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FOCUS 2022 Language Placement

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A tool, not a test

The placement tool is used to ensure you begin your language studies at the right level. You will feel more comfortable transitioning to college if you start in the right class. Wherever you place, you will have lots of support — your professor, peers, as well as the Language Resource Center.

  • If you have technical difficulties taking the exam, contact the exam administrator.
  • If you have questions about language studies, contact the section head for your language.
  • The links for the placement tool are in the yellow box below.

Why take your first language class early?

The most helpful advice we can give you is to take your first language class early, in your first year.

  • Starting early opens up opportunities for scholarships and study abroad!
  • If you begin your first year, you can learn quickly how easily you can combine language studies with other majors.
  • Students who have studied a language in high school and take the same language in college right away do better than students who wait a year or two.
  • Students who advance in their language studies may be eligible for Phi Beta Kappa membership or a Fulbright award.
  • After completing the course into which you place, you may also earn extra credits (retroactive credit) for some of the courses you skipped over with a high placement score.

What’s next?

FOCUS students will take the exam from home before coming to June FOCUS.

The exam remains open throughout the summer. Before taking a specific placement exam, answer this question:

Have you previously studied this language?

DO TAKE the placement exam in this language if:
– You have taken this language in a traditional high school or junior high/middle school class
– You have studied this language through homeschooling
– You speak this language at home or with family
• CLICK THE LINK BELOW

Chinese

French

German

Japanese

Spanish

Note: Certain language courses may not be available every semester or every year.

DO NOT TAKE the placement exam in this language if:
– You have never been exposed to this language
– You have only studied this language independently using software
• REGISTER FOR 101 (the first semester course).

The use of outside assistance of any kind is prohibited when taking the Language Placement Exam. This includes assistance obtained through electronic or other means such as websites, dictionaries, textbooks, other individuals, etc. It would be to your disadvantage to use outside assistance since doing so might place you into a higher class for which you would not be properly prepared. Moreover, using outside assistance would also be a violation of the Valparaiso University Honor Code:

“I have neither given or received nor have I tolerated others’ use of unauthorized aid.”
WHO SHOULD TAKE THE EXAM?

Any student who is thinking of studying a language previously studied in high school should take the exam, regardless of the language requirements for the student’s chosen major.

IS THERE A FEE TO TAKE THE EXAM?

No.

MAY I TAKE AN EXAM IN MORE THAN ONE LANGUAGE?

Yes.

MAY I TAKE THE EXAM MORE THAN ONCE IN A GIVEN LANGUAGE?

Yes. We will look at any available scores when determining your placement. We generally use your highest score when determining your placement.

MAY I USE OUTSIDE ASSISTANCE WHEN TAKING THE EXAM?

The use of outside assistance of any kind is prohibited when taking the placement exam. This includes assistance obtained through electronic or other means such as websites, dictionaries, textbooks, other individuals, etc. It would be to your disadvantage to use outside assistance since doing so might place you into a higher course for which you would not be properly prepared. Moreover, using outside assistance would also be a violation of the Valparaiso University Honor Code: “I have neither given or received nor have I tolerated others’ use of unauthorized aid.”

WHAT IF I PLAN TO START A NEW LANGUAGE AT VU?

If you plan to study a new language at VU (one that you did not study in high school), you do not need to take the exam for that language. You should consult with a faculty member within your major or the General Catalog to find out the General Education requirements for your degree program

I WANT TO TAKE A LANGUAGE CLASS FOR ELECTIVE CREDIT (JUST FOR FUN!) AND NOT BECAUSE MY DEGREE HAS A LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT. DO I STILL NEED TO TAKE THE EXAM?

Yes.

WHAT IF I EXPERIENCE TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES OR HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS?

Contact the exam administrator.

HOW CAN I FIND OUT IF MY MAJOR HAS A LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT?

You should consult with a faculty member within your major to find out the General Education requirements for your degree program.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO EARN RETROACTIVE CREDIT?

Yes! If you place into 203 and then take and pass the course, you will earn 4 credits for 203 & 4 additional retroactive credits for 102. If you place into 204 or higher & then take and pass the course, you will earn 4 credits for the course & 8 retroactive additional credits for 102 & 203. More details available in the Undergraduate Catalog.