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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures


FAQ

Frequently asked Questions
 
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How do I register to take an exam?  Please register via our placement registration webpage at http://artsandsciences.sc.edu/dllc/placement/registration.html

How long does it take to complete the exam?   Although the French, German and Spanish Phase I exams are not timed, most students complete these exams in approximately 30 minutes.   The Phase II exams in French, German and Spanish, if required, can take an additional hour to complete.

Placement exams in Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese and Russian take approximately one hour to complete.

What is the format of the placement exam?  This depends on your language.  French, German and Spanish have two phases to their placement exams.  The Phase I Exam is an online multiple choice, adaptive assessment tool which takes testing items from a pool of thousands of questions.  Most students will only need to take this portion of the exam.  However, students with more extensive experience in the language and who score high enough on the first phase will need to take our Phase II exam which consists of both writing and oral proficiency sections.

The Chinese, Italian, and Latin placement exams are electronic multiple-choice tests.

The Arabic, Japanese, Portuguese, and Russian exams are traditional paper/pencil exams with a variety of one word, short answer, and free response questions.

How do I reschedule an existing appointment to take a placement exam.  Please email your request to flplace@mailbox.sc.edu.  Once your original appointment has been canceled, you will be permitted to register for a new testing date/time.

I would like to register to take the placement exam in more than one language.  Please register for one exam via our placement registration webpage.   After receiving confirmation of your first exam, send an email to flplace@mailbox.sc.edu requesting that the other languages be manually added to your registration information.

Do I have to take Phase II if I score 4 on the French, German or Spanish Phase I exam? Yes. A 4 on the Phase I French, German or Spanish placement exam only indicates that you have qualified for the second part of the placement exam. You are required to take the Phase II test in order to receive a permanent score for your records.  A 4 on the Phase I exam can neither exempt you from your College's GFL requirement nor can it place you into our skills-based foreign language curriculum.

When will I get the results of my placement exam?  Students who only need to take the French, German, Spanish Phase I exam, as well as students who take the Chinese, Italian, and Latin placement exams will receive their scores immediately upon completion of the exam.  

Results for the French, German, and Spanish Phase II exams, as well as the Arabic, Japanese, Portuguese, and Russian exams may take up to two weeks to return and be processed.  Once scores are available, you can find your score on SelfService Caroina at my.sc.edu .

What are the benefits of doing well on the Placement Exam and receiving a high score (advanced standing)?
You may have satisfied the foreign language requirement for any college at USC. Then, if you take one of the qualifying upper-level language courses and earn at least a B, you may be eligible for up to seven hours of "advanced standing" credit (for 121 and 122).

I have an AP score of 3 or higher in a language what should I do? Even though the University of South Carolina has a policy on placement for AP language scores we highly recommend that you take the placement Exam since it is geared towards our curriculum. Traditionally students place higher than what the University placement policy recommends. The University test gives you a chance to begin your sequence of study at a higher level and complete the core requirement sooner or get to your minor or major credits in the chosen language faster.

Can I take the Placement Test more than once and use the better score? No. A student may take the Placement Test only once: a second score in the same language is not valid. The results of the Placement Test are binding for five (5) years; that is, a student may not take a course at a lower level than his/her proficiency score indicates. 

I have already taken a foreign language course at USC.  Can I now take the placement exam to attempt to exempt my College's GFL requirement?  No.  Once a student begins a foreign language course sequence on a USC campus, he/she is no longer eligible to take the placement exam in that language.

Can I take American Sign Language to fulfill my language requirement? No. The University of South Carolina does not accept American Sign Language as a foreign language.

Can I place myself in a different level than what the placement score indicates? No. You will not be allowed to stay in a class that is not appropriate for your score. Should you feel that your class is too easy after a class or two you need to talk to your instructor to work out a resolution.

I took the placement test several years ago. Can I take it again? If you took the Placement Exam more than 5 years ago you have two choices- You can take the test again or you may choose to start your sequence of study at the beginning level.  Once you begin a foreign language course sequence, however, you are no longer permitted to take the placement exam in that language.

How long is my score valid? Your score is valid for 5 years.

What does my score mean? Go here for a detailed answer.

I want to study a language different from the one I studied in high school. What do I need to do? You may begin the study of another foreign language at USC. Once your completed Form to Request Exemption from the Placement Exam has been approved, you will then be permitted to register for the introductory-level course in the language. You do not have to take a placement test in that language first. 

If you want to study a language other than the one you studied in high school but would like to start that language at a level other than beginning you will need to take a placement test for that language.

I want to use a language that is not offered at USC to fulfill my language requirement. What do I need to do? Please email your request to flplace@mailbox.sc.edu.   

 

For questions not addressed here, please contact a placement coordinator by emailing flplace@mailbox.sc.edu or calling 803-777-0816.