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Foreign Language Exams for Students

Exams are offered to students having had prior U.S. secondary education or experience abroad with a foreign language. The following exams are recognized by the ISU Department of Languages and Literatures as alternatives to taking lower-division language courses.

Language Placement Exams (Compass Test)

Departmental - No Credit: This exam is available to all all students planning to enroll in an elementary level French, German or Spanish course. Its purpose is to determine the course level at which a student should be placed. The exams are given in the Counseling and Testing Center in Graveley Hall South, 2nd Floor Testing Center, Room 251. The department reserves the right to place students at a level commensurate with their knowledge of a language.

  • Placement score will be furnished directly after taking the test.
  • For questions about testing times please contact the Counseling and Testing Center at (208) 282-2130.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Up to 16 credits: Students seeking university credit for high school course work or for other language experience may receive credit in French, German, or Spanish by taking the CLEP Exam, which is offered through the Counseling and Testing Center (282-2130). In addition to a sitting fee, there is a one-time charge to take this exam which also includes the credits awarded (see below). Students may CLEP up to 16 lower-division credits. Results are sent to the Admissions Office and applied to the student's transcript, but these credits are not included in the current semester's credit load. CLEP credits will fulfill Goal 10B only if students take one additional course in the language in which they have been awarded CLEP credits, and in the next course in sequence following the highest credit granted (i.e. 8 CLEP crs + 201, or 16 CLEP crs. +301.)

  • Test days: Monday-Friday.
  • Test times: 9-10 AM & 1-2PM.
  • Must present two forms of Identification (Driver's License & Student ID).
  • Preliminary sitting fee to be paid in Room 251, Graveley Hall, prior to scheduling. $15 payable to ISU, no credit cards.
  • Testing fee of $77 to be paid the day of the test, payable to CLEP by check or credit card/debit card, no cash.
  • Approximate test time is two hours.
  • Score is received at the end of the test.

Brigham Young University Language Credits

Domestic students with experience in a language other than French, German, or Spanish may take a Foreign Language Achievement Exam for up to 12 credits through the BYU testing program. International students must take English 101 and 102 in order to fulfill the Language requirement. Registration forms, petitions, and further information can be obtained by picking up a packet from the Department Office, GR 103. A fee of $15.00 per credit hour will be charged to have the credits applied to the student's transcript. The test is given three times a year. This exam will fulfill Goal 10B of the General Education Requirements. There is no letter grade given.

Questions? Call (208) 282-3630.


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