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 (Fall 2014 Transfer Students) or LANG Requirement (Fall 2014 Freshmen).  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/LANG requirement and no longer require foreign language credits to graduate. Please visit the Orientation website for a table with the foreign language score-course equivalencies.

Placement Exam Appointment Form
In order to take a Placement Exam, you need to submit an Appointment Form. Please click on the following link: Appointment Form.  

(Placement Exam Schedule will follow University Cancellation Policies.)

We offer proctored foreign language placement exams in the following languages:

Chinese French German Italian
Japanese Russian Spanish  




If you want to receive your foreing language placement score before the add/drop date, you must take the test by Thursday, August 27th. If you take the test after the 27th, your score might not be ready before the add/drop date. 


The Day of the Exam

  • Bring your Stony Brook Student ID or a Government Issued Photo ID.
  • Know your Stony Brook Student ID number.
  • You must have your NetID set up.

Summer 2015 information

Please refer to the calendar for our hours. Appointments are strongly encouraged, but we will also accept walk-ins. (Incoming freshmen to begin taking classes in Fall 2015 should register through the Advising Planning Form in SOLAR).

If you are taking the FL placement exam in French, German or Russian, please click on the following link

If you are taking the FL placement exam in Spanish, Chinese, Italian or Japanese, please click on the following link

Please read the following Frequently Asked Questions. If you have further questions, please contact us at: flplacementexam@stonybrook.edu

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to take an FL placement exam if I took the AP, IB, or SAT II?
You do not need to take the Placement Exam if you received one of the following scores:

  • 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

Note: Students who took NY State standardized Regents exams in 2011 or earlier with a score of 85 or higher are exempt from taking the Foreign Language Placement Exam. However, individual high schools' Regents exams are not equal to statewide Regents exams.

If I have college credit, documented on a college transcript, from a college-level language course that I took in high school, do I still need to take the FL Placement Exam?
In this case, please consult with an Academic Advisor.  In general, if you have a college transcript that documents satisfactory completion of level language I & II, then you will not need to take the FL Placement exam. 

Where does the exam take place?
The exam is held on the 3rd floor of Melville Library, in the LLRC computer classroom, room W3540.  Melville Library is located in Stony Brook University's Main Campus.

If my Math Placement Exam is scheduled at the Manhattan Campus, can I take the FL Placement exam at this location?
No, all FL Placement Exams are administered on the Main Campus.

Do I need to make an appointment to take the Foreign Language Placement Exam?
Yes, 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 at another day/time. If you arrive without making an appointment, you are not guaranteed a spot.

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 30 minutes to 70 minutes.

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 in which 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.

Can I take the FL Placement exam more than once?
No, you can only take the exam one time.

I studied a language that is not offered by the FL Placement exam, what can I do?
For languages not included in the FL placement exams, please refer to the Challenge Exam .

Is the FL placement exam the same as the FL challenge exam?
No, the Challenge Exam is separate from the placement exam.

How can I see the results of my FL placement exam?
The results of your exam will appear in your SOLAR account in your Degree Progress Report within 5 business days from the date you took the exam. Please visit the Orientation website on how to interpret your score.