Test Credits and Placement Exams

Pre-Matriculation Credits 

Pre-matriculation credits are credits you may have earned from certain scores on advanced placement and SAT II examinations, scores on examinations of certain international diplomas, or college courses you may have taken prior to matriculating at Tufts. Pre-matriculation credits are treated as regular course credits and accepted toward fulfilling your degree requirements.

Liberal arts students can have a maximum of 5 pre-matriculation course equivalencies, regardless of Semester-hour units (SHUs), and engineering students can have a maximum of 27 Semester-hour units (SHUs).

Learn More About Pre-Matriculation Credits at Tufts

Placement Exams

Language Placement Exams

You should take a Language Placement Exam if you plan to continue studying that language. There is no need to take a Language Placement Exam if you are starting a new language. Please note that while pre-matriculation scores can guide placement, language departments (especially Spanish) strongly recommend a placement test for a more informed assessment. Only the highest placement of your pre-matriculation credits and your placement exam will be counted, so there is no detriment to taking a placement exam. Please also note that if you take a lower-level course than you place into, you will forfeit your placement at the higher level, including any pre-matriculation credit for that language.

Who Should Take a Language Placement Exam?
  • Liberal Arts BA or BS students must fulfill a language requirement; therefore, they are strongly advised to take a placement exam if they have any level of proficiency in one of the languages listed in the tab below.
  • International Relations majors must demonstrate a higher standard of language proficiency than the general requirement. Potential IR majors are strongly advised to take a placement exam and begin study of a language in their first semester in order to fulfill the International Relations language requirement.
  • Engineering students may choose to minor in some languages, study abroad, or gain communication skills useful for a global economy. The Engineering degree program does not have a language requirement, so a Language Placement Exam is optional.
  • BFA students may choose to study a language for the Language/Culture requirement, especially if they plan to study abroad. The BFA degree program does not have a language requirement, so a Language Placement Exam is optional.
  • International students and heritage speakers who attended an English-language high school may need to demonstrate foreign language proficiency in order to be exempt from the Liberal Arts language requirement or International Relations language requirement. See the special note below for details on demonstrating proficiency if you are a native speaker of a language other than English.

Students may also determine placement in language courses based on SAT II, Advanced Placement, or International Baccalaureate scores, according to the exam equivalency chart. All students planning to study Spanish must take the placement exam, regardless of whether they have taken SAT II, AP, or IB.

What Languages are Tested and Taught at Tufts?

The Tufts language placement exams will be offered for the following languages: 

  • American Sign Language
  • Ancient Greek
  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Latin
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Sanskrit
  • Spanish

See the full schedule and registration details in the tab below.

What are the Language Placement Exams Like?
  • The 2018 Placement Exams start early in the morning on August 30. There will be no make-up options for those who oversleep.
  • Most of the Language Placement Exams are 30-minute written exams followed by an oral component.
  • Most of the exams are pencil-and-paper exams, but some are taken on computers in a computer lab. (Bring a pencil to all of the exams, even the computerized ones.)
  • The Chinese Placement Exam requires you to bring your own laptop or tablet (loaner computers are also available).
  • The Chinese and Italian Placement Exams require you to bring you own headphones or earbuds (loaner headsets available upon request).
How do I Register for a Placement Exam?
  • The 2018 Placement Exams for Chinese, German, Italian, and Japanese require online pre-registration by August 29. See the chart in the tab below for registration links.
  • Placement tests for American Sign Language are arranged by appointment. Contact Jim Lipsky to make arrangements for testing in American Sign Language.
  • All other exams do not require pre-registration. Simply show up on time at the locations listed in the tab below.
When and Where are the Exams Scheduled?

All Language Place Exams are given at multiple times on August 30 so that students may take tests in two or more different languages. Please arrive early.

2018 Language Placement Exam Schedule

Exam
Type/Instructions
Times
Location
Ancient Greek Paper-and-pencil exam 8:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. Eaton Hall, Room 333
Arabic Paper-and-pencil exam 8:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. Olin Hall, Room 112
Chinese Register by August 29. Bring your own laptop, tablet, or iPad plus headphones. 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. (Time blocks can be selected upon registration.) Hirsh Reading Room in Tisch Library
French Computer-based exam Exam times staggered from 11:00 a.m. through 1:00 p.m., with students last names A-D starting at 11:00 a.m. Eaton Computer Lab
German Register by August 29. 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. (Time blocks can be selected upon registration.) GIS Lab in Tisch Library
Hebrew Paper-and-pencil exam 8:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. Olin Hall, Room 318
Italian Register by August 29. Bring your own earbuds or headphones. 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. (Time blocks can be selected upon registration.) Tisch Library, Room 223
Japanese Register by August 29. 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. (Time blocks can be selected upon registration.) Mark Computer Lab in Tisch Library
Latin Paper-and-pencil exam 8:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. Eaton Hall, Room 333
Portuguese Paper-and-pencil exam 8:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. Olin Hall, Room 110
Russian Paper-and-pencil exam 8:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. Olin Hall, Room 108
Sanskrit Paper-and-pencil exam 8:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. Eaton Hall, Room 333
Spanish Computer-based exam Exam times staggered from 8:00 a.m. through 10:00 a.m., with students last names A-D starting at 8:00 a.m. Eaton Computer Lab
When are Placement Exam Results Posted?

Results of the 2018 Language Placement Exams will be posted online by 12 p.m. on Friday, August 31. When you meet with your advisor to plan your Fall class schedule, you should be prepared to discuss your results and plans for language study (and, if you are in the Liberal Art BA or BS degree program or an IR major, discuss how you will fulfill the language requirement).

What Accommodations are available for Students with Disabilities?

If you require accommodations for a Placement Exam (such as large size print), or if you have a documented disability that has made it difficult for you to learn a foreign language, please consult Student Accessibility Services as soon as possible about accommodations and alternatives.

What if I’m Proficient or Fluent in a Language other than English?

If you are proficient or fluent in reading, writing, and speaking a language other than English, there are several ways to demonstrate proficiency in order to fulfill the general Liberal Arts language requirement or the higher standards of the language requirement for the International Relations major:

  • Graduated from a high school whose primary language of instruction was not English: exempt from both general Liberal Arts language requirement and the International Relations major language requirement.
  • Attended a high school whose primary language of instruction was not English through the 10th grade: exempt from general Liberal Arts language requirement.
  • Submitted TOEFL scores as part of your application to Tufts: exempt from general Liberal Arts language requirement.
  • French Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, AP, and SAT II scores may also be used, according to the exam equivalency chart.

If none of the four items above apply to you, even if you are a native speaker, you should plan to take a Placement Exam on August 30 for languages taught at Tufts, or, on a later date, an alternative proficiency exam for other languages not taught at Tufts. Alternative proficiency exams for languages not taught at Tufts will be proctored at the Academic Resource Center in early September. More information about alternative ways of demonstrating proficiency or fluency in your native language will be sent to you soon.

2017 Placement Exam Results

Please note: The Results of the 2018 Placement Exams will be posted by 12 p.m. on Friday, August 31.

Mechanics Placement Exam

The mechanics placement exam will be held during orientation. Check the orientation schedule for time and location.

You are required to take the mechanics placement exam if you have a score of 4 on the Physics B (non-calculus-based) advanced placement exam and want to receive credit for Physics 1. You are also required to take the mechanics placement exam if you have a score of 4 on the mechanics section of the Physics C (calculus-based) AP exam and want to receive credit for Physics 11. You may not receive credit for the above AP scores if you do not take and pass this exam. If you choose to enroll in Physics 1 or 11 and pass, you will not receive the AP credit.

This is a closed-book exam. Bring a calculator.