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College of Arts and Sciences

Language Placement Test FAQ

Do I have to take a language placement test?

The language requirement varies depending on your college and/or major, as well as if you brought in any language credits from AP courses or as a transfer student.* Your score on the placement test will determine how you fulfill the requirement according to the differing criteria per each college/major. The Global Learning Center can help clarify any questions about what you need to do.

If you are a bilingual/native speaker of any language and you have a certificate of proficiency/bilingualism, you can use that in lieu of the placement test. This applies to languages taught at Seton Hall as well as those not taught here. If you don’t have an existing certification, you can take an approved test; depending on the language, it may be at your own cost. See this section below for more information.

* If you are transferring into Seton Hall or you want to apply AP credits, do not take the language placement test until after those have been processed, and then only if you still require language courses once they have been applied to your transcript.

When should I take the language placement test?

The test can take up to a week in business days to be scored, especially during peak demand times (e.g., Freshman Orientation). You cannot get your results the same day you take the placement test. If you're starting, for example, in the fall, try to take it at least 2–3 weeks before orientation so you can register during orientation. If you're coming in during another semester, take it as soon as possible upon starting at Seton Hall.*

Remember, you can't take the placement test and expect to know your placement the same or the next day, so plan ahead and get an early start. Please note: After you receive your score, it takes one more day to post to your profile (sometimes three days if it is processed on a Friday), so you cannot register the same day you receive your score.

* You should plan to take your language courses as early as possible in your university career. Don’t get stuck senior year with an unfulfilled language requirement that could delay your graduation!

What if I think I've been placed into the wrong level course?

The placement test measures your ability in the language at the time you take it. The test scores correlate with the curriculum of each level, so your placement is based on how your experience and ability in the language match the scope and sequence of the class material, regardless of the level’s name or number.

To support students’ language learning, Peer-Assisted Language Support (PALS) program for conversation practice with native or advanced speakers of the languages they’re studying.

It is not possible to retake the language placement test; students must enroll in the course/level they placed into.*

* Students who take the test and then don’t take language classes until a year or so later must still register for the level they originally placed into. Take advantage of tutoring and the PALS program to quickly get back up to speed.

I heard that I can waive the language. Is that right?

Students are not allowed to "waive" the language requirement. Some degrees/colleges allow students to satisfy the language requirement by placing into certain levels. These levels differ for the various schools and majors.

Students do not earn credits for using the placement test to satisfy the language requirement. Anyone who uses their result to satisfy the requirement still has to meet their degree program’s minimum number of credits for graduation. Eligible replacement courses depend on your major. Speak with your advisor to ensure you take the right courses to complete your degree requirements.*

* If you switch majors, the language requirement might change, even if you already satisfied it under your old major. (See below for more information.)

Important: Going this route is not an automatic process. Students who want to use their placement to satisfy the language requirement must request it from the Global Learning Center Director. We will confirm if it is possible or not depending on your school, major, and language placement test results. If approved, we will initiate the process to advise the appropriate offices.

Please note that the language requirement is not reflected as “Met” on your transcript until you complete all the substitute courses and your advisor submits the paperwork to the Registrar’s office for processing.

I have prior experience in a language not taught at Seton Hall. What should I do?

Students who have bilingual proficiency in another language can provide certified documentation* in place of the language placement test. This proof of proficiency/bilingualism can be used to satisfy the requirement entirely, or you can choose to study a new language beginning at the Elementary/Introductory 1 level. Contact the Global Learning Center to submit a certification and discuss your options.**

* Accepted certificates include the Avant Seal of Biliteracy, ACTFL OPI Certificate, other recognized language/cultural organizations’ certifications of proficiency, etc., in consultation with the Global Learning Center.

** If you don’t have a certificate, contact the Global Learning Center to discuss what options are available for taking a proficiency test in your language of choice. The results might allow you to fulfill your degree program’s requirement in the same way as students who place out of a language that is taught here.

What if I want to study a different language than the one I studied previously?

We love when students want to study multiple languages! You can choose from any of the languages offered through the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Ancient Greek, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian, or Spanish. Check out the course offerings in the catalogue and register for Beginner/Elementary 1 of the new language of your choice.

You could also consider a second major or a minor in the old or new language, or look into the options for a cultural degree or certification in Asian Studies, Italian Studies, Latin American and Latino/Latina Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, and Russian and East European Studies. There are many possibilities to consider for expanding your primary degree to include authentic language and cultural studies. Your resume will thank you.

What happens with my language requirement if I change majors?

Please be aware: If you switch majors, your language requirement could change too, regardless of any language courses you’ve already taken.

For example: You were doing a B.S. and you completed Elementary 1 & 2 or placed into Intermediate 1 and satisfied the requirement. If you switch to a B.A., you now have to take Intermediate 1 and complete through Intermediate 2 in order to fulfill the requirement.

This can also occur with transfer students, since how many courses you might need in languages depends on what credits transfer over with you from your previous school(s). It also would apply to Nursing majors who study ASL and then switch out of Nursing. (See the next item below.)

Is ASL accepted for all majors?

Nursing is the only college at Seton Hall University that accepts American Sign Language (ASL) for the language requirement. If you take ASL while pursuing a Nursing degree and then switch majors, you might have to take more language courses to satisfy the requirement for your new major.

How do I take the language placement test?

The placement tests for Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin,* and Spanish are online. Instructions on how to access each language test can be accessed through your graduating class’s organization/community in Canvas (see image below) OR here.