Language Placement Information

 Language Placement Test at USA

The Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literature recommends that all students with prior language training (in high school or through other means) complete a placement test if they intend to continue studying a foreign language at the University of South Alabama. The purpose of testing is diagnostic: it assesses students' current language abilities in order to match them to the course most suitable for that level.

Please note:

-The placement test is only available for French, German, and Spanish and should be taken online prior to the beginning of the semester.

-The cost is $20 and a student can save money by placing out of any level of a language.

-Taking a placement test and placing out of the first year of any language does not fulfill the Arts and Sciences Language Requirement.

-Should a student place out of any semester of a language, they must complete the next semester in the sequence with a grade of ‘C’ or better to receive retroactive credit for upto 2  previous semesters. For example, if a student places into LG 231 they must pass that course with a grade of ‘C’ or better to receive credit for LG 131 and 132. That equals 9 credit hours for the price of 3.

-If a student has no prior experience with the language, there is no need to take a placement test. Enroll in the first semester of the first-year sequence.

-If a student has even minimal experience with the language and believes they should start at the very beginning, they should still consider taking the placement test as it can be a great benefit to the student. Should a student place out of any class, it is an opportunity to save money and receive credit.

Step-by-step Instructions for Language Placement Testing

1. Students must access the assessment through this online store. Click here to access the assessment. Please, be sure to select USA.

2. Select the correct language from the three options (if there are more than three options (French, German, and Spanish) you may not be in the correct area of the website).

3. You will be prompted to pay via credit/debit card. (Note: South Alabama utilizes a third-party company for testing purposes and cannot assist students with any payment issues related to this particular assessment. Please, contact the online store with any payment questions/issues.)

4. You will see a screen with a receipt and the instructions to email a copy of that receipt or the one emailed to you to the following email: with the subject line “Language Placement Exam”.

5. Send a copy of your e-receipt to with “Language Placement Exam” as the subject line to receive a test code. Be sure to send the email from your Jagmail account and to include your legal name and J# in the body of the email. The testing administrator in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literature will respond within 72 hours.

6. The coordinator of assessment will send you detailed instructions and a testing code. This is good for a one-time testing instance and you will not receive a refund for any reason. You have 72 hours to complete the assessment.

7. Once the assessment is complete, external graders will grade it and results will be sent to the assessment coordinator within 3-5 business days. Only after that time will results be made available to the student.

8. The assessment coordinator will email your results and suggested course in which to enroll. Please, do not contact the coordinator of assessment asking about results unless it has been more than 5 business days.

9. You will be given any necessary overrides and you may then register for the proper course. Any questions about courses should be directed to the heads of the respective languages and not to the assessment coordinator or the office staff.

Exemption Through Proficiency Test 

Students who have attained written and oral language proficiency at the ACTFL advanced-mid level or higher in a language other than English can request to be exempted from the CAS two-semester foreign language requirement. This exemption, which may be granted at the discretion of the Chair of Modern and Classical Languages and Literature (MCLL), will not reduce the total number of hours required to graduate and the student will need to replace these 6 hours with other courses.

Make an appointment with the Chair of MCLL (251-460-6291, HUMB 322) to assure that the correct assessment is taken and valid.  If there is not an exam in the language that the student wishes to use for the exemption, then the student will need to take 6 hours of a language offered at the University of South Alabama.