Spanish Placement Exams | LSU Foreign Languages and Literatures

Spanish Placement

The credit exam form may be filled out with the student's academic college or picked up by emailing the department at

This site is designed to be used by prospective, first-year, and continuing students, parents, LSU counselors, and anyone else who wants to learn more about Spanish credit exams. For information regarding credit exams and placement for other languages and general placement guidelines, you may visit the general placement page.

Who Should Test

It is strongly recommended, though not required, that students who have taken at least two years of Spanish in high school take the Spanish credit exam in the Office of Assessment & Evaluation. Specifically, students have the opportunity to earn up to four semesters (i.e., 14 semester hours) of credits in introductory Spanish language courses via Spanish credit exam. These semester hours may count toward a student’s foreign language requirement and/or their General Education Humanities requirement as appropriate (please check with your academic advisor to confirm whether the credits will count toward your degree program).

Students will only be allowed to take the Spanish credit exam once. If a student is unable to enroll in a Spanish course within two years after initially taking the exam, the student can petition the Spanish language coordinator to retake the credit exam.

After receiving permission from the Spanish language Coordinator, students may then retake the Spanish credit exam during the drop/add period in the semester before enrolling in a Spanish course.

SPAN 1152 is a high beginner language course and is suitable for students with two years of Spanish in high school. It covers the same material in SPAN 1101 and SPAN 1102 in one semester instead of two. Once a student completes SPAN 1152, the next scheduled course is SPAN 2101. SPAN 1101 credit will also be awarded upon successful completion of this course (SPAN 1152) with a “C” or better.  Students may begin their lower-level Spanish courses in either SPAN 1101 or SPAN 1152, regardless of their background in the language.

Transfer and graduate students may schedule Spanish courses for which they have the necessary prerequisites. 

Please note that if the student doesn’t receive any credit from the credit exam, they will receive an NC (no credit) grade of the lowest course they tested on their transcript. For instance, if a student took the credit exam for SPAN 1101 and 1102 and did not receive any credit, they will receive a NC credit only for SPAN 1101 on their transcript. If the student receives some credit from the exam (i.e. received SPAN 1101 credit and placed into SPAN 1102), they will not receive any NC credit.

Any student who, after taking the Spanish credit exam, places into SPAN 2101 or SPAN 2102 will be awarded advanced standing credit based on the credit exam score. Criteria outlined in the following chart shows how students are placed in Spanish courses and awarded advanced standing credit:

Credit Exam Score Advanced Standing Credit Awarded Placement

Below 279

NC (no credit) on SPAN 1101 or lowest course tested SPAN 1101 or 1152
280-315  SPAN 1101 and 1102 SPAN 2101
316-350 SPAN 1101, 1102, and 2101 SPAN 2102
351 or above SPAN 1101, 1102, 2101, and 2102  


Native speakers of Spanish are not permitted to take the credit test or schedule courses below SPAN 2155. Students with the PR (Puerto Rico) state code are considered native speakers. To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit the placement information page.

Test Description 

The Spanish credit exam is multiple-choice and covers grammar, reading, and vocabulary. It is an adaptive test which means that the question difficulty will vary depending on how a student responds. Do not get discouraged if you are unfamiliar with some of the material. Make your best guess and go on to the next question.

Test Guidelines / Location

  • The test will take 20 – 25 minutes.
  • Students may NOT use books, notes, or any other materials or resources. However, students will be asked to provide an ID card/ID number on the day of the exam. Be sure to bring that information with you.
  • The Spanish credit exam is administered with The Center for Assessment and Evaluation, 51 Himes Hall, throughout the year. You may take the exam remotely upon request with the testing center.


At the end of the test session, the student will receive a score and suggested placement. The program will automatically archive the score; there is no need to write it down or save it. If you do not see a score, go back and sign in to WebCAPE again and click on resume to complete your test. If you have any problems, please contact one of the proctors who administered the exam.

Testing Procedures

Any first-year, transfer, or continuing students can take the exam by following these instructions:

  1. Visit your academic college to ask for a form called Request To Take Advanced Standing / Proficiency / Credit Exam. You will visit with a counselor about taking the test.
  2. Obtain approval signature from World Languages, Literatures and Cultures after your academic college has counseled you about taking the test and signed the form. 
  3. Report to the Office of the University Registrar, Room 112 Thomas Boyd Hall, to be assessed a $20 fee.
  4. Report to the Office of Bursar Operations, Room 125 Thomas Boyd Hall, to pay your fee.
  5. Return to the Office of the University Registrar with the payment receipt. You will receive a form to take to the appropriate department.
  6. Report to the Center for Assessment & Evaluation, Room 51 Himes Hall, to be assessed another $20 fee and to confirm the day and time of the next Spanish Placement Exam. Please note there’s an extra $15 fee for remote assessments through ProctorU.

If you have any other questions, please contact the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures at 578-6616 or email us at for assistance.