Spanish Language Placement Exam

Who needs to take the exam?

Students who have not taken SAT II, AP, British A level or IB exam scores must take the Department Placement exam if they wish to continue with their Spanish studies at Dartmouth.  If you have never studied Spanish before but wish to start now, you don't need to take the placement test.

Make sure to read through the information below before taking the test.


Placement Exam Information

Please read all of the following information carefully, before taking the online exam.

The exam is offered online for incoming first year students from Aug 3 - Sep 7.

The score you receive will indicate the course for which you should register. All students who place out of Spanish 3 on the placement exam will be required to take an oral exam on campus during fall orientation. There will be a make-up exam, date and location TBA.

The placement exam is only for students who are enrolled at Dartmouth and who have not yet fulfilled the language requirement. If you are not enrolled at Dartmouth, your exam will not be evaluated. If you do not fill out the introductory survey your exam will not be evaluated.

What Is the Exam Like?

The online placement exam is a series of multiple-choice questions focusing on vocabulary, grammar and reading comprehension which takes anywhere from 20-40 minutes. Please note that the exam is not time-limited. If you need additional time to complete the test and the session closes, you will able to log back in again and continue your exam. The introductory survey must be completed in order for the exam to be evaluated.

Placement Results

The score you receive on the exam corresponds to our Department’s offerings; you should register for the course indicated on the online exam when you have finished. The Department does not recommend taking the exam more than once. Any student who takes the exam more than once will be notified by the Language Program Director to enroll in the course which corresponds to the first score registered. Students will be able to access their placement information on BannerStudent after September 10. Students should register for the indicated course during registration. Any student who exempts out of SPAN 3 on this exam will be required to complete an oral exam before classes start. If you have questions regarding placement information, please e-mail the Spanish Language Program Director.

The Dartmouth College Academic Honor Principle

The Spanish language placement exam is to be completed in accordance with the provisions set forth in the Dartmouth College Academic Honor Principle. Every student who applies to and is accepted by Dartmouth College, as a condition of acceptance, agrees to abide by the provisions of the Honor Principle, so long as he or she remains a student at Dartmouth College.

The following important section is taken from the Dartmouth College ORC:

Examinations. Any student giving or receiving assistance during an examination or quiz violates the Academic Honor Principle.

The student is therefore expected to complete the Spanish placement exam individually, without help from others or from a reference source, and to complete it to the best of his/her ability. When taking the Placement Exam, you automatically accept and re-affirm your pledge to abide by the Academic Honor Principle of Dartmouth College.

How to Take the Online Exam

Follow this link  to take the Spanish Department Placement Exam.

Once you have completed the exam, click finished. You will see your results in the form of a number, which corresponds to a Spanish course:

  • Below 350 Sem 1 = SPAN 1
  • 351 to 475 Sem 2 = SPAN 2
  • 476 to 600 Sem 3 = SPAN 3
  • Above 600 EXEMPT = Fulfilled language requirement/SPAN 9, pending oral proficiency assessment.

If you need to see the results of the exam again log back into the exam, fill in the top part of the survey as you did when you took the exam, and then press the resume button. (This process also works if the exam is interrupted—as long as you have answered at least one question.)
Students will be able to access their placement information on Banner Student after September 10. The "place into" course indicates the course in which should enroll, if you choose to continue with Spanish. The online exam is calculated into this course indication.

Make-up Online Placement Exam for First-Year Students

  • Day: TBD
  • Time: TBD
  • Place: TBD