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Language Placement Examination

What is the Language Placement Examination?

The General Education curriculum at Pepperdine requires all students to complete three semesters of a foreign language, or its equivalent. Students who choose French, German or Spanish to fulfill the foreign language requirement must take an online placement examination. Please see the section below for exemptions. The deadline for taking this exam is December 1, 2013. The placement exam tests the student's ability in French, German, or Spanish. The results place students at the first (151), second (152), or third (251) semester level. A high score on this exam, placing a student above the third semester level (251 and above), fulfills the General Education foreign language requirement. No further courses are necessary. With faculty approval, students can qualify for courses numbered 252 or higher.
Note: Students who plan to fulfill this requirement with a language other than French, German, or Spanish must consult with the Modern Languages faculty upon arrival to campus. Other languages offered are Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew, and Greek.

Who is required to take the exam?

Students who meet all of the following criteria must take the exam:

  1. Studied French, German, or Spanish in high school, and
  2. Have not earned college credit for that language, and
  3. Haven't taken an advanced placement test, and
  4. Wish to enroll in that language within the next year.

Who is exempt from taking the exam?

Students who meet any one of the following criteria do not take the exam:

  1. Have not previously studied French, German, or Spanish, or
  2. Have earned foreign language college credit with a grade of "C" or higher, or
  3. Are International students who can verify academic study of their native language through the high school level,* or
  4. Have earned Advanced Placement (AP) credit in French, German, or Spanish.**

* Pepperdine satisfies the General Education foreign language 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 you have questions regarding this matter.
** Students who receive a grade of "3" on the AP exam receive credit for 152 and can register for the third (251) semester level. Students with a score of "4" satisfy the GE requirement in foreign language and receive credit for 251. Students who receive a score of "5" satisfy the GE requirement in foreign language, receive credit for 252, and are eligible to take upper division courses, with permission from the division. Students not receiving their Language AP score by the above deadline for the online Language Placement Exam should take the online exam. When the AP scores come in, students receive the appropriate credit based on the AP score rather than their placement exam score.
Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the exam valid?

Language Placement Exam scores are valid for one year from the test. After one year, you must retake the exam.

Guidelines for Taking Online Language Placement Exam

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.
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 scored above 413 in the French exam, above 547 in the German Exam, or above 413 in the Spanish Exam, 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.

When and where can I take the exam?

The Language Placement Examination is available online, 24 hours a day. Please refer to the New Student Checklist for information on the current deadline to take the test: New Student Checklist. Please do not wait until the last minute to take the test.
Read the Guidelines above before taking exam
Access Language Placement Exam (Password: waves1)

Help with Language Placement Exam

Contact Information

Phone: (310) 506-7446
Hours: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
Location: Seaver Academic Complex (SAC), Office 102

Visit the International Studies and Languages Division web site or
e-mail Larry Levy.