Placement Exam

The placement exam is designed to determine at what point in the curriculum incoming students continue their study of French at St. Olaf College. The Admissions Office will send specific instructions about placement exams, including the French exam.

All students who intend to enroll in a French course other than Beginning French 111 are required to take the on-line placement exam; students who have never studied French but who are interested in beginning study at St. Olaf do not have to take the test.

The test is available online between June 1st and August 1st. Students should submit their answers for review as soon as possible. Students may contact Professor Mary Cisar ( or 507-786-8043) with any questions not addressed here.

How to complete the placement test

The French placement exam takes approximately one hour and must be taken on a computer. The exam has two parts. The first is a survey. Students should think carefully about their previous experience in French and answer these questions to the best of their ability. The second part is a writing exercise. Faculty will read the answers provided and make the best possible match between the student’s experience and skill and a beginning, intermediate or higher level course in French.

After the test has been submitted for review, each student will receive an e-mail notification of placement in course “X.”  By mid-August, each student will receive a second e-mail notification of final placement (e.g., 111, 112, 231, 232 or 25X).  The student’s faculty advisor will also be notified of the placement recommendation. This will help guarantee that the student will be able to register for the appropriate French course as soon as possible to ensure timely completion of the foreign language requirement, allowing students who plan to continue study beyond French 232 to begin the foundational courses right away.

The Honor Code at St. Olaf College

The French placement test is like all other tests at St. Olaf in that students are reminded of their pledge to abide by the College Honor Code.

Official Honor Code

Placement Exam