Placement Exam

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 have previously studied French are required to take the on-line placement exam, whether or not they currently plan to take French at St. Olaf. Students who have never studied French but who are interested in beginning study at St. Olaf do not have to take the test but should send an email to Professor Sean Killackey ( or Professor Jolene Barjasteh indicating this interest.

The test is available online. Students may contact Professors Killackey or Barjasteh 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  notification of final placement (e.g., 111, 112, 231, 232 or 250/251/253). The student and the student’s faculty advisor will also be notified of the placement recommendation via the advising tab on the SIS. 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.