Placement Exams

Language Learning and Research CenterForeign Language Placement Exam


If you have further questions regarding the Foreign Language Placement Exam,
please contact Clara Gutierrez:


Placement Examination Schedule, Spring 2014: Jan. 27th - May 12th.  The Placement Exam Schedule will follow University Cancellation Policies.





3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. 


10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. 


 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. 


1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. & 4:00p.m.- 5:00 p.m.


9:30 a.m - 11:00 a.m. 


The purpose of the Foreign Language (FL) placement exam is to certify that all incoming Stony Brook University (SBU) students fulfill the university’s Skill 3 Requirement. Specifically, the exam is designed to: 1) assess and match each student’s current foreign language ability with one of the numerous language courses available at SBU or 2) accurately identify students who satisfy their skill 3 requirement and no longer require foreign language credits to graduate.

Presently, we offer proctored foreign language placement exams in the following languages:

  • Chinese  
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • French
  • German
  • Russian
For more information about your exam:
  • If you are taking the Foreign Language Placement exam in French, German or Russian, please click on the following link
  • If you are taking the placement exam in Spanish, Chinese, Italian, or Japanese, please click on the following link

Frequently Asked Questions

Where does the exam take place?
The exam is held on the 3rd floor of Melville Library, in the LLRC computer classroom, room W3540. If you have questions on how to get there, please visit the LLRC for a map.

Do I need to make an appointment to take the Foreign Language Placement Exam?
during the Spring 2014 semester students do not need to make an appointment. Please note:  You must allot a minimum of 45 minutes to take the exam. Students who arrive with less than 45 minutes left until the end of a scheduled exam period will not be allowed to take the exam, and will be asked to come in at another day/time.

How do I prepare for the Exam?
Because the goal of the exam is to test your actual foreign language knowledge, no prior preparation is necessary or required.

How long is the exam?
The duration of the exam varies from student to student; however, the average amount of time ranges from 25 minutes to 60 minutes.

Do I need to take an FL placement exam if I took a foreign language AP or IB course and received a C or higher in the class?
For Advance Placement and International Baccalaureate foreign language courses, an exemption from the SBU FL placement exam is only guaranteed with the successful completion of an official AP exam or IB higher-level exam. Scores that qualify for exemption from the FL placement include:

  • 3 or better on the Foreign language AP exam
  • 5 or better on the  IB higher-level exam 
  • 530 or higher on a foreign language SAT II exam

Do I need to take the FL placement exam in a language that I have never formally taken/studied?
No, students should only take a placement exam in a language where they have had formal or informal (heritage speakers) prior exposure.  

I took more than one language while in high school; may I take the exam in more than one language?
Yes, as long as your high school transcript indicates this fact, then you qualify to take more than one FL placement exam.