Test Credits and Placement Exams
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.
Arts & Sciences B.A./B.S. or Combined Degree students can have a maximum of 5 pre-matriculation course equivalencies, regardless of total credits. Engineering students can have a maximum of 27 credits.
Language Placement Assessments
What is a Language Assessment? Will it appear on my transcript or impact my GPA?
A placement assessment is simply a tool to determine which course is best suited to your academic needs. The results of a placement assessment are meant to establish which courses you should register for to ensure academic success if you intend to continue your language study at Tufts. The results from your language placement assessment may also be used toward fulfillment of the Arts & Sciences language requirement. The Language placement assessment is conducted online, and the end result will let you know what level of language you placed out of and which courses in that language you should plan to register for in the fall. The results are not letter graded, do not appear on your transcript, and do not impact your GPA. They are purely to understand which course is best for you based on your proficiency and will ensure your academic success in language coursework taken at Tufts.
When can I take one?
You should plan to take an online language placement assessment between June 12th - June 20th.
You should take a Language Placement Assessment if you plan to continue studying that language. There is no need to take a Language Placement Assessment 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 assessment will be counted, so there is no detriment to taking a placement assessment. 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.
Should I Take a Language Placement Assessment?
- Arts & Sciences B.A./B.S., Arts & Sciences Combined Degree B.A./B.F.A., and Arts & Sciences-N.E.C. B.A./B.M. students must fulfill a language and culture requirement for their degree; therefore, they are strongly advised to take a placement assessment if they have any level of proficiency in one of the languages listed in the tab below.
- Any student who is interested in majoring in International Relations (IR) or International Literacy Cultural Studies (ILCS) must demonstrate a higher standard of language proficiency than the general requirement for the B.A./B.S. Degree. Potential IR or ILCS majors are strongly advised to take a placement assessment this summer and begin/continue study of a language in their first semester in order to fulfill the higher language requirement for IR or ILCS.
- 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 Assessment 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 Assessment 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 Arts & Science B.A./B.S. 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 Assessed and Taught at Tufts?
The Tufts language placement assessments will be offered for the following languages:
American Sign Language (ASL)
See the full schedule and registration details in the section below.
What Are the Language Placement Assessments Like?
The first portion of the assessment will be an online test of your skills in reading, grammar, syntax, and writing. Each online assessment takes 30 - 60 minutes to complete and you must complete it in a single session.
Depending on the results of the first portion, you may be asked to participate in a second part which is an oral interview with a Tufts language professor that takes place in late June via Zoom. Students who need to participate in oral interviews will receive communication on how to schedule via their Tufts.edu email address after June 21st.
How Do I Register for a Placement Assessment?
Through the New Student Checklist, select the language placement assessment you want to take and initiate the online reading/writing component. If your assessment requires a follow-up interview, Tufts will contact you to schedule this for late June.
When and Where Are the Assessments Scheduled?
In 2023, language placement assessments will take place online June 12 through June 20, with any follow-up oral interviews conducted remotely in late June.
When and Where Are Placement Assessment Results Posted?
Results of the 2023 Language Placement Assessments will be emailed to you at your Tufts email address by the first week of August. 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 Arts & Sciences B.A./ B.S. degree program, discuss how you will fulfill the language and culture requirement).
What Accommodations Are Available for Students with Disabilities?
If you require accommodations for a Placement Assessment (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 the StAAR Center 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 Arts & Sciences language requirement or the higher standards of the language requirement for the International Relations or International Literary and Culture Studies major:
- Graduated from a high school whose primary language of instruction was not English: You can demonstrate proficiency and fulfillment of both general Arts & Sciences language requirement and the International Relations major language requirement by reaching out to your Arts & Sciences Academic Advising Dean.
- Attended a high school whose primary language of instruction was not English through the 10th grade: You may demonstrate proficiency and fulfillment of the general Arts & Sciences language requirement by contacting your Arts & Sciences Academic Advising Dean.
If none of the three items above apply to you, even if you are a native speaker, you should plan to take a Placement Assessment in June for languages taught at Tufts, or, on a later date in September or January, an alternative proficiency assessment for other languages not taught at Tufts. Alternative proficiency assessments for languages not taught at Tufts will be proctored in Dowling Hall in early September. More information about alternative ways of demonstrating proficiency or fluency in your native language will be sent to you soon.