French or Italian Placement Test


What are the objectives of the Placement Tests?

The purpose of the language placement and proficiency tests is to determine which language course best fits the needs of students entering OSU with previous work in foreign languages.

Who takes the test?

All students who have had 2 or more years of the same foreign language must take the language placement test in the language used for unconditional admission, whether or not they plan to continue language study at OSU.

Who is responsible for the tests?

The Foreign Language Center is responsible for administering the French and Italian tests delivered by computer. 

What does a Placement Test include?

The French and Italian Placement Tests are computerized exams that take approximately 30 minutes and test vocabulary, grammar, and reading comprehension.  Requests for exceptions to the computerized format may be made through the Office for Disability Services.

How do you know what course you've placed into?

For French, placement into a course is made according to both placement test score and number of years of high school study.  For Italian, placement is determined by your placement test score.

Will I receive EM credit as a result of my Placement test?

For Italian, you will receive EM credit for all courses below the level in which you place. In French, students who place into FR 1102 or higher will receive EM credit for courses below that level.  Students who place into FR 1155 do not receive EM credit. No elementary language credit is awarded to native speakers, i.e., those whose secondary education was in the foreign language. 

When do students take a Placement Test?

Students usually take the Placement Test during Orientation.  If for some reason students are unable to take the test at Orientation, students may take the Placement Test during the scheduled times for the Semester, which are posted on the CLLC website: It is strongly advised that you take your language courses as soon as you have taken the placement test. You may call the computer lab for availability (614) 292-4361.  See (9) below.

How do students find out the test results?

When students take the French and Italian computerized language Placement Tests, results are obtained immediately. 

What happens if students take an examination intending to obtain EM (examination) credit only and some time later decide to study the language?

The EM credit initially awarded remains on the record, but some students may have lost a significant portion of their language proficiency in the intervening period.  If students' skills in the language drop to a point where they must be placed in a class lower than that for which they qualified earlier, such students would register for that class as auditors.  In doing so, an arrangement should be worked out with the instructor to ensure that helpful informal evaluation standards are employed during the semester.

What happens if students find that placement is unsatisfactory?

Although our examination/evaluation procedure has proven to be reliable, occasionally students may believe they should take a course either higher or lower.  In such cases, students are asked to contact the appropriate language director to arrange an evaluation.  If the placement is found to be too high, students can seek permission to drop back and audit a lower course.  If the placement is too low, students may be given the opportunity to take an EM-credit test.

What if students have already taken an Advanced Placement Exam in a language?

Students who have successfully passed the Advanced Placement Examination are awarded credit and placement proportionate to the score obtained.  These students do not normally need to take the OSU placement test, but when going through orientation they should verify that their scores have been received.

What happens to transfer students with college credit in a foreign language?

These students will normally register for the next OSU equivalent course in the sequence.  They are not required to take the Placement Test.  Such students should follow the Office of Admissions procedures for transfer credit and contact the Departmental Transfer Credit Coordinator.  (Transfer students without language credit, however, must take the Placement Test.)

When should students take foreign language, in junior high or high school?

The fact is that most American students take foreign language in 9th and 10th grade, then quit just as they begin to develop usable language skills.  They then have a two-year break in language study before entering college.  Ideally, students would continue with language study, taking a 3rd or 4th year in 11th and 12th grade.  For those who cannot or do not do so, we strongly recommend a review of basic grammar and vocabulary before they take the Placement Test.

Which foreign language credits count toward degree requirements?

Answers to this question will depend on the degree-granting unit (e.g., ASC, ENG, BUS, etc.).  Students should check with their college offices, once they have decided on a major.

Are there circumstances for which the Placement Test requirement may be waived?

In the case of students with a learning disability, special arrangements and/or petitions may be initiated through the Office for Disability Services.  If the students have been out of high school for over five years or are 22 years of age or older, the Placement Test need not to be taken unless they wish to begin at a level higher than 1101.01.

How about the Regional Campuses?

The same guidelines generally hold true for all OSU campuses.