Interactive Tool and FAQ

Still have questions? Please browse the FAQ below:

  1. I took a few classes in high school, but I may have to go back to the 101 level.
  2. I can't take a language right away. I may have to wait a few semesters or even a few years. When should I take the exam?
  3. What do I need to do to complete the language requirement at Gustavus?
  4. I want to complete the language requirement in a language that Gustavus does not teach. What should I do?
  5. I want to take a language other than French, German, and Spanish. Do I take an exam?
  6. Who should take the placement exam?
  7. I have college credit but still have questions about placement.
  8. When should I take the placement exam?
  9. How many times can I take the placement exam?
  10. How do I prepare for the placement exam?
  11. How long will it take me to take the placement exam?
  12. What should I do if I experience technical problems?
  13. When will I know how I scored?
  14. ATTENTION FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS!
  15. How do I take the placement exam?
  16. I am having trouble registering for classes online, what should I do?

I took a few classes in high school, but I may have to go back to the 101 level (FRE 101/GER 101/SPA 101).

You still have to take the placement exam. If you need to go back to the 101 level, your exam will reflect this fact.

However, if you took three years or more of French, German, or Spanish in high school, you cannot register for FRE 101, GER 101, SPA 101, no matter what your placement score is.

Please know that your transcript will be checked against the class list during the first week of class. If you have more than three years of high school course work, you will be removed from the class rolls. Warning: You will need to add a course to be sure you have full-time status

(Go to link for Who Should Take the placement exam.) FAQ FAQ

 

I can't take a language right away. I may have to wait a few semesters or even a few years. When should I take the exam?

Wait to take the placement exam the semester you register for the language course at Gustavus. The exam will then more accurately reflect your level.

If you have questions about your placement contact you may contact Shannon Cannella for Chinese, Dr. Laurent Dechery for French, and Pat Branstad for German. For Spanish please email both Dr. María Isabel Kalbermatten and Dr. Ana Adams. FAQ FAQ

 

What do I need to do to complete the language requirement at Gustavus?

  • Curriculum I students must pass the beginning sequence in a language (the first two courses) or demonstrate equivalency.
  • 3 Crowns Curriculum students are required to complete a language through the third semester equivalent (FRE-201, GER-201, GRE-201, JPN-201, LAT-201, RUS-201, SPA-103, or SWE-201) or demonstrate equivalency.
  • Phi Beta Kappa students will need a total of four semesters of foreign language or equivalent.

    We encourage you to deepen your knowledge of a language by taking additional courses beyond the graduation requirement. If you have previous experience in another language taught at Gustavus, a simple placement exam will let you know where to start in the sequence possibly taking intermediate or advanced courses with different cultural focuses. Take a look at the many language options offered at Gustavus and consider starting the study of a new language.

FAQ FAQ

I want to complete the language requirement in a language that Gustavus does not teach. What should I do?

To demonstrate proficiency in a language which Gustavus does not teach and for which we do not have an existing examination protocol, non-international students whose first language is not English may obtain a letter, on letterhead stationery, from a respected member of the community who speaks the language.  This might be a leader in a community organization, a church leader, someone who teaches the language to younger members of the community, or a supervisor with whom the student has worked.  This individual should write a letter verifying that the student can both speak and has proficiency in either reading or writing the language.  The writer of the letter should indicate in what connection he or she has known the student and how they know of the student’s language proficiency.  The student’s Gustavus ID number should be included in the letter, which can be sent to the Registrar, Gustavus Adolphus College, 800 West College Avenue, St. Peter, MN 56082.  Members of the Language Task Force will evaluate the evidence and make a determination about whether the student has met the language requirement. FAQ FAQ

 

I want to take a language OTHER THAN FRENCH, GERMAN, AND SPANISH. Do I take an exam?

If you have had previous experience in Chinese, Russian or Japanese, you can confirm your placement by contacting Shannon Cannella for Chinese, Dr. Denis Crnkovic for Russian or Dr. Toshiyuki Sakuragi for Japanese. 

Guidelines for provisional registration in Russian or Japanese: 

  • 1 year of high school – 101
  • 2 years of high school – 102
  • 3 years of high school – 201
  • 4 years of high school – 202
    If you qualify for 102 or 202, you will wait until spring semester when they are offered.

If you have had previous experience in Latin, Greek, or Swedish, you can contact Dr. Matt Panciera for Latin and Greek or Dr. Kjerstin Moody for Swedish. FAQ FAQ


Who should I take the placement exam?

Students who have had any previous high school experience in Chinese, French, German, or Spanish, and would like to continue the study of this language at Gustavus must take the placement exam.

Students with no previous experience in the language they wish to study DO NOT take the placement exam. These students will register for the beginner-level classes (French 101, German 101 or Spanish 101). Your high school transcript will be used to verify your registration. If you encounter difficulties registering for the 101 level online, please contact the Registrar's Offfice.FAQ FAQ


I have college credit but still have questions about placement.

Students bringing in college credit (College in the Schools, AP, IB [higher level exams], PSEO) should NOT take the placement exam; they should take the next level for which they received credit. If you took College level or AP Spanish and have any questions about placement, contact Pat Branstad for German, Dr. Laurent Dechery for French, and please email both Dr. María Isabel Kalbermatten and Dr. Ana Adams for Spanish. For other languages contact an instructor of that language. You may also contact the Registrar's Office if you have questions about your placement. FAQ FAQ


When should I take the placement exam?

Students can take the placement exam and subsequent language class(es) at any time during their time at Gustavus. However, they are encouraged to take the language placement exam and classes in their first year at Gustavus in order to take advantage of and to keep building upon previous second language experience.

As a general rule, you should not take the placement exam until the semester you register for the language class, so that the results will be accurate. However, you should take the placement exam prior to your freshman registration:

a. If you plan to continue Chinese, French, German, or Spanish your first fall and have not completed post-secondary options (college) coursework in the language.

b. If you are planning to major in French or Spanish and have not completed post-secondary options (college) coursework in the language.

Attention First-Year Students!
No tests will be given on campus June 30 - July 2. If you would like to take a language course your first semester, please take the online placement exam at least one week in advance of speaking with an advisor to register--whether by phone or on campus.

You should NOT take this exam prior to your first-year student registration at Gustavus:

a. If you think you can demonstrate equivalency in French, German, or Spanish and have not completed post-secondary options (college) coursework in the language. In this case, you will need to take the on-campus equivalency exam. Check the equivalency page for dates.

b. If you plan to fulfill the requirement with a language other than French, German, or Spanish.

c. If you want to take Chinese, French, German, or Spanish later, not during your first semester at Gustavus.

d. If you want to begin a new language. In this case, you should register at the beginning level (101) of the new foreign language you wish to study.

e. If you scored 4 or above on an Advanced Placement foreign language exam, the higher level exam of the IB, or have received college credit. In this case, should take the next level for which you received credit. (See section: Who should take the placement exam?) Pleae contact the Registrar if you have questions about placement.

FAQ FAQ


How many times can I take the placement exam?

The language placement exam can only be taken ONCE for the same languageFAQ FAQ


How do I prepare for the placement exam?

You don't need to study for this exam. Doing so, will result in incorrect placement.
You will not know all the answers since the exam covers all language levels.  Simply answer the questions to the best of your knowledge.

You must do the exam by yourself and must not use a dictionary or any other help as it will skew your score, resulting in incorrect placement.  FAQ FAQ


How long will it take me to take the placement exam?

The exam is timed and will take about 20 minutes.  Plan well so you are able to complete it without interruptions. FAQ FAQ


What should I do if I experience technical problems?

You MUST contact Jenny Tollefson if you experience technical difficulties and are unable to complete the exam.  She can also answer questions about computer access, the exam, and exam results. FAQ FAQ


When will I know how I scored?

Your placement exam will be scored immediately and will let you know what course to register for. Send a copy of the results to your email and archive it in a save folder for reference during your college career.
For incoming first-year student only: Your registration advisor will use this score to help you register for your fall courses if you wish to continue your study of French, German, or Spanish. 


Attention First-Year Students!

No exams will be given on campus June 30 - July 2. If you would like to take a language course your first semester, please take the online placement exam at least one week in advance of speaking with an advisor to register--whether by phone or on campus. FAQ FAQ


How do I take the placement exam?

Important things you should know before you take the placement exam:

  • The placement exam is for placement into language courses only. If you wish to prove equivalency (test out) you will need to take the on-campus equivalency exam.
  • The language placement exam can only be taken ONCE for the same language. 
  • You MUST NOT study for this exam. Doing so, will result in incorrect placement.
  • You will not know all the answers since the exam covers all language levels.  Simply answer the questions to the best of your knowledge.
  • You must do the exam by yourself and must not use a dictionary or any other help as it will skew your score, resulting in incorrect placement.
  • You may complete the exam from any computer that has Internet access. 
  • The exam is timed and will take about 20 minutes.  Plan well so you are able to complete it without interruptions.
  • It will be scored immediately and will let you know what course to register for. Your registration advisor will use this score to help you register for your language courses if you wish to continue your study of Chinese, French, German, or Spanish.  Send a copy of the results to your email and archive it in a save folder for reference during your college career.
  • If you have 3 years of language experience in high school you cannot register at the 101 level (FRE 101/GER 101/SPA 101) no matter what the language placement exam results are. You must take the placement exam and register at the 102 level (FRE 102/GER 102/SPA 102) or above according to placement score. Please know that your transcript will be checked against the class list during the first week of class. If you have more than three years of high school course work, you will be removed from the class rolls. Warning: You will need to add a course to be sure you have full-time status.
  • If you have questions about this, you may contact Shannon Cannella for Chinese, Dr. Laurent Dechery for French, and Pat Branstad for German. For Spanish please email both Dr. María Isabel Kalbermatten and Dr. Ana Adams.

Contact Jenny Tollefson if you experience technical difficulties and are unable to complete the exam.  She can also answer questions about computer access, the exam, and exam results. FAQ FAQ

Instructions for Accessing and Taking the Placement Exam for French, German, or Spanish

  1. Open your web browser and set your location to or click on this link: http://webcape.byuhtrsc.org/nwcregister.php?acct=gac
  2. Type in the password: gusties1 (number one)
  3. Follow the instructions (identify yourself with your full legal name and ID number)
  4. Click FINISH after you have completed the exam. Send a copy of the results to your email and archive it in a save folder for reference during your college career. FAQ FAQ

 

I am having trouble registering for classes online, what should I do?

If you are having trouble registering on-line please contact the Registrar’s Office to see what is impeding your on-line registration. They will direct you on what you need to do to register.