Placement & Proficiency Exam

Spanish Placement Exam

The Spanish placement exam will help to determine the course in which you should enroll. This exam focuses on your abilities and knowledge of the language rather than the amount of prior coursework that you have had. While some of the exams are offered online, the process of determining the proper placement will include a conversation with our placement advisor about your language background.

Incoming students should complete the placement exam one week prior to their arrival on campus for orientation. Students failing to do so may be unable to sign up for a foreign language course until the add/drop period at the beginning of the semester.

Continuing students (those already enrolled at KU) may take the placement exam at their own convenience. The results of these exams should be emailed to for proper course placement.

Please note that you can only take the placement exam once.  Make sure that you are in a quiet location and have approximately 20 minutes to complete the exam.  If you encounter a technical issue while taking the exam, please email


In order to take the Spanish placement exam, you must create a new user account on the placement exam website. That process requires the use of a KU email address, but you should NOT use the same password as that used for your KU online ID. You will only use this new user account to log into the placement exam website. 

At the end of the exam you will be provided with a score and a suggested placement, a copy of which will be provided to you at Orientation. Descriptions of all courses are provided in the Course Catalog. If you feel that your placement exam results do not reflect your current level, please consult our Spanish undergraduate advisor

In order to enroll in SPAN 212, SPAN 216, SPAN 322 or SPAN 324/328, you will need a permission code. If you are an incoming student, you will receive your permission code at Orientation. If you are a continuing student, please email our department at to get the relevant permission code.

Spanish Proficiency Exam

If you believe you might be exempt from the foreign-language requirement, you need to take a proficiency exam. In the case of the online placement exam, we recommend taking this exam first to get a sense of how your knowledge corresponds to the levels of instruction at KU. If the exam suggests placement at a level above what is needed to meet the language proficiency requirement, you should email our department at to schedule a proficiency testing appointment.

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