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Language Placement, Testing, and Transfer Credit

Placement, Testing, and Transfer Credit for Spanish & Portuguese Language

Students wishing to enroll in Spanish or Portuguese courses have several pathways for appropriate placement. This page provides information on departmental exams, such as the MultiCAT Placement Exam and Examination Mark (EM) Tests (which grant OSU course credits through passing a test), nationally recognized academic programming and testing measures, including Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), as well as Transfer Credit. 

The Portuguese Placement exam is available remotely. For questions, or to set up an appointment to take the exam, contact Dr. Ana Carolina Dos Santos Marques of SPPO.

The Department offers a Graduate Reading Proficiency Exam in Spanish or Portuguese for OSU graduate students wishing to demonstrate reading language proficiency in their area of specialization. The exam is designed for students not enrolled in the Spanish graduate program of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. 

MultiCAT Eligibility & Placement

Questions regarding the Spanish MultiCAT placement exam? Visit the CLLC Language Placement Testing: https://cllc.osu.edu/undergraduate/testing for the most up-to-date information.

  • The Spanish Multimedia Computer Adaptive Test (MultiCAT) is a computerized placement test usually taken during freshman orientation.  
  • Students are placed into SPAN 1101 - 2202 depending on years of high school Spanish study and the MultiCAT score*.
  • Students with any college Spanish credit are not eligible to take this exam.
  • Students who have studied less than 1 year of high school Spanish are not required to take this exam.
  • This exam may be taken only once.
  • Native speakers are not eligible. A Spanish Heritage Learner (SHL) Placement Exam is available for those who self-identify as Heritage Speakers.

A picture I.D. is required to take the exam. The MultiCAT is available on Monday-Friday from 8:30 AM-4:00 PM in Hagerty Hall room 120 during the semester. The MultiCAT can also be taken online. Please note that if you choose to take the MultiCAT online and place into SPAN 2202 (or higher), you will be required to retake the test in-person  in 120 Hagerty Hall within two weeks of receiving your placement. No appointment is required. If you have questions, please call the Center for Languages, Literatures and Cultures (614-292-4361) and/or see our Language Placement Testing site.  Please go to https://cllc.osu.edu/undergraduate/testing for the most up-to-date information.

*The Center for Languages Literatures and Cultures (CLLC) and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese do not currently provide a MultiCAT for Portuguese. For information about placement into Portuguese 1101, 1102, or 1103, please contact Ana Carolina Dos Santos Marques.

Who must take the MultiCAT placement test?

All students who have studied Spanish for 1 year or more in middle or high school, and who do not have any previous Spanish credit at The Ohio State University or another university/college, must take the MultiCAT (Multimedia Computer Adaptive Test). See information on the Spanish Heritage Learner (SHL) Placement Exam if you self-identify as a Spanish Heritage speaker.

Who is not required to take the MultiCAT?

  • Students who have been out of high school for over five years and who have had no practice with Spanish in the meantime. These students may enroll in Spanish 1101.
  • Students who have less than 1 year of high school Spanish.
  • Students who identify as Heritage Speakers and who elect to take the Spanish Heritage Learner (SHL) Placement Exam.

Who is ineligible to take the MultiCAT?

  • Students who completed high school in a Spanish-speaking country.
  • Students who have already taken the MultiCAT. 
  • Transfer students who took Spanish courses at another university. 
  • Students who have credit for a previous Spanish course at OSU. These students should enroll in the next course in the sequence.
    • Students who have had a long hiatus since their previous Spanish course may elect to repeat the previous course (with the understanding that credit for the same course cannot count twice for graduation hours). Please contact Megan Lobert for approval. Free tutoring is available in our Teaching and Learning Centers. A list of private tutors is also available at Tutoring and Translating Services

Placement in a Spanish course is based on the number of years of High School Spanish study and the MultiCAT score. If you do not remember your MultiCAT score, contact the Center for Languages, Literatures and Cultures, 100 Hagerty Hall, (614) 292-4361. 

1-2 Years of High School Study

  • A score between 0 - 20.5 places into Spanish 1101
  • A score between 20.6 - 25.5 places into Spanish 1102
  • A score between 25.6 - 29.5 places into Spanish 1103
  • A score between 29.6 - 32+  places into Spanish 2202

3+ Years of High School Study

  • A score between 0 - 20.5 places into Spanish 1155
  • A score between 20.6 - 25.5 places into Spanish 1102
  • A score between 25.6 - 29.5 places into Spanish 1103
  • A score between 29.6 - 32+ places into Spanish 2202

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese follows the MultiCAT placement scale strictly for placing students. However, if you believe that you have been placed incorrectly or have a placement question, please contact Megan Lobert. 

Spanish Heritage Learner (SHL) Placement for Spanish

  • The Spanish Heritage Learner (SHL) exam is a computerized placement test usually taken during freshman orientation. More information about this exam can be found on the AVANT website
  • The exam is for students who self-identify as a heritage learner of Spanish. In the state of Ohio, heritage learner is defined as someone who grew up speaking Spanish in the home/community but graduated from a High School in the U.S.
  • Students are placed into SPAN 1155, SPAN 1113/1103, SPAN 2213/2202 or SPAN 3413/3403, 3401 and/or 3404
  • Students with any college Spanish credit or currently enrolled in a Spanish course are not eligible to take this exam.
  • This exam may be taken only once.
  • Native speakers are not eligible.

A picture I.D. is required to take the exam. To take the exam, contact the CLLC at cllc@osu.edu and they will send you instructions. Once you have the instructions, you may take the exam whenever. No appointment is required. If you have questions, please call the Center for Languages, Literatures and Cultures (614-292-4361) and/or see our Language Placement Testing site. Please go to https://cllc.osu.edu/undergraduate/testing for the most up-to-date information.

Who is eligible to take the SHL placement test?

All students who identify as Heritage Speakers of Spanish and who do not have any previous Spanish credit at The Ohio State University or another university/college, can take the SHL exam. Students who identify as Heritage Speakers can also elect to take the MultiCAT exam, but should follow the placement pathway provided by whichever exam they elect to take.

Who is ineligible to take the SHL?

  • Students who completed high school in a Spanish-speaking country.
  • Transfer students who took Spanish courses at another university.
  • Students who have credit for a previous Spanish course at OSU. These students should enroll in the next course in the sequence.
    • Students who have had a long hiatus since their previous Spanish course may elect to repeat the previous course (with the understanding that credit for the same course cannot count twice for graduation hours). Please contact Megan Lobert for approval. Free tutoring is available in our Teaching and Learning Centers. A list of private tutors is also available at Tutoring and Translating Services

Placement in a Spanish course is based on the SHL score. If you do not remember your SHL score, contact the Center for Languages, Literatures and Cultures, 100 Hagerty Hall, (614) 292-4361.

  • Level 1: take the MultiCAT or schedule SPAN 1155
  • Level 2-3: SPAN 1113 / 1103
  • Level 4-5: SPAN 2213 / 2202
  • Level 6-7: SPAN 3413 (or SPAN 3401, 3403 and/or 3404)

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese follows the SHL placement scale strictly for placing students. However, if you believe that you have been placed too low or too high or have a placement question, please contact Megan Lobert.

Overview of the Departmental Exams for Spanish

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese (SPPO) offers Departmental Exams for students who want to improve their current placement in the Spanish 1100-level sequence. A student is eligible to take a Spanish (SPAN) Departmental Exam for SPAN 1101, 1102, 1155, and 1103 and can only register for the level in which they are currently placed. For example, a student currently placed in SPAN 1102 may only register for the Spanish Departmental Exam for SPAN 1102. A student who earns at least 80% on the exam will be given permission by the Spanish testing coordinator to enroll in the next course in the sequence. Exam scores are not rounded, and the exam cannot be repeated.

Students who want to sit for a Spanish Departmental Exam are required to pre-register. The last day to register is 3 pm on Monday of Week 2 in the autumn and spring semesters. Once a student is approved and registered for an exam, they can complete it during any two-hour window prior to the final deadline of 11:59 pm on Tuesday of Week 2. Once the exam is open, the timer cannot be paused, and the exam will automatically submit on Carmen after two hours. For questions about Spanish Departmental Exams, including SLDS accommodations email sppotest@osu.edu

Non-native Spanish-speaking students may take a Departmental Exam for SPAN 1101, 1102, 1155, and 1103. Typically, Spanish Departmental Exams are taken after a student has received a placement and/or after transfer credit has been posted. For information regarding Spanish placement, go to the Spanish Multimedia Computer Adaptive Test (MultiCAT) section of this webpage. 

As mentioned in the previous section, a student is eligible to take a Departmental Exam only for the level in which they are currently placed. In other words, if a student is currently placed in SPAN 1101 may only register for the SPAN 1101 Departmental exam. If a score of 80% or higher is achieved on the test, the student is then eligible to register for the next course in the sequence or take the Departmental Exam for the next level. 


A student is ineligible to sit for a Spanish Departmental Exam if they have…

  • received transfer credit for the course; 
  • received a mark or a withdrawal (W) at OSU for the course;
  • received a failing grade for the course. 

In addition, a student is ineligible to take a Spanish Departmental Exam for courses that are prerequisites to those for which college credit has been earned. A student may not repeat a Spanish Departmental Exam for any reason. If you have any doubts or questions about your eligibility to sit for a Spanish Departmental Exam, contact sppotest@osu.edu

The Spanish Departmental Exams are administered remotely through Carmen and use Proctorio, an Ohio State approved online proctoring software. All Spanish Departmental Exams include the following six sections:

  • Listening comprehension
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar
  • Culture
  • Reading comprehension
  • Writing

The content included in each test is related to the specific chapters covered in the course levels’ textbook. Each course-level Spanish Departmental Exam is designed using the following textbooks and chapters:

  • SPAN 1101: Chapters 1-4 (¡Arriba!, 7th edition) 
  • SPAN 1102: Chapters 5-8 (¡Arriba!, 7th edition)
  • SPAN 1155: Chapters 1-8 (¡Arriba!, 7th edition)
  • SPAN 1103: Chapters 9-12 (¡Arriba!, 7th edition)

Spanish Departmental Exams are administered and proctored online via Carmen, therefore, it is essential to have access to laptop/computer with a webcam, microphone, and strong internet connection. In addition, students are required to download and install the remote proctoring software, Proctorio. Any concerns about access to the necessary equipment and/or about Proctorio, should be emailed to sppotest@osu.edu

Prohibited Materials

Lastly, on the day of the exam, a student may not use any external resources which include but are not limited to…

  • (online) dictionaries/translators
  • books
  • notes
  • cellphones
  • laptops
  • tablets
  • smart watches
  • search engines
  • online forums
  • other people
  • scratch paper (a Whiteboard feature will be provided during the exam that can be used as scratch paper)

These items are strictly prohibited during all testing sessions. Any suspicion of Academic Misconduct will be reported to the university’s Committee on Academic Misconduct (COAM) for further investigation. 

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese only administers Spanish Departmental Exams at the beginning of the autumn and spring semesters. Specifically, the exams are available from the first official day of classes in Week 1 through 11:59 pm on Tuesday of Week 2. 

Note: Due to a staffing shortage, the Spanish Departmental Exams will not be offered until Autumn 2024. We apologize for any inconvenience.

A student who wants to take a Spanish Departmental Exam must register by submitting the registration form. As part of the registration process, students will select a day to take the exam that works for their schedule. It is important to note that a student is not officially registered for a Spanish Departmental Exam until they receive a confirmation from the testing coordinator(s). An email confirming (or denying) a student’s registration request will be sent only to OSU email accounts. 

Once officially registered, a student will be granted access to the exam on Carmen starting at 12:00 am on the scheduled exam date. The exam will close by 11:59 pm on Tuesday of Week 2 of the semester. Once the exam is opened on Carmen, a 2-hour timer will start and cannot be paused. At the end of the two-hour window, the exam will automatically submit whether the student has finished or not.

Students must achieve a minimum score of 80% on the exam in order to receive permission to enroll in the next course in the sequence. For example, if a student were to score 87% on the SPAN 1101 Departmental Exam, they would receive permission to enroll in an open section of SPAN 1102. If a student were to earn less than 80% on the exam, they would be required to enroll in SPAN 1101. 

Students will be informed of the results via email within two business days from the submission of their exam. If a student earns an 80% or higher, the Spanish testing coordinator(s) will email the student permission for their adviser to enroll them in the next course in the sequence. 

Examination Mark (EM) Program for Spanish 2202

Credit by Exam is a university-wide program that allows currently enrolled undergraduates at The Ohio State University to earn credit toward graduation upon successful completion of specific content-based exams. The Department of Spanish and Portuguese (SPPO) offers Examination Mark (EM) tests for SPAN 2202. 

  • Written exams that allow students to improve their MultiCAT placement.
  • A student is eligible to take an EM test only for the level for which they are currently placed.
  • The EM tests for each course level may be taken only once. No exceptions.
  • A minimum score of 80% is required to earn EM credit.
  • The registration form must be submitted by the deadline established in the testing schedule.  
  • Administration fee: $65 (Please see “Registration and Fee” below for more information on how to pay the administration fee online)

Any credit(s) earned through Spanish and Portuguese EM tests appears as "EM" credit on official transcripts and does not affect a student's GPA.

For more information regarding eligibility, exam content, testing schedules, please see below.  

Disability Services and Testing Accommodations 

Students registered with the Office of Student Life Disability Services (SLDS) should contact Maria Morado Vazquez as soon as possible to discuss accommodations for the EMs. 

Non-native Spanish-speaking students may seek credit by exam for SPAN 2202. Typically, Spanish and Portuguese EM tests are taken after a student has received a placement score for the desired language and/or after transfer credit has been posted. For information regarding Spanish placement, go to the Spanish Multimedia Computer Adaptive Test (MultiCAT) section of this webpage. For information regarding Portuguese placement, please email Dr. Ana Carolina Dos Santos Marques for details. A student is eligible to take an EM test only for the level for which they are currently placed. In other words, if a student is currently placed in SPAN 2202, they may only register for the SPAN 2202 EM test. If a score of 80% or higher is achieved on the test, the student earns credit for the level and is then eligible to register for the course at the next level or take the next level EM. 


A student is ineligible to sit for a Spanish or Portuguese course's EM test if they have...

  • received transfer credit for the course; 
  • received a mark or a withdrawal (W) at OSU for the course;
  • received a failing grade for the course. 

In addition, a student is ineligible to take a Spanish or Portuguese EM test for courses that are prerequisites to those for which college credit has been earned. Also, please note that a student may not repeat a Spanish or Portuguese EM test for any reason. If you have any doubts or questions about your eligibility to sit for a Spanish or Portuguese EM test, please contact Megan Lobert.

The Spanish and Portuguese EM tests will be administered remotely through Carmen and proctored through Proctorio, OSU's remote proctoring service. 

All Spanish and Portuguese EM tests include the following six (6) sections:

  • Listening comprehension
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar
  • Culture
  • Reading comprehension
  • Writing

The content included in each test is related to the specific chapters covered in the course levels' textbook.

Each course-level Spanish EM test is designed using the following textbooks and chapters:

  • SPAN 2202: Chapters 4-6 (Día a día, 2nd edition)

Required Materials

The exam is administered remotely. On the day of the exam a student must have…

  • a valid Buck ID (please do not use driver’s license or passport)
  • access to high speed internet
  • access to a computer or laptop with webcam
    • If you only have iPad or do not have the proper equipment please contact Megan Lobert to see if there are other options available.
  • installed Google Chrome
  • installed the Proctorio extension (go to getproctorio.com to install extension)
    • Note: Proctorio only works with Google Chrome and does not work with iPads. If you only have an iPad or do not have access to Google Chrome, please contact Megan Lobert to make alternative arrangements)
  • agreed to the Academic Integrity Promise (this will be sent to you upon registering for the exam)
  • the receipt showing that the $65 fee has been paid (further details are available under “Registration and Fee”)

Note: Failure to bring a valid photo ID, writing utensils, headphones/earphones, and an acceptable form of payment to the testing session results in automatic dismissal, and the student will be required to reschedule. 


Prohibited Materials

On the day of the exam, a student may not use any external resources which include but are not limited to...

  • (online) dictionaries/translators
  • books
  • notes
  • cellphones
  • laptops
  • tablets
  • smart watches
  • search engines
  • online forums
  • other people
  • scratchpaper (a Whiteboard feature will be provided during the exam that can be used as scratchpaper)

These items are strictly prohibited during all testing sessions. Any suspicion of Academic Misconduct will be reported to the university's Committee on Academic Misconduct (COAM) for further investigation. 

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese only administers the EM tests during pre-established testing sessions. The dates for AU24 testing and their associated deadlines are listed below.  

The SPAN 2202 EM will not be available again until Monday of Week 1 of AU24 through Tuesday of Week 2. 

Registration

A student who wishes to take a Spanish or Portuguese EM test must register by filling out the Registration Form. As part of the registration process, students will select a date/time to take the exam that works for their schedule that is also within the official SPPO EM testing session time frame. The registration form must be submitted by the deadline established in the testing schedule.  Registration forms requesting testing dates outside of the official testing sessions will not be considered. See “Testing Schedule” for more information. 

As EM tests are administered remotely, therefore, having access to proper equipment is essential. If you do not have a working laptop/computer with a webcam, strong internet connection, Proctorio concerns, or other issues, please email Megan Lobert to work out alternative methods to take the exam.

As stated above, a student is eligible to register only for the level in which they are currently placed. It is important to note that a student is not officially registered for an EM test until they receive a confirmation from the EM Testing coordinator(s). An email confirming (or denying) a student's EM test registration request will be sent only to OSU email accounts. 

Once officially registered, the date/time indicated on the form will be confirmed and the student will get access to take the exam through Carmen during the stated window. It is critical to take the exam within that window, as the exam will not be reopened once the window is closed without proper documentation.


Fee

After you have registered for an EM and have received confirmation from the testing coordinator(s), you will then be directed to pay the exam’s administrative fee. The administration fee for the Spanish and Portuguese EM test is $65 per test, and payment is only accepted via credit/debit cardsConsult the deadline in the Testing Schedule for payment.

Go to the following link to pay the EM test fee:

https://cllc-osu.nbsstore.net/em-testing 

Please retain your receipt as evidence of payment. A student who has not paid prior to the exam session will not be permitted to sit for that session and is required to register for a later date. Absolutely no exceptions. 

In order to gain credit by exam, students must achieve a minimum score of 80% on the test. 

Students will be informed of the results promptly via email. If a student earns an 80% or higher, the Spanish and Portuguese EM testing coordinator(s) will complete and submit an EM credit request to the student's college office for review. Once approved by the college, the request will then be submitted to the Office of the Registrar for official posting to a student's transcript. The posting process currently takes four to six weeks. Students earning credits for EMs can forward the email from the testing coordinator(s) to their Academic Advisor for permission to enroll in subsequent courses pending Registrar's posting.

AP, IB, CLEP, and Transfer Credit

The Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs approved for Spanish EM credit at OSU are listed below. Students who desire to earn EM credit through Advanced Placement or IB must have their official score reports sent to the Admissions Office, SAS Building, 281 W. Lane Ave, Columbus, OH 43210. Contact AP at 1-888-225-5427 or IB at 1-301-202-3121 to designate Ohio State University as an official score recipient.

AP Score Credit 

  • Score of 3 receives 8 credit hours (Spanish 1101 and 1102) = Enrollment in Spanish 1103
  • Score of 4 or 5 receives 15 credit hours (Spanish 1101, 1102, 1103 and 2202) = Enrollment in Spanish 3401, 3403, and/or 3404

IB (High Level or HL) Score Credit 

  • Spanish A: Language & Literature score of 5 receives 8 credit hours (Spanish 1101 & 1102) = Enrollment in Spanish 1103
  • Spanish A: Literature and Culture OR Spanish A: Literature OR Spanish B score of 6 or 7 receives 12 credit hours (Spanish 1101, 1102, and 1103) = Enrollment in Spanish 2202
  • IB Standard Level scores not accepted for credit.

Visit the Prior Learning Assessment webpages at the University Registrar for more information about AP and IB Tests, scores, and credit awarded

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests are computer based tests administered in the Office of Testing at Ohio State University. For information about registration, fees, and credit posting, visit the Prior Learning Assessment webpages at the University Registrar - CLEP.

CLEP Exam Level Credit

  • Score of 56-62, Level 1, receives 8 credit hours (Spanish 1101 and 1102) = Enrollment in Spanish 1103
  • Score of 63-67, Level 2, receives 12 credit hours (Spanish 1101, 1102, and 1103) = Enrollment in Spanish 2202
  • Score of 68+, Level 3, receives 15 credit hours (Spanish 1101, 1102, 1103, and 2202) = Enrollment in Spanish 3401, 3403 and/or 3404

A transfer student is one who has completed undergraduate coursework at an accredited university or college other than Ohio State (international or domestic), and who has transferred to an OSU degree program.

  • To initiate the process, send your Official Transcripts to the OSU Transfer Credit Center, Office of the University Registrar
  • Transfer credit is course credit granted by coordinators in the Transfer Credit Center, Office of the University Registrar. Transfer credit for specific courses may be assigned automatically by Registrar-level credit coordinators upon admission, as many equivalent courses have already been articulated.
  • Students may also receive general/unspecified transfer credit for completed courses. In these cases: 
    • Students contact Rachel Sanabria, Transfer Credit Coordinator, to request credit evaluation
    • Use your OSU email, and provide your OSU Student ID# and University / College (including specific campus location)
    • A syllabus may be requested for which general or specific transfer credit has been granted (electronic versions are fine.) In this situation, course descriptions from course offerings catalogues are not sufficient. Where syllabi are not available, textbooks, notes and papers from relevant courses may be used for the evaluation.
  • For further information, contact the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at (614) 292-4958.

NOTE: It is the student's responsibility to provide all required and requested information to facilitate the transfer credit evaluation process. Transfer credit requests will remain pending until all required or requested information and documentation has been provided.

OPIc for Graduating Spanish/Portuguese Majors

Beginning Autumn 2022, the Department of Spanish & Portuguese at OSU will offer graduating majors the opportunity to take the OPIc to measure their level of proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese (one time, $73 value). 

The ACTFL OPIc is an internet-delivered test that provides valid and reliable oral proficiency testing on a large scale. It obtains a sample of speech which a rater can evaluate and compare to the performance against the proficiency levels described in ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines 2012 – Speaking. The results of this exam can be used in a variety of professional and educational fields. For complete information about the OPIc, please the official ACTFL Speaking Assessment: The Oral Proficiency Interview - computer® (OPIc) page for FAQs. 


Here are some general reminders about the exam:

  • The exam will be given in 90 minute windows.
  • You will be provided with a computer and headset.
  • There will be a brief Qualtrics survey before starting the exam.
  • The exam will begin with a brief questionnaire followed by 15 prompts.
    • You will have 2 minutes per prompt 
    • The more speech the better, so fill up as much of that time as you can
  • The result of the exam takes about two weeks to come in, after which Elizabeth Wigal will email you the certificate 

For questions, contact spanport@osu.edu 

A student is eligible for registration if they are a Spanish/Portuguese major and are graduating in the current semester. 

Once you have submitted the webform linked below, a confirmation page will appear. This is where you will gain access to the Bookings link to schedule a time to take the exam. The exam will be administered in 298D and proctored by Elizabeth Wigal.

Register for the OPIc