Spanish Proficiency Exam

The Spanish Proficiency Exam determines whether eligible students can complete the Foreign Language requirement (FOL) through testing, rather than coursework. The Proficiency Exam is different from the Spanish Placement Exam, which helps students enroll in the appropriate course.

Please refer to the appropriate section below (“Bachelor of Arts” or “Bachelor of Music”) for additional information and contact.

Bachelor of Arts: Intermediate Spanish Proficiency Exam

  • Who is eligible? Students may be eligible to complete the Foreign Language requirement (FOL) by taking the Proficiency Exam if they received a score of 5 on the AP Spanish Language Exam, received a score of 7 on the IB Spanish Language B (HL) Exam, or placed into Spanish 250 through the Spanish Placement Exam. Eligible students will be contacted directly by a Spanish faculty member.
  • How do I know if this exam is right for me? Even if you are eligible, this exam might not be right for you. Here are some things you should know:
    • Students wanting to take any advanced-level Spanish course MUST complete Spanish 250 instead of taking the Proficiency Exam. Spanish 250 is the prerequisite for all advanced-level Spanish courses.
    • Passing the exam fulfills the Foreign Language requirement (FOL) but does not provide course credit. Students placed into Spanish 250 by AP or IB receive two credits after completing the course.
    • Taking the Spanish 250 course fulfills two General Education requirements: Foreign Language (FOL) and Writing (WRI).
    • Spanish 250 is a required course for all Spanish and Latin American Studies majors.
    • Spanish 250 counts as an elective for Women’s and Gender Studies, Family Studies, and Management Studies.
  • What does the exam cover and when can I take it? The Proficiency Exam is offered twice a year, generally on the Saturday of the first week of classes of Semester I and Semester II. The exam should take approximately three hours to complete. In order to pass the exam you must earn a minimum of 70% for the total score and a minimum of 60% on each section. The exam consists of four sections: reading comprehension, listening comprehension, writing, and speaking.
  • How do I register for the exam? Eligible students should contact the professor administering the exam by Thursday of the first week of classes to register: Prof. Jonathan O’Conner (oconner@stolaf.edu). When registering for the exam, please communicate any accommodation needs to the professor. You will receive a confirmation email for your registration announcing the time and location of the exam by Friday of the first week of classes. Students should also register for the course in which they placed in case they do not pass this exam.
  • What happens after I take the exam? The professor administering the exam will notify students of results within five days.
    • Students who pass the exam will receive credit for fulfilling the Foreign Language requirement (FOL) through the Registrar’s Office. The professor administering the exam will notify the student, their advisor, and the Registrar’s Office.
    • Students who do not pass the exam will need to complete the Foreign Language requirement (FOL) by completing the course in which they placed. The professor administering the exam will notify the student and their advisor.
  • Who should I contact if I have questions? You should check with your academic advisor about planning your course of study. If you have questions about the Proficiency Exam, please contact Prof. Jonathan O’Conner (oconner@stolaf.edu).

 

Bachelor of Music: Beginning Spanish Proficiency Exam

  • Who is eligible? Candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Music may be eligible to fulfill the Foreign Language requirement (FOL) by passing the Beginning Spanish Proficiency Exam. You should check with your advisor in the Music Department to determine if passing the exam will fulfill the requirements for your program.
  • How do I know if this exam is right for me? Even if you are eligible, this exam might not be right for you. Here are some things you should know:
    • Passing the exam fulfills the Foreign Language requirement (FOL) but does not provide course credit.
    • Students wanting to take any advanced-level Spanish course MUST complete coursework through Spanish 250 instead of taking the Proficiency Exam. Spanish 250 is the prerequisite for all advanced-level Spanish courses.
  • What does the exam cover and when can I take it? The Proficiency Exam is offered twice a year, generally on the Saturday of the first week of classes of Semester I and Semester II. The exam should take approximately three hours to complete. In order to pass the exam you must earn a minimum of 70% for the total score and a minimum of 60% on each section. The exam has both a written and an oral component. The written component consists of listening comprehension, vocabulary and grammar, reading comprehension, and writing. The oral component asks students to provide a short speaking sample.
  • How do I register for the examEligible students should contact the professor administering the exam by Thursday of the first week of classes to register: Prof. Jonathan O’Conner (oconner@stolaf.edu). When registering for the exam, please communicate any accommodation needs to the professor. You will receive a confirmation email for your registration announcing the time and location of the exam by Friday of the first week of classes. Students should also register for the course in which they placed in case they do not pass this exam.
  • What happens after I take the exam? The professor administering the exam will notify students of results within five days.
    • Students who pass the exam will receive credit for fulfilling the Foreign Language requirement (FOL) through the Registrar’s Office. The professor administering the exam will notify the student, their advisor, and the Registrar’s Office.
    • Students who do not pass the exam will need to complete the Foreign Language requirement (FOL) by completing the course in which they placed. The professor administering the exam will notify the student and their advisor.
  • Who should I contact if I have questions? You should check with your academic advisor about planning your course of study. If you have questions about the Proficiency Exam, please contact Prof. Jonathan O’Conner (oconner@stolaf.edu).

This page was updated on 8/20/2018