French Language Placement and Exemption Exam
UCI students who speak and read French can take a placement exam or an exemption exam to satisfy Category VI and VIII General Education requirements.


The examination used for French is the Brigham Young University Foreign Language Achievement test. It covers listening and reading comprehension. The exam is approximately two and a half hours. The highest proficiency level attainable at UCI by taking the French exam is 2A.

If you are an International Studies major, this exemption exam cannot satisfy the 2B level foreign language requirement.

This test may be taken only once. No University credit is given. There is no fee to take the test if you are a UCI student.


The test will be administered during the academic year only. Registration is required to take the test. The registration window for this exam will be open during the second week of each quarter. To register, report the ATC in person and present two government-issued IDs. At the time you register, you will receive information on the date, time, and location of the test.

Notification of Results

Results will not be available by telephone; students will be notified via e-mail to come by the ATC when results are available to collect in our office. Results will be available during Finals Week on the ATC website. Notifications will be sent to each student’s academic unit. Results will not appear on the student’s transcript.

If you need further information on language testing, please e-mail the ATC at, call our office at (949) 824-6207, or contact your academic counseling office.

French Course Enrollment

Advisory placement test

To help you decide which lower-division French course will best match your current skills and knowledge, consider taking the advisory placement test offered each quarter. You are not obliged to accept the placement indicated by the result of your test. The French exam is available by appointment. Consult the testing schedule for detailed dates and times. Registration is by phone only. The French placement test lasts 75 minutes and consists of 88 questions. This exam can place you in levels: French 1A, 1B, 1C, 2A.

Refreshing your language knowledge and skills

If it has been a while since you have taken French course work, you may wish to review your high school or college material before the quarter begins. You also may consult the following textbook used in first-year language classes:

French Textbook—Jansma, K. & Kassen, M. (2001). Motifs: An Introduction to French. Harcourt College Publishers.

Other suggestions for study:


• Verbs: regular/irregular, reflexive, tenses (present, passé composé, imparfait)
• Advanced levels: tenses (future, conditional), subjunctive, compound forms (plus-que-parfait, past conditional, future perfect)
• Pronouns: subject, tonic, direct, indirect objects
• Relative clauses
• Agreement: nouns and determiners, subject and verb

Reading and Vocabulary:

At the intermediate level (French 2A), you should be able to get the gist of a text, even if you don’t know all the words, by skimming, scanning, and intelligent guessing of meanings from the context. You should have an active vocabulary that enables you to talk and write about commonplace objects, people, activities, family life, school and studies, shopping, travel, etc. You should be able to ask for and give information; make, refuse, or agree to a polite request; describe people, places, and things; talk about your likes, dislikes, interests, etc.; tell a story in the past; talk about your plans for the future; and express an opinion and defend your point of view.