Placement Exams

How do I enroll in a course and who needs to take the exam?

French or Spanish - Students are required to take a departmental placement exam before enrolling in a course, including those who have never studied the language before.  However, if a student has AP, SAT or IB credit, they do not need to take the department placement exam.

Catalan, Creole, Italian or Portuguese – Students with no prior experience can enroll directly into beginning level courses.  Students continuing their study of one of these languages should contact the Department for placement and course selection.

AP, SAT II or IB - Students who have already demonstrated language proficiency through national standardized assessments in any RLL language may be exempt from taking the placement exam.  Contact the department for course selection.

Transfer credits – Students transferring credits for coursework from another institution should contact the department.

How do I take the placement exam?

Important dates: Placement exams are to be complete no later than two weeks before registration begins.


            November 1 to register for Spring semester

            March 1 to register for Summer session

            April 1 to register for Fall semester

First-year students are strongly encouraged to take the exam in the summer prior to the start of the Fall semester of freshman year AND to enroll in a language course in their first semester.

French and Spanish placement exams are available on-line, the instructions are below. 

For additional questions, contact Professor Keith Schaefer, Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Online Placement Exam Instructions (WebCAPE 2.0/TrueNorth)

Before you begin:

  1.  Do not study for the placement exam.
  2.  Make sure you have a Notre Dame email.
  3.  You will need your Notre Dame student ID number.
  4.  Each language exam can be taken only once.
  5.  Since you are taking the exam on your own, the exam must represent your own work. It is also in your interest to work to the best of your ability.

Score and placement results are available immediately upon completion.

Please read the following instructions carefully and prior to starting the placement exam:

  1. Step 1: Click on exam link
  2. Step 2: Create an account
  3. Step 3: Log-in
  4. Step 4: Click on the exam
  5. Step 5: Complete the Pre-exam questionnaire
  6. Step 6: Begin exam
  7. Step 7: Contact Professor Keith Schaefer for placement questions, overrides and/or course approvals.

First-year students should also send their score report to their FY advisor.

Start your placement exam here.