Spanish Language Placement and Exemption Exam

UCI students who speak and read Spanish can take a placement exam or an exemption exam to satisfy Category VI and VIII General Education requirements.

Spanish Placement Testing

1. How can I enroll in a Spanish Course? 

If you are interested in enrolling in Spanish 1A:

Students without previous formal or informal background in Spanish must take a copy of their high school or other school transcripts to their academic advisor to activate their eligibility to enroll in Spanish 1A.

Students who graduated from a high school in a Spanish-speaking country, or students who graduated from a Spanish Academy, must take a copy of their transcript to their academic counselor in order to receive authorization to enroll in the appropriate course.

If you are interested in enrolling in a level above 1A:

Students with background in Spanish must take the Spanish Placement test to receive course placement and enrollment authorization for courses. 

2. What is the purpose of the Spanish Placement Test? 

Students with any previous experience in Spanish must take a placement test to determine which course would be appropriate for them. It assesses your readiness for Spanish courses at UCI and you will be placed into one of the following courses: 

Spanish 1A-2C, Spanish 3 or Spanish 3H, or Spanish 101A. 

3. Who needs to take courses in Spanish? 

Language learning is an integral part of university education, and learning another language is a worthwhile endeavor for any student, whether that language is one’s heritage language or a completely new language. The acquisition of a second or even third language increases one’s global literacy and helps to foster a greater appreciation of diversity. In our rapidly changing and increasingly interconnected world, students with skills in more than one language will be able to engage with the world in more meaningful and productive ways. 

Successful completion of Spanish course world through the 1C level may be used to satisfy UCI’s Language Other Than English (Category VI) general education requirement. Students majoring in International Studies or students with a major in the School of Humanities must satisfy Language Other Than English requirements through the 2C level. Please consult your academic advisor if you have questions about these requirements. 

4. Which Spanish Test should I take? 

Two types of Spanish placement tests are available for the academic year. The first test (Test A), is designed for students learning Spanish as a second language or who are heritage speakers with limited communication experience. The second test (Test B ) is designed for heritage speakers who have active communication ability in Spanish. 

You should take the Spanish Learner (Test A) exam if:

      • You really began learning Spanish in middle school or high school;
      • You mostly use Spanish in your Spanish classes at school;
      • You have parents or caregivers who speak Spanish but you do not use Spanish with them;
      • You can understand Spanish but cannot produce Spanish in speaking or writing.

You should take the Spanish Heritage (Test B) exam if:

      • You grew up speaking Spanish at home and in your community since childhood;
      • You use Spanish in your Spanish classes at school and/or with family members or individuals who cannot speak English;
      • You have parents or caregivers who speak Spanish and you converse with them in Spanish;
      • You understand Spanish very well and you can have a conversation, to some extent, entirely in Spanish. You can also read and write in Spanish to a certain extent.

Note: This test may only be taken once. If you have already completed Test A, you may not take Test B. If you have already completed Test B, you may not take Test A.

5. How can I prepare for the examination? 

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

 Puntos de Partida: An Invitation to Spanish (Knorre et al.), 8th Edition, for the SPAN 1 Series

 Avance!. Bretz et al., 2nd edition, for the SPAN 2 Series

6. How long is the test? 

Spanish Learner (Test A): This Spanish test is 90 minutes long, consisting of multiple-choice questions, and includes two parts. Part 1 is a listening comprehension portion and Part 2 tests your grammar and reading comprehension.

Spanish Heritage (Test B): This Spanish test is 60 minutes long and consists of multiple-choice questions. 

7. How long are the results valid? 

The results are valid for your entire academic career at UCI. You may take the Spanish Placement test only one time. No University credit is given for taking the exam, and there is no fee to take the test if you are a UCI student. 

8. Is test registration required? 

Yes. Test registration is always required. You may register by using the Register/Check Result portal on our website.