Placement Testing for Romance Languages

Italian and Portuguese

If you studied Italian or Portuguese in high school and wish to continue in that language, you will be placed through advising and consultation with the Department of Romance Languages upon arriving on campus in the fall. If you studied French or Spanish in high school and wish to begin the study of Italian or Portuguese, you must take the placement test in the language you studied in high school for placement into Italian or Portuguese.

If you studied Italian or Portuguese in high school and wish to continue in that language, you will be placed through consultation with Professors McCormick ( for Italian or Jayne Reino ( for Portuguese.

French and Spanish

If you wish to begin the study of French or Spanish, you may register for Spanish 111 or French 111. No placement test is required.

If you studied French or Spanish in high school and wish to continue in the same language, you must take the placement test in that language.

Take the placement test in one language only. For third-language study, placement can take place on campus.

Placement test scores are good for one year only. Enrolled students meet with language faculty to determine placement.

Incoming students wishing to take the French or Spanish placement test must do so at least one week before their summer advising appointment. Detailed instructions and test access are provided below.

Should you require assistance with testing procedures or should you encounter any difficulty in taking either the French or Spanish test, please contact one of the following individuals:

  • Alex Williams (540-458-8821,, Administrative Assistant, Romance Languages Department
  • Dr. Dick Kuettner (540-458-8995,, Director, Global Discovery Laboratories

Help is available to you between the hours of 9 AM - 4 PM EDT Monday through Friday during the testing period. If at all possible, schedule your testing time in conjunction with the times that assistance is available.

Remember that you are on your honor when you take this on-line placement test. The test must be taken in one sitting (normally about fifteen minutes), and assistance of any kind (books, dictionaries, on-line glossaries, help from others - except the two individuals listed above) is absolutely forbidden. You may take the test only once. More on the Washington and Lee Honor System.

After completing your placement test you receive points, a raw score, which W&L uses to place you into the appropriate level language class. Course recommendations from your test results will be posted to your Self-Service Student Planning account in early August. In your Student Planning 'Test Summary' screen, the placement score posted matches the recommended world language course number. For example, a test summary French score of 161, means that your raw score recommends registration for FREN 161.  More information about interpreting your placement scores and registration recommendations can be found at

Please see the flowchart with registration recommendations for students who wish to complete their language FDR with French, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish.

Good luck, and we wish you great success as you enter Washington and Lee University.

Testing Instructions

  1. Read these instructions in their entirety before you start the placement test. If the instructions are not fully clear to you, feel free to contact one of the three names above prior to taking the test.
  2. Fill in your information to create an account with Emmersion that will allow you to take the test. If you already have an account, click "I already have an account."
  3. Fill out the information with your student wlu email and password of your choice to register for an account. 
  4. Log in using your credentials.
  5. Select your target language test. Click "Take Test."
  6. You will be taken to a "pre-test survey" to complete a survey regarding your background with the language.
  7. After finishing the survey, click "Submit."
  8. Now you are ready to take the test. Click "Begin Test."
  9. Review carefully the instructions provided for each question before reading the question and answer choices.
  10. When you are done, click "See Score Report."
  11. A summary of your test score and details of placement will show up.
  12. Now that you have read and understood the instructions, click here to begin the testing process.

Additional Information

Should you require assistance with testing procedures, email or call 540-458-8995 for help.