Language Placement Exams - Pepperdine University - Seaver College

Language Placement Exams

Overview of Placement Exams

Placement examinations in foreign languages, written English, and oral speech, are administered to determine the level at which the student will begin certain general studies requirements, although units are not awarded. Light preparation for these exams may prove helpful.

The English and oral speech exams are required only of students whose native language is not English.

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Foreign Language Placement Examination

The general studies curriculum at Pepperdine requires all students to complete up to three semesters of a foreign language.

Students may choose from Chinese, German, Greek, French, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish to fulfill the foreign language requirement. (Greek and Hebrew are taught through the Religion and Philosophy Division.)

Placement into Chinese, Italian, and Japanese will be determined by the Modern Languages faculty. The Chinese, French, German, and Spanish Placement Examination MUST be taken online (see below).

The placement exams offered are designed to place the student at the first (151), second (152), or third (251) semester level. A high score on this exam will require the student to come to the International Studies & Languages Division to be further tested. If you are a freshman, you can do this when school begins. If additional testing places the student above the third semester level (252 and above) the general studies foreign language requirement will be fulfilled and, with faculty approval, students will qualify to take courses numbered 252 or higher.

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Who is Required to Take the Chinese, German, French, and Spanish Exams?

Those required to participate in Chinese, German, French and Spanish exams are students who have studied one of these languages in high school and have not earned college credit for that language and wish to enroll in that language within the next year.

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Who is NOT Required to Take the Chinese, German, French, and Spanish Exams?

Those not required to participate in Chinese, German, French and Spanish exams are:

  1. Students who have not previously studied one of these languages.
  2. Students earning foreign language college credit with a grade of "C" or higher.
  3. International students who can verify academic study of their native language through the high school level (the general studies foreign language requirement is waived for international students in this category; thus, the placement exam is unnecessary). Please consult the Office of International Student Services at (310) 506-4246 if there are questions regarding this matter.
  4. Students who have earned Advanced Placement (AP) credit in one of these languages. Students who have received a grade of "3" on the AP exam will be placed into the third (251) semester level and receive credit for 152. Those who have received a score of "4" will have satisfied the GE requirement in foreign language and receive credit for 251. Students with a grade of "5" will receive credit for 252, and will thus be eligible for upper division courses. Students who have earned Advanced Placement credit, but have not received their score, should take the online exam. Once they have received the AP score, they will be awarded appropriate credit regardless of the online placement exam score.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Expiration of Placement Exam Scores

Students should take the indicated course within one academic year of taking the placement exam.

To take the Chinese, German, French, or Spanish exam, follow the instructions listed below. If you have any additional questions, please call the International Studies and Languages Division, (310) 506-7446.

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Chinese, German, French, and Spanish Placement Examination

The Chinese, French, German, and Spanish examinations are available Online. Students may access the exam online 24 hours a day. Any student who is considering meeting the foreign language requirement with Chinese, Spanish, German, or French MUST take the test.

Guidelines for Taking Online Language Placement Exam

  1. The purpose of this test is to place students in the proper level ensuring that they will not be too challenged nor too frustrated. Therefore, you should not consult any material (dictionaries, books, class notes, friends, etc.) when taking this test as it would skew your results and place you in a class that would be too difficult or too easy for you. Please keep in mind that Pepperdine University has very high standards for Academic Integrity which apply fully to this test. Further information is available at:
    http://seaver.pepperdine.edu/academics/academic-support/integrity/

  2. When you finish taking the test, you MUST wait until you see a score on your screen. Failure to do so may invalidate your test. After you receive your score, save and print the screen for your records. In the event you score above 413 in the French exam, above 547 in the German Exam, or above 413 in the Spanish Exam (Students taking the Chinese exam should contact the ISL Div. for placement information), you should come to the International Studies and Languages Division to be further tested. If you are an incoming freshman, you can do this when school begins. This evaluation will check proper placement into upper level courses or the possible exemption of the foreign language requirement.

Instructions for the Taking Language Placement Exam

 

Make sure the computer you are using meets the Web Browser Requirements  listed below.

  1. Go to the following web address:

    http://webcape.org?acct=pepperdine
     
  2. When asked for a Password, enter the following:
    Password: waves1
    (NOTE: All lowercase)
  3. From the drop-down menu choose the language: German, French, or Spanish and click on the "Begin" button.
  4. On the next Web page, enter your personal data and complete the entire questionnaire:

    ID# = enter Campus Wide ID (CWID) # (Required!)
  5. Take the exam without any outside help (see Guideline 1 above)

Take the exam only ONCE. Only your first completed attempt at the test will count. If your computer freezes when you are taking the test, go back to the test site and enter the password. Enter you name and CWID and you should be able to resume your test.

When finished, wait until you see a score on your screen. Save and print this screen for your records.

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System Recommendations for Online Exam

  • OPERATING SYSTEMS/RAM:

    • Win 7 or higher
    • MacOS X 10.7 or higher
  • BROWSERS:
    • Windows: Internet Explorer 8 or higher, Google Chrome Version 32 or higher and Firefox Version 26 or higher
    • Mac: Safari, Google Chrome Version 32 or higher and Firefox Version 26 or higher
  • INTERNET CONNECTION:
    • High-speed internet connection strongly recommended (DSL, cable modem)

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Web Browser Requirements for Online Exam

Please make sure your unit meets the minimum requirements and your operating system is up to date as well as your browsers. This will insure your unit will not have any problems connecting and completing the exam. If your system or browsers are out of date you will experience delays, connection and incompatibility issues.

If you experience difficulties, be sure the following browser conditions exist:

  • Do not block pop-up windows
  • Frames-capable browser
  • Forms-capable browser
  • Javascript enabled
  • Cookies enabled
  • Do not use proxy servers

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Troubleshooting Language Placement Exam

  1. Do not click off the exam once you begin
  2. If "Post Results" appears and clicking does not work, press and hold the CTRL key when clicking on "Post Results"
  3. Wait for the small pop-up window "Posting exam results" to finish, the window will close automatically. Do not close the small pop-up window manually.

If you have any technical problems, please contact Larry Levy at lawrence.levy@pepperdine.edu
Please be as specific and provide as much information as possible about the problem. Also please include the name and version number of your Operating System and Web Browser, if possible.

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Frequently Asked Questions

I have missed the deadline for taking the Placement Exam. What should I do?

I have scored above 413 in the French exam, above 547 in the German Exam, or above 413 in the Spanish Exam. What should I do?

I have taken the Language AP exam, but I don't have my score yet.

I studied a language in high school, but now I would like to study another language. Do I need to take the Placement Exam for the language I know?

I studied some Chinese, Spanish, French or German in high school, but not very much. I would like to enroll in the first semester of that language. Do I still need to take the exam?

I have taken the CLEP.  Is my score valid at Pepperdine?

I have taken an IB language course. Can I get credit for it?

I have completed one or two semesters of a language at another college or university. On my DAR, this/these course/s were listed in the "Electives" section, but with the units listed as '0'. Do I need to take the Placement?

I have missed the deadline for taking the Placement Exam. What should I do?

Go ahead and take the exam. If you then need to enroll in a language course and would like to do so during your first semester, you may attempt to add the class during add-drop week as the openings we have will go to those who took the test in a timely manner.

I have scored above 413 in the French exam, above 547 in the German Exam, or above 413 in the Spanish Exam. What should I do?

You must come to the International Studies and Languages Division during your first semester at Pepperdine to be further tested. You will not have met the requirement until you have been tested by the division.

I have taken the Language AP exam, but I don't have my score yet.

If you have not received your Language AP score by the Placement Exam deadline, you should take the online exam.  Once you receive your AP score, you will be awarded appropriate credit regardless of your placement exam score.

I studied a language in high school, but now I would like to study another language. Do I need to take the Placement Exam for the language I know?

No, you don't. However, if you have some knowledge of the language you now want to study, and would like to meet the requirement with this language, you must take the Language Placement Exam for that language. If the language you want to study is other than French, German or Spanish, please contact the International Studies and Languages  Division during the first week of classes.

I studied some Chinese, Spanish, French or German in high school, but not very much. I would like to enroll in the first semester of that language. Do I still need to take the exam?

Yes, you must take the exam. If you don't, and you register in 151 (first semester), your professor will not allow you to stay in his or her class unless you take the exam.

I have taken the CLEP.  Is my score valid at Pepperdine?

While you may receive elective credit for your CLEP exams (based on your score and type of exam), we will not award you actual language credit.

I have taken an IB language course. Can I get credit for it?

Yes, you can. For further information, please contact the International Student Services office at admissions-oiss@pepperdine.edu

I have completed one or two semesters of a language at another college or university. On my DAR, this/these course/s were listed in the "Electives" section, but with the units listed as '0'. Do I need to take the Placement?

As you have successfully transferred in foreign language classes, you need not take the placement exam. You may not have received units for these courses because you have earned more than the maximum of 64 transferable units. To determine which Pepperdine language course to take, please check the evaluation on your DAR:  If your language course is equivalent to the 151, you should register for 152. If your language course is equivalent to 152, you should register for 251. If your class is equivalent to 251, then you have completed the language requirement.