Placement Exam-Survey FAQ

If your question is not answered below, please don't hesitate to contact us.

What is the online placement exam?

  • The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures wants to place students at the most appropriate course level, based on their previous exposure to Chinese, French, German or Spanish.
  • To place students at the appropriate level the department uses the results of the placement exam along with other information, such as the number of years that the language was studied, grades earned, etc.
  • The department reserves the right to change the student's placement if it believes that the student has not been placed at the most appropriate level.
  • Students who believe they were misplaced on the basis of the placement test score should consult the Department Languages, Literatures and Cultures. Students may not place themselves, or change their placement without departmental approval.
  • For more information email the department:, or call the department at (414) 288-7063.

Who needs to take the online placement exam and what are the language requirement?

When should I take the online placement exam?

  • After high school graduation.
  • Before attending SPARK.
  • Immediately after the exam you’ll receive your placement and score.
  • Bring your placement results score and placement level to SPARK or when you meet with your academic advisor.

What do I need to take the online placement exam?

  • 20 – 30 minutes depending on your skill level of the language.
  • 1 or more years in Chinese, French, German or Spanish in high school.
  • Your Marquette University (MU) ID number.
  • If you do not have your MU ID number when registering for the exam use your last name and then first name.
  • If you have not studied Chinese, French, German or Spanish, register for course level 1003 in the respective language. Level 1003 is an elementary level and you do not have to take the placement exam.
  • Take the exam only once.
  • DO NOT STUDY for the exam. The exam is designed to measure your language skills. Studying for the exam may place you in a higher level course which you may not be prepared for.

What does the online placement results page look like?


How are course levels and scores broken-down?

Chinese Scores

Chinese Course

Below 200

CHNS 1001


CHNS 2001


CHNS 3001*

Spanish Scores

Spanish Course

Below 220

SPAN 1001


SPAN 1003


SPAN 2001


SPAN 2003

Above 551

SPAN 3001

French Scores

French Course

Below 220

FREN 1001


FREN 1003


FREN 2001


FREN 2003

Above 551

FREN 3001

German Scores

German Course

Below 301

GRMN 1003


GRMN 2001


GRMN 2003

Above 551

GRMN 3001

Course level descriptions

1001 - CHNS, SPAN elementary level

1003 - FREN, GRMN and SPAN, intensive elementary level

2001 - CHNS, FREN, GRMN, SPAN, intermediate level

2003 - FREN, GRMN, SPAN, intensive intermediate level

3001 - FREN, writing skills

3001 - GRMN, composition and conversation

3001 - SPAN, Advanced Communication in Spanish

*3001 - CHNS, offered occasionally

See a complete list of major/minors and language courses:

What if I am a native or heritage speaker of Spanish?

  • You are considered a HERITAGE SPEAKER if you completed high school in the United States but you were exposed to Spanish at home or in your community from a young age.
  • As a heritage speaker, you MUST take the language placement exam unless you took the AP Spanish Language and Culture or AP Spanish Literature and Culture exams then you do not need to take the online placement exam.

What if I am a native or heritage speaker of French or German?

  • Students who plan to continue advanced study of that language must first take the placement exam in that language to determine the level of proficiency.
  • After taking the exam and obtaining their results, students must consult with the Chair of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures before registering for an advanced foreign language level or
    (414) 288-7063.
  • View our Heritage and Native Speakers page for more information.

What are the Advance Placement, Capp or Retroactive credits?

  • See Undergraduate bulletin for AP scores and more.
  • Note: "Placement into" FREN 2001 means the student must take that course.
  • Students who have college credit for a foreign language level from another university (including CAPP levels in high school)
  • Contact the Office of the Registrar
  • Marquette Central (414) 288-4000

Online Placement Exam for students who studied Chinese, French, German or Spanish

  1. Click on Placement Exam
  2. Fill out registration form
  3. Enter your MU ID number starting with 00
  4. If you do not have a MU ID number use last name, first name
  5. Complete the brief survey and sample questions
  6. Choose high school applicant
  7. Exam takes about 20 – 30 minutes depending on your skill level
  • Immediately after you complete the exam you will receive your score and placement course level.
  • Important know your placement score and course level, you will need this information during the registration process.


  • If you take the exam a second time without permission your placement may be recorded incorrectly.
  • Students who believe they are misplaced in a course level must contact the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at (414) 288-7063 to discuss placement.

For students studying Arabic, Ancient Greek, Italian or Latin

  • Students who have NEVER studied Arabic, Ancient Greek, Italian or Latin would register for course level 1001, the elementary language level.
  • If you would like to speak to a faculty member directly, please use our faculty page.