Placement and Challenge Exam Information

Do you know another Language?  Get GE Credit. Take a Placement Exam.

Do you need to take a Placement Exam?

Did you study another language in High School?  Do you already speak another language?

If you have not already studied the language in a CSUSB course, then you need to take the Placement and/or Challenge exam. 

Want to check for sure? 

Complete this questionnaire to find out if you need to take a Placement exam to study a language at CSUSB.

The Challenge Exam is the same exam as the Placement Exam.  On the day of the test, you may choose to challenge level 103 for the chosen language by completing the Challenge By Exam form.  If you pass, then, you will receive 4 units credit. The four units credit received for the course do NOT count towards full time enrollment.

Testing Alternatives

You do NOT need to take the placement exam if:

  • You are beginning at a language for which you have NOT studied in the past five years and are NOT a heritage/native speaker (exposed to a language other than English at home). You may begin in the 101 course.
  • You have already taken a college level world language course at CSUSB. Visit the CAL Advising Center in UH-203 if you have questions about the next course.  You may also request an appointment via email.
  • You already have credit for the 202 level (for example, SPAN 202).

Policies and Recommendations

Woman taking test biting pencil

  • Do not wait until your last quarter to take the exam.  It you pass, credit will be processed at the NEXT Census date.
  • If you would like to study a language in which you are a heritage/native speaker (exposed to a language other than English at home) or have studied it before, then you MUST take the placement exam.
  • If you have taken a course at CSUSB in a certain language (i.e. SPAN 102), then you CANNOT take the Placement/Challenge exam for the same language.
  • You must bring your Coyote ID to the exam.
  • Arrive 5-10 minutes BEFORE your exam time to check in. If you do not arrive on time for check-in, your appointment may be canceled and you will have to take the test at a later time.
  • Exams taken after census date will be processed the following quarter in which you are enrolled.  The credit received for Challenge by Exam(s) does NOT count towards full time enrollment.
  • You are NOT allowed a retake. Note that you are expected to use proper grammar and appropriate accents. Please do your best.

Results

Clipboard with Writing
You will receive an email (at your school email address) when results are available. 

  • Results for Placement/103 Challenge are sent approximately 1 - 2 weeks after your exam. Placement exam results will contain a suggested course. If a course was challenged, the results will include whether you passed. 
  • Results for Spanish 214 and Spanish 314 Challenge Exams are usually sent the first week of the followi ng quarter. 

You may NOT register in a course higher or lower than that indicated by your Placement Exam. If you do, you will be asked to leave that course with no guarantee that a seat will be available in the correct course.

If you place into a 201, 202, or 203 level course, please forward your results with the exact course and section number in which you would like to enroll to Sarah Ellison, the CAL Professional Advisor.

This does NOT indicate automatic enrollment or dropping of a course. This is a notification of your results only.

Bring a copy of your placement exam results to your language course the first day in order to confirm that you are eligible to remain in the course.


American Sign Language (ASL)

Please contact the ASL Instructor, Matt Marquis.

Arabic

You may take an Arabic Placement exam that will determine your level for your next Arabic course.  It will place you between ARAB 101 and ARAB 203. 
You may also challenge Arabic 103, Arabic 201, Arabic 202, Arabic 214, or Arabic 314.  Please see below for details.

Arabic Placement / Arabic 103, 201, or 202 Challenge Exam

  • Saturday March 16, 2019 @ 12pm
  • Tuesday March 19, 2019 @ 4pm
  • Wednesday March 20, 2019 @ 12pm

Make an Arabic Placement/Challenge Exam appointment online, stop by UH-007 or call 909-537-5848.

This test takes approximately 1 hour and takes place in UH-007 on the CSUSB Main Campus. It consists of writing and speaking sections.

Feel free to review the Test Taker Guide orSample Test to experience how the assessment flows and the types of questions for all levels of difficulty, but you will not receive a score at the end.

The Next Arabic 214 Challenge Exam:

For those advanced students, the Arabic Conversation Exam allows you to challenge Arabic 214. If you pass, then, you will receive 4 units credit for Arabic 214.  

  • 2nd week of Spring Quarter. Please check back April 2 for details.

This test takes approximately 1 hour and takes place in UH-007 on the CSUSB Main Campus. It consists of listening and speaking sections.

The Next Arabic 314 Challenge Exam:

For those advanced students, the Arabic Conversation Exam allows you to challenge Arabic 314. If you pass, then, you will receive 4 units credit for Arabic 314.

  • 2nd week of Spring Quarter. Please check back April 2 for details.

This test takes approximately 1 hour and takes place in UH-007 on the CSUSB Main Campus. It consists of listening and speaking sections.

Chinese, French, Japanese, and Korean

Please contact the Multimedia Language Center to schedule an appointment, (909) 537-5848 | UH-007.

Your test will include various skills - depending on the language selected, as follows:

  • Mandarin Chinese Simplified, Mandarin Chinese Traditional - Three skills: Reading, Writing and Speaking
  • French, Japanese - Four skills: Reading, Contextualized Grammar, Writing and Speaking
  • Korean - One skill: Writing

The Next Chinese, French, or Korean Placement / 103 Challenge Exam:

  • Saturday March 16, 2019 @ 12pm
  • Tuesday March 19, 2019 @ 12pm
  • Wednesday March 20, 2019 @ 4pm

To make an appointment, please check back March 1.

The Next Japanese Placement / 103 Challenge Exam:

  • Saturday March 16, 2019 @ 12pm
  • Tuesday March 19, 2019 @ 4pm
  • Wednesday March 20, 2019 @ 12pm

Make a Japanese Placement/Challenge Exam appointment online, stop by UH-007 or call 909-537-5848.

This test takes approximately 1 hour and takes place in UH-007 on the CSUSB Main Campus.

Chinese, French, Japanese - Feel free to review the Test Taker Guide or Sample Test to experience how the assessment flows and the types of questions for all levels of difficulty, but you will not receive a score at the end.

Spanish

Some exams take place during Finals week. Need to check when you have finals that week? Find the Finals week schedule at Academic Scheduling.

The Next Spanish Placement / Spanish 103 Challenge Exam:

  • Saturday March 16, 2019 @ 10am (FULL)
  • Tuesday March 19, 2019 @ 10am, 2pm, and 6pm (10am is FULL)
  • Wednesday March 20, 2019 @ 10am, 2pm, and 6pm

Make a Spanish Placement/Challenge Exam appointment online, stop by UH-007 or call 909-537-5848.

This test takes approximately 1 hour and takes place in UH-007 on the CSUSB Main Campus.

It will include four skills: Reading, Contextualized Grammar, Writing and Speaking. Feel free to review the Placement Test Taker Guide or Sample Spanish Placement Test  to experience how the assessment flows and the types of questions for all levels of difficulty, but you will not receive a score at the end.

Spanish Placement Exam Offerings: Week 4 (after census) and Finals Week. Registration is typically open 2 weeks before the exam date.

Palm Desert Campus

For available dates/times at PDC, please contact Avisinia Rodriguez, 760-341-2883 ext. 78253.

The Next Spanish 214 Challenge Exam:

For those advanced students, the Spanish Conversation Exam allows you to challenge Spanish 214. If you pass, then, you will receive 4 units credit for Spanish 214.  Prerequisite: SPAN 103 or equivalent

  • 2nd week of Spring Quarter. Please check back April 2 for details and to make an appointment.

This test takes approximately 2 hours and takes place in UH-007 on the CSUSB Main Campus. It consists of speaking and writing sections.

The Next Spanish 314 Challenge Exam:

For those advanced students, the Advanced Spanish Conversation Exam allows you to challenge Spanish 314. If you pass, then, you will receive 4 units credit for Spanish 314. Prerequisite: SPAN 295 and SPAN 302

This test takes approximately 2 hours and takes place in UH-007 on the CSUSB Main Campus. It consists of speaking and writing sections.

  • 2nd week of Spring Quarter. Please check back April 2 for details and to make an appointment.