course.

Language

Place in 201

Place in 202
Spanish

AP 4;

SAT II 560 or above

AP 5;

SAT II 690 or above

French

AP 4;

SAT II 560 or above

AP 5;

SAT II 690 or above

German

AP 4;

SAT II 550 or above

AP 5;

SAT II 680 or above

Chinese

AP 4;

SAT II w/Listening 550 or above

AP 5;

SAT II w/Listening 680 or above

Japanese

AP 4;

SAT II w/Listening 540 or above

AP 5;

SAT II w/Listening 670 or above

    Language Exemption

    You can fulfill the Occidental College language requirement in different ways, listed below. However, we encourage you to begin study of another language or to continue language study regardless of your proficiency level. Research shows that being bilingual facilitates third language acquisition. At the same time, continued language study will help you avoid attrition of foreign language skills. Oxy is committed to help you take advantage of your already gained language skills and explore ways to maintain them or advance them.  

    Exemption exams for French, Spanish and German:

    You must take the online placement test and place in 201 or higher in order to be eligible to take the exemption test. If you are planning on continuing this language at Oxy, you do not need to take the exemption exam. However, if you cannot complete the 201 or 202 class please contact Yovanna Cifuentes-Goodbody at mcifuentes@oxy.edu to schedule an exemption test.

    Note: Online placement test and exemption test for Spanish, French and German are two separate tests.  

    Exemption exams for Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Latin and Arabic:

    Placement test and exemption test for these languages are conducted at the same time. Please contact Yovanna Cifuentes-Goodbody at mcifuentes@oxy.edu for more information on how to take the exam.

    SAT II and AP scores for Exemption 

    Students who earned an Advanced Placement test score of 4 or above on a language exam are exempt from the language requirement.

    Students who earned an appropriate Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) II score can be exempt from the language requirement. SAT II scores required for French, Spanish, and Latin: 560 or above; German and Chinese: 550 or above; Japanese: 540 or above; or 560 for other languages. 

    Please note that the official AP or SAT II test scores must be sent to the Registrar's office.

    Exemption exams for languages not offered at Oxy

    For some languages not taught at Occidental, students may demonstrate proficiency by taking the ACTFL oral proficiency interview (OPI) and the writing proficiency test (WPT) in the languages currently available. Please contact Yovanna Cifuentes-Goodbody at mcifuentes@oxy.edu about demonstrating proficiency via ACTFL.

    Exemption policy for international students

    International students whose language of education has been in a language other than English and who have completed six years of elementary education or more in a foreign language are exempt from the foreign language requirement. Such students should contact the chair of one of the foreign language departments to confirm their fulfillment of the foreign language requirement.

    Results and Registration Information

    For all test results and registration into language classes, please contact the Registrar's Office. Please allow 2 business days for your placement/exemption score to be processed and for it to show up on your my.oxy.edu account.