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Modern Language Placement

Students must complete a year of modern language study as part of the Core Curriculum but are able to advance their study or fulfill the requirement through an evaluation process. If a student is able to demonstrate a language skill comparable  to two semesters of college coursework, the modern language requirement will be fulfilled.

The diversity of the Augsburg student population allows for a variety of possible modern language placement tests. Students take the appropriate language testing determined by their language background.

Language testing is done through the Academic Advising Office in Lindell 227 on the second floor of Lindell Library. Please contact the office at 612-330-1025 or to schedule testing or if you have any questions.

How do I know which Modern Language Placement is right for me?

*For the purposes of defining English as a primary language and which testing option is appropriate for a student,  the following definition is used. English is defined as being a primary language of the student if the majority of a student’s formal education has been conducted in an English speaking education system. In the US, this would be a minimum of six years in an United States school system.

1.  Students who speak English as a primary language*  and have fewer than two years of high school French, German and Spanish or who plan to take a new language at Augsburg do not need to take the language placement test.

  • Students do not need to take any language placement test but are encouraged to do so.

2.  Students who speak English as a primary language*  and have two or more years of high school French, German and Spanish.

  • Students will take the Modern Language Placement Test to determine placement into a language course  at the college level.
  • Students seeking exemption from the Modern Language requirement need to place into an intermediate level (211) or higher before this exemption can be granted.
  • Language testing will be completed in the Academic Advising office.

Suggestions for the French, German or Spanish Placement Test


  • Set up a (free) account and practice for several days.
  • Give your several adequate time: ideally 45 minutes.


  • Be aware the test uses a progressive format, with questions that get harder as you go along. This is normal and don’t let it shake your confidence.


  • Sing up for the language course that corresponds to your score.
  • Retaking the test to get a better score is NOT allowed.

3.  Students whose primary language is English as defined by the working definition* and are fluent in a language other than English, French, German and Spanish.

  • Language testing is available through the ACTFL placement test in over 90 languages, click here for a FAQ on this process.
  • If both a Written & Spoken placement test is available in the language, both tests must be taken and student must reach the Novice High/intermediate Low level on both tests.  If the scores on the two placement tests are scored differently, credit will be given at the lower of the two scores.
  • If only a Spoken placement test is available, the student must reach the Intermediate High/Advanced Low level on the spoken test.
  • The cost of the test will be paid by the student.
  • Students register for  the ACTFL placement test through the Academic Advising Office in Lindell 227 by emailing

4.  Students whose primary language is NOT English as defined by working definition** and/or by student identification.

  • Students whose primary language is not English will be required to take the Michigan Placement Test.The Michigan Placement Test assesses preparedness for classes  taught in English.
  • A passing grade on the Michigan Test will fulfill the modern language requirement on the CoreCurriculum.
  • Students may also choose to take the ACTFL language tests in their primary language for college credit.

Modern Language Placement Test Grid

Primary Language** Past Language Experience Assessment Cost Retest Available Required Result
English Less than 2 years of study in language other than English None None Student will take two semesters of modern language to satisfy Core Curriculum.
English 2 or more years of High School French, German or Spanish WebCAPE/BYU Language Placement Exam None for first time No Student is placed into language course based on placement test. Students who place at the 211 or higher level will be waived from the Modern Language requirement.
English Fluent in world languages other than French, German and Spanish ACTFL Placement Test $139 – $229 Yes. For Spoken only test a score of Intermediate High/Advanced Low Level is required.For Spoken and Written test a score of Novice High/intermediate Low  is required.
Other than English International students or students whose formal education was conducted in English for fewer than six years. Michigan Test is REQUIRED. None Variable Students who score 85% or higher on the Michigan Test will fulfill the modern language requirement.Students who score less than 85% will be required to take ENL 217/218. Completion of ENL217/218 will fulfill the modern language requirement.
Students may also choose to take ACTFL in their primary language and receive college credit. $139 – $229