Programs / Language

Placement Examination

Catalan

There is no placement examination for Catalan. Students with prior knowledge of Catalan (secondary school, living abroad, near-native or native speakers) should register in the most suitable level and consult Elsa Úbeda (eu2130@columbia.edu) regarding placement.

Portuguese

All students new to the Portuguese Language Program at Columbia are required to take the Department’s Placement Examination before registering for a course, or provide proof of exemption.

The Placement Examination in Portuguese consists of two parts: one written and one oral.  The written part tests knowledge of grammar, reading comprehension, and writing composition.  The written exam is followed by an interview that tests oral comprehension.  It is offered in the fall and spring semesters during the first week of classes (Fall 2020: September 8th / 15th). Please make an appointment with Ana Paula Huback (aph2129@columbia.edu) to take this exam.

Should you have any questions about your placement, please contact the Director of the Portuguese Language program José Antonio Castellanos-Pazos (jc846@columbia.edu).

Spanish

All students new to the Spanish Language Program at Columbia are required to take the Department’s placement examination before registering for a course, or provide proof of exemption.

You may take this online exam at home ONLY ONCE per academic year. Also, once you begin the exam, you should not pause until the test has finished. For scores above 625 see the exemptions from the language requirement.

Once you receive the results, you may register in the designated course during the New Student Orientation Program (NSOP) or during the Change of Program (Add/Drop) period. You must provide your instructor with your results on the first day of classes. To obtain your results, log into the placement exam website using your Columbia University email address and the password that you used to create the account.

Under no circumstances may you register for a level lower or higher than the one to which you are assigned without the explicit permission of the Director of the Language Program.

The placement examination in Spanish is an online, multiple-choice format exam that you may take at your convenience, even before your arrival on campus (see link below). It consists of questions on vocabulary, grammar and reading comprehension. There is no oral or listening part to the exam. Since it is an adaptive test, the length varies from one individual to another, with an average time of 20 minutes.

The online placement exam is for diagnostic purposes only and may be supplemented by your instructor’s evaluation during the first week of classes, at which time she or he may recommend a change in registration.

Should you have any questions about your placement, please contact:

  • Elementary I and II: Lee B. Abraham (lba2133@columbia.edu)
  • Intermediate I and II: Lee B. Abraham (lba2133@columbia.edu)
  • Spanish 3300: Francisco Rosales-Varo (fr2209@columbia.edu)

The exam must represent your own work. When taking the exam you will be bound by Columbia University’s Code of Academic Integrity, and you must refrain from any activity constitutive of academic dishonesty as defined therein. If you are a Barnard student do not proceed any further; please visit the Barnard website.

Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions about placement, registration (attendance policy, waiting lists) and the Change of Program period.

To take the Columbia SPANISH Language placement exam

  1. Click on this link to register and create an account using your Columbia University email account.
  2. Do NOT complete the “Student Id” form; leave this blank.
  3. Once your information has been entered, click “Create Account”.
  4. Please be certain to save this login information, which you can use to access your placement exam score.
  5. Once your account has been created, click “Sign In” to proceed.
  6. Sign in using your Columbia University email address and the password that you used to create your account.
  7. From the Dashboard, select Spanish and then click on “Take Test” to begin the exam.
  8. Once you have finished taking the placement exam, you will see this pop-up window that asks you to return to this webpage to read important additional information about your placement in the section below PLACEMENT EXAM SCORES.
  9. Click on “See Score Report” (see this image for an example) to view your exam results.
  10. Please print your results and give them to your instructor.
  11. Please also save a screenshot.
  12. You can always access, view, take another screenshot, or print your placement exam results by logging-in to this link https://webcape.truenorthtest.com/Login using your Columbia University email address and the password that you used to create the account.

Placement Exam Scores and Fall 2020 Courses

  • Below 280 – Spanish UN 1101 (Elementary Spanish I)
  • 280 – 379 - Spanish UN 1102 (Elementary Spanish II)
  • 330 – 379 - You may qualify for Spanish UN 1120 (Comprehensive Beginning Spanish). Spanish UN 1120 will be offered in the Spring 2021; 1120 will not be offered in the Fall 2020.
  • 380 – 449 - Spanish UN 2101 (Intermediate Spanish I)
  • 450 – 625 - Click on the link for the course description:
  • Spanish UN 2102: Intermediate Spanish II
  • or Spanish UN 2103: Intermediate Spanish II: Health-related Topics in the Spanish-speaking World
  • or Spanish UN 2108: Spanish for Heritage Speakers. Please complete this survey:  https://forms.gle/Nmo3cD4dDGtTJ35s9
  • Above 625  - You qualify for an exemption. Your exemption in this case will be verified by taking another version of the placement exam. For the fall 2020 semester, first-year students and transfer students please register in advance here to take the exam by Columbia Zoom. For the spring semester: You may retake the placement exam at Casa Hispánica’s Main Office (612 W. 116th Street; from 10:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m. or from 1:00 p.m to 3:00 p.m.). Please contact Kosmas Pissakos (kp124@columbia.edu) for any questions regarding the administration of the exam at Casa Hispánica.

Last Updated 6 years ago