Are you a degree-seeking student at CU Boulder that plans to continue studying a language in which you already have some experience and/or coursework completed? If so, you must take a language placement exam so that you enroll in the appropriate class level of that language.

If you want to begin studying a new language, you do not need to take a placement exam. Simply enroll in the introductory level class of that language.

If you are already proficient in a language other than English, you may be eligible to take a proficiency assessment to be excused from your MAPS/HEAR foreign language requirement. Email to learn more.

Each language placement exam experience will be a little different. All of the exams are untimed, so you can take as long as you need to answer, but you may only take each exam once and we do recommend you complete it in one sitting. Some languages will have multiple exams; you may need to take some or all of them in order to get the most accurate placement recommendation. Most exam questions are multiple choice, but the format of questions can vary. Exams will typically contain somewhere between 30 and 80 questions. Each language has very detailed welcome information and instructions; please refer to these for the most accurate information about your exam experience.

Some placement exams are available online, while others are proctored by members of the individual language program.

The table below details the format of tests.

  • If the exam is online, you will click the self-enroll link in the table to access the exam. Use your CU Login Name and IdentiKey Password to sign in. Review this tutorial to learn how to self-enroll in a course. Be sure to review all of the instructions on the homepage prior to starting the exam.
  • If the exam is proctored, you will need to make arrangements to take the exam in person. Email the individual listed in the table below to make an appointment.

Would you like to take an exam for a language that is not listed below (e.g., Swahili, Greek, Yoruba, Finnish, etc.)? Contact ALTEC at to make arrangements.

If you take an online language placement exam, you will receive your placement or be advised to reach out to a language coordinator. Once you take your exam and receive your placement, you can access your score again after logging in to Canvas, selecting the Language Placement Exam, and clicking on “Grades”.

After you are informed of your placement, enroll in the recommended course during your enrollment window.

If you are unable to enroll in an open section of the foreign language class indicated by your language placement exam score, be sure to inform your advisor during your individual appointment.

If you completed an online language placement exam prior to May 2018, you will need to retake the exam.

Language placement exams are designed to help you determine the appropriate level of a language class. You cannot "test out" or earn college credits through these assessments. You are on the honor system for completing online placement exam without assistance. Enrolling in a class for which you are not prepared could hurt your CU Boulder grade point average. More information about academic integrity is available on the Honor Code Office website. If you are concerned about your placement, speak with your advisor or the appropriate coordinator of the language.

In general, language placement exams are reasonably accessible with assistive technologies; however, the Spanish placement exam currently uses an inaccessible question type. While we work to address the issue with the vendor, an alternative Spanish placement exam has been provided. You can access the alternative exam after self-enrolling in the course using the link in the table below. Should you need assistance, please contact

The online language placement exams are untimed and students should not need additional accommodations; however if you qualify for additional accommodations, please contact Disability Services at 303-492-8671 or by email at

You may also wish to explore the Modified Foreign Language Program (MFLP). The MFLP offers Spanish language courses to students who demonstrate a need for curricular modifications. Language learning is facilitated through use of a multisensory, explicit approach to teaching that is customized to support each student’s challenge areas. The MFLP courses are different from the equivalent mainstream classes, mainly because different pedagogy, teaching materials and methodology are employed to meet the needs of the students.

We always encourage students to first consider enrolling in an upper-division language course to discover all that languages and cultures have to offer. You might just fall in love and pursue more courses in this area! The University of Colorado Boulder is proud to offer courses and degree programs in over 25 languages.

If you are proficient in a language other than English, you might be able to "test out" of the language requirement. Please speak with your academic advisor about the possibility of taking a proficiency assessment for your language; this option will depend on your major and college. We encourage you to do this sooner rather than later.

If you desire to "test out" of the language requirement, please visit our proficiency exam page for more information. 


Choose your language and email the language coordinator, or self-enroll.