Placement Testing for Romance Languages

Italian and Portuguese

If you studied Italian or Portuguese in high school and wish to continue in that language, you will be placed through advising and consultation with the Department of Romance Languages upon arriving on campus in the fall. If you studied French or Spanish in high school and wish to begin the study of Italian or Portuguese, you must take the placement test in the language you studied in high school.

French and Spanish

Note:  The purpose of the placement test is to place entering students only. Enrolled students must meet with language faculty to determine placement into 161 or 164.

Incoming students wishing to take the French or Spanish placement test must do so between June 15 - July 31, 2018. Detailed instructions and test access are provided below.

Should you require assistance with testing procedures or should you encounter any difficulty in taking either the French or Spanish test, please contact one ;of the following individuals:

Help is available to you between the hours of 9 AM - 4 PM EDT Monday through Friday during the testing period. If at all possible, schedule your testing time in conjunction with the times that assistance is available.

Remember that you are on your honor when you take this on-line placement test. The test must be taken in one sitting (normally about fifteen minutes), and assistance of any kind (books, dictionaries, on-line glossaries, help from others - except the three individuals listed above) is absolutely forbidden. You may take the test only once. More on the Washington and Lee Honor System.

After completing your placement test you receive points, a raw score, which W&L uses to place you into the appropriate level language class. Course recommendations from your test results will be posted to your Self-Service Student Planning account in early August. In your Student Planning 'Test Summary' screen, the placement score posted matches the recommended foreign language course number. For example, a test summary  French score of 161, means that your raw score recommends registration for FREN 161.  More information about interpreting your placement scores and registration recommendations can be found at

Please see the flowchart with registration recommendations for students who wish to complete their language FDR with French, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish at

Good luck, and we wish you great success as you enter Washington and Lee University.

Testing Instructions

  1. Read these instructions in their entirety before you start the placement test. If the instructions are not fully clear to you, feel free to contact one of the three names above prior to taking the test.
  2. A user name is not required when you begin the testing process; however, you will be required to enter a password in order to pass through the gateway.  The password is test.
  3. Once the password is typed, click on login.
  4. Select your language (French or Spanish). Click begin.
  5. Type in required information as specified here -- First Name (no nicknames), Last Name, and Email Address. No other information is needed. Look to the right on the information screen, and note RESUME instructions for actions to take if the test is interrupted for any reason.
  6. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click continue.
  7. Read the provided instructions very carefully. DO NOT USE THE BACK BUTTON AT ANY TIME DURING THE TEST.
  8. Complete the practice question. Select your answer using your mouse. Click on submit answer.
  9. Now you are ready to start the actual test. Review carefully the instructions provided for each question before reading the question and answer choices.
  10. Questions will stop automatically, and this means the test is over.
  11. At this point you will see a screen that has the following type of information:
    • Name: YOUR NAME
    • ID Number: (blank)
    • Started: 12:35 PM Sat 30 Jun 2018
    • Ended: 12:56 PM Sat 30 Jun 2018
    • Duration: 0 hours 21 minutes
    • Points: 438
  12. Make note of the points. These points are a raw score which the Department of Romance Languages also receives and will use for placing you at the appropriate level.
  13. Scroll down and click on finished. The raw score data will now be transferred to WLU and compiled.
  14. If you fail to click on finished, no valid raw score will be submitted.
  15. After reading all the above instructions, go to WebCape to begin the testing process.

Additional Information

Should you require assistance with testing procedures, email or call 540-458-8995 for help.