Foreign Language Placement and Assessment

Current majors in MCLS: Are you looking for information about taking ACTFL tests required for graduation? Go to the Oral Proficiency Interview and Writing Proficiency Test page.

current students

New students

The foreign language placement assessment is available to all admitted Kent State Students through the ALEKS & Placement Assessments section within Student / Resources in FlashLine.

Newly admitted students majoring in programs with a foreign language requirement or who plan to study foreign language should complete the foreign language placement questionnaire prior to their initial advising appointment even if they have not studied a foreign language before. Returning students who have not taken a language placement test but who wish to study a foreign language should also complete the placement questionnaire. Once the questionnaire is submitted, students will then be directed to an online foreign language placement test (WebCAPE - French, German, Russian or Spanish) or to appropriate faculty or staff for additional placement and advising  information for languages for which there is no online placement exam.

Placement cutoff scores are advisory. All students should consult with an academic advisor or MCLS faculty prior to self-enrolling in their first language course at Kent State University. Questions about the placement questionnaire, placement tests and special approvals to register for language courses should be directed to Modern and Classical Language Studies at or 330-672-2150.

WebCAPE Placement Cutoff Scores and Recommendations (French, German and Spanish)





400 or higher

FR 13201 Elementary French I
FR 13202 Elementary French II
FR 23201 Intermediate French I
FR 23202 Intermediate French II
Consult with a French faculty advisor.


500 or higher

GER 11201 Elementary German I
GER 11202 Elementary German II
GER 21201 Intermediate German I
GER 21202 Intermediate German II
Consult with a German faculty advisor.


400 or higher

SPAN 18201 Elementary Spanish I
SPAN 18202 Elementary Spanish II
SPAN 28201 Intermediate Spanish I
SPAN 28202 Intermediate Spanish II
Consult with a Spanish faculty advisor.

WebCAPE Placement Cutoff Scores and Recommendations for Russian: Please consult with a Russian faculty advisor.

If you think your placement score or the recommended course level are incorrect, contact Modern and Classical Language Studies (330-672-2150) and meet with a language faculty advisor for correct placement.


Students who place beyond Elementary I in any language and who have not yet earned college credit for foreign language study might consider retroactive credit or CLEP to earn academic credit. Any student thinking of majoring or minoring in a foreign language should consult with a faculty advisor to determine the best option. For complete university policies on alternative credit, view the current Undergraduate Catalog.

  • Retroactive CreditRetroactive credit is available for most languages offered by Kent State University. This is a good option for students who place higher than Elementary I and plan to enroll in a foreign language class, whether for a major, minor, or foreign language requirement. 
  • The College Level Examination Program (CLEP). CLEP is available only for French, German, and Spanish. Students who place beyond Elementary II in one of these languages and who wish to complete a foreign language requirement without taking a language class should consider taking CLEP. Experience indicates that students scoring 300 or above on the KSU placement test are often successful in earning CLEP credit. 
  • Credit by Examination may be possible for credit for some individual language classes.

Students who bring credit with them through Advanced Placement, International Baccaulareate, and transfer credit from other universities:

  • Advanced Placement (AP). Kent State University awards college credit for Advanced Placement exams with scores of 3, 4, or 5. If you want this credit attached to your Kent transcript, contact the College Board. No credit can be posted until a student has enrolled as a Kent State University student.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB). Credit. Kent State University awards college credit for most International Baccalaureate exams with scores of 5 or higher on the higher level examinations. No credit can be posted until a student has enrolled as a Kent State University student.

  • Transfer Credit (including college credit earned in high school). You must have your college transcript sent to Kent State University for the credit to post to your student record here. 


Language learned in stays abroad or in the home is a great benefit in communication, but is frequently not at the level of formal academic language study and does not guarantee success in college foreign language classes. Students with language learned this way often have difficulty with formal writing, spelling and punctuation conventions, etc. 

foreign language proficiency waiver

Students able to demonstrate foreign language proficiency comparable to the highest course in their foreign language requirement may be able to have their language requirement waived. Students should review the University Readiness Standards and Placement Assessment Policy in the University Catalog and consult with their academic advisor for a referral to Modern and Classical Language Studies for a proficiency waiver.



American Sign Language Testing

ASL Testing is available as follows:

Kent Campus

Stark Campus

Contact Prof. Steve Vickery ( for dates and times.

Contact Prof. Jennifer Hall ( for dates and times.

Consult the ASL Resources Page for more information.