Language Placement & The OPI


What is the Language Placement Exam?
Students who have studied a foreign language in school, or who have practical knowledge of a foreign language must take the language placement exam prior to enrolling for languages courses.

Students with no prior language education may enroll in 101 only.

NOTE: The exam is only available for Spanish, French and German students. Students in other languages should contact the language's department coordinator to schedule a separate placement exam.

How do I take the Language Placement Exam?
Language Placement Exams for French, German, Spanish, and Russian can be taken once a semester by visiting the Language Resource Center during regular hours, no appointment necessary. The exam is free and takes about 20 minutes to complete.  For further questions regarding the language placement exam, please contact the Language Resource Center at 616-331-2507 or


What Does My Score Mean?
At the end of your test, you will receive a score and placement recommendation.


0 - 266  101 Level
255 - 320 150 Level
267 - 320 102 Level
321 - 370 201 Level
371 + 202 Level
395 + 300 Level



0 - 279  101 Level
270 - 340 150 Level
280 - 340 102 Level
341 - 394 201 Level
395 + 202 Level
450 + 300 Level



0 - 200  101 Level
201 - 240 150 Level
241 - 300 102 Level
301 - 370 201 Level
371 - 440 202 Level
441 + 300 Level



0 - 199  101 Level
200 - 399 102 Level
400 - 600 201 Level
601 + 202 Level

Students whose scores reflect 202 level or higher will have successfully completed the BA cognate. Students who test into the 201 level must still complete a semester of study.

Students whose scores reflect the 300 level should contact their department coordinator to discuss placement options.


The CLEP Test
Modern Languages does not administer the CLEP test and is not able to process any requests relating to the test. Please contact Student Services with questions regarding the CLEP.


What is the OPI?
The ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) is taken by students who are planning to student teach in a language. The test must be completed in order to move forward with student teaching plans. The test can be completed over the phone with a live proctor or on the computer with a pre-recorded proctor. 

How do I take the OPI?
In order to take the OPI, students must complete an on-line ( application at least two weeks prior to their desired test date.  The fee for the test is $68 (computer) and $139 (phone). Additional scoring packages may also be purchased.

It is highly recommended that students complete a practice OPI before signing up for the actual test. Practice tests are administered by a department faculty member. 

Please contact one of the following professors to take a practice exam:

Prof. Smith (German)

Prof. Pettes Guikema (French)

Prof. Fidalgo-Eick (Spanish)

Prof. Vrooman (Spanish)


What Does My Score Mean?
Score reporting varies based on which OPI a student takes, however, students must receive an AL (Advanced Low), Q (Qualified), or A (Advanced Low Equivalent) to move on to student teaching. All other scores will not count and students will be asked to re-test before beginning student teaching. Students must wait 90 days between tests.



Page last modified October 27, 2014