Online Placement Exam

Please read this page carefully.

The placement exam in Spanish is an online multiple-choice format exam; it consists of questions on vocabulary, grammar and reading comprehension. There is no oral or listening part to the exam. Since it is a computer-adaptive test, the length varies from one individual to another, with the average time being 20 minutes. Please supply all the required information except student ID. Your score and placement will become available immediately upon completion of the exam. You MUST print out your results and bring the print out to class. You will be asked to present these results in class as proof of placement. If you do not present proof of placement, you will not be able to receive credit for the course. After receipt of this report, you may then register in the appropriate course by following the instructions you have received to that effect.

Since you are taking the exam on your own, the exam must represent your own work; it is also in your interest to work to the best of your ability. By taking this test you are bound by the terms of the University´s Code of Student Conduct and Code of Academic Integrity. Please familiarize yourself with both of these documents before taking the exam.



Only your first score will be considered valid for placement purposes.

The online examination may not be used for exemption from the language requirement.

Register for and take the online placement exam now.

Placement Scores and Levels

The following table shows scores and placement levels for the on-line placement examination in Spanish: 



below 285

SPAN 110


SPAN 121


SPAN 130


SPAN 140

above 546**

SPAN 140 or Departmental Written Multiple Choice Exam to qualify for exemption (optional)


If you are a College student, you may register for one level higher than you are assigned; that is, if you place into SPAN 110, you may take SPAN 121, SPAN 121 may take SPAN 130, and SPAN 130 may take SPAN 140. If you are a Wharton, Engineering, Nursing, or LPS student, you must take the course you place into. If you feel you have special circumstances, consult the specific course coordinator. However, the online placement test is for diagnostic purposes only and will be supplemented by instructors' evaluations during the first week of classes. Under no circumstances may you choose to take a level lower than the one to which you are assigned without the explicit permission of the appropriate Spanish course coordinator.

Should you have any concerns, please contact the proper course coordinator or the Undergraduate Coordinator.

Departmental Exam

The written departmental exam (a paper-and-pencil multiple-choice exam taken at Penn) is offered to those students who score above 546 on the online examination at the beginning of each semester. The written exam covers comprehension of grammar, vocabulary, and reading. There is no oral or listening component. 

Please contact the Undergraduate Coordinator for the department make-up exam schedule.