Placement Testing

All incoming first-year students are expected to take a foreign language placement test in the language they used for admission to the University (i.e., the student who has studied French for three years in high school will take the French placement test). The procedures for taking these tests are described in this section, and the test should take an average of fifteen minutes.  If you do not take the placement test in a language you studied in high school, you will not be able to enroll in that language at Washington and Lee. If you perform poorly on the placement test, you may be excluded from studying the language tested.


If you have pursued more than one language in high school and wish to continue to study both languages, you may take more than one placement test, otherwise you should take the placement test in the language you plan to study at Washington and Lee.

If you wish to take a new language in which you have no previous background or which you did not study formerly in high school, you should still take the placement exam for the language you previously studied, but you may, of course, change languages. Starting from scratch with a new language requires 4 semesters of study to fulfill FDR FL. To start a language as a beginner, please contact the Department Head of that department.

Placement Information for Chinese and Japanese

Placement Testing for German

Placement Testing for Romance Languages

Placement Testing for Classics