Placement and Prior Learning

Because knowledge of a foreign language is such an important skill, students who studied French, German, or Spanish in high school and who hope to achieve greater fluency are strongly encouraged to continue studying that foreign language as college freshmen so that they strengthen their language proficiency and avoid losing knowledge previously attained. Students who wait until their sophomore or junior year to continue their foreign language study too often discover that they have unfortunately forgotten most of their language skills—skills they dedicated perhaps three or more years in high school developing.

On-line Placement Exams

Students who wish to continue their study of French, German, or Spanish may take a free online placement exam. The exam serves two functions: (1) it helps those students who desire to continue studying a foreign language begun in high school to ascertain the appropriate level or course in which to enroll at Augustana; and (2) it allows those students who studied a foreign language in high school but who do not wish to continue studying that foreign language at Augustana to attempt to place out of the one-year language competency requirement (Gen. Ed. area 3.4). 

Can I choose to study a language different from the one I started in high school?
Yes! Students can elect to try a new modern or classical language and can fulfill the General Education language requirement by completing Introduction to language I and II. Language selection might depend on personal interest, heritage, or career ambitions. Students with previous language experience who decide to try a new language are not required to take the online placement exam, but are nonetheless encouraged to begin their language study as freshman to afford time for a language minor or major should they so desire. Waiting until the sophomore or junior year to begin studying a foreign language might not allow students enough time to complete the requirements of a minor or major before graduation.

Important!
Students who place out of one or more language courses are ONLY eligible to obtain transcripted credit for those courses by taking and completing the course recommended by the MDFL placement exam, and paying a processing fee.  For more information visit the Academic Support Services page.

Additional Advice and Questions
Consult our MDFL brochure or Advising/FAQ sheet for additional information on selecting a foreign language and registering for the appropriate language level.

When and where do I take the placement exam and how much does it cost?
Students are informed about how and when to take the free on-line placement exams directly by the College.

Advanced Placement (AP) Exams

Augustana College awards credit and recommends placement to students who have achieved a score of 3 or higher on the French, German or Spanish language AP examination.  Visit the Academic Support Services page for additional information.

  • AP score of 5, students are placed, following a consultation with language faculty, into a 300-level course (preferably one of the conversation/composition courses). Students receive 3 credits for Beginning Language I and 3 credits for Beginning Language II. Students who complete the 300-level course indicated by the AP exam results with a grade of C- or better are eligible to receive 4 transcripted credits for Intermediate Language I and 4 transcripted credits for Intermediate Language II by paying a processing fee.
  • AP score of 4, students are placed into Intermediate Language II and receive 3 credits for Beginning Language I and 3 credits for Beginning Language II. Students who complete Intermediate Language II with a grade of C- or better are eligible to receive 4 transcripted credits for Intermediate Language I by paying a processing fee.
  • AP score of 3, students are placed into Intermediate Language I. Students who complete the course with a grade of C- or better are eligible to receive 3 transcripted credits for Beginning Language I and 3 transcripted credits for Beginning Language II by paying a processing fee.
  • AP score of less than 3, students take Augustana College's free on-line placement exam to finalize appropriate placement. Students who place into a course higher than Beginning Language I are eligible to receive transcripted credits for lower-level courses if they complete the course indicated by the replacement exam results with a grade of C- or better and pay a processing fee.