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Proficiency Exam

Who may take the proficiency exam?

  • UCSD students who wish to certify that they have attained a level of conversational and reading proficiency that is adequate to conduct every-day life in a second language.
  • Revelle and Eleanor Roosevelt College students who require language certification for their baccalaureate degree.
  • Students from UCSD departments with an undergraduate language requirement as part of their major/minor program.

The Linguistics department evaluates proficiency for French, German, and Spanish. Students may take proficiency examinations in other languages when qualified testers are available.


PLEASE NOTE: The proficiency exam is not the same as the placement test. The placement test will tell you in which level of the language you are approved to enroll. The online placement test is available in French, German, Italian and Spanish.


Proficiency Exam Procedures

1. Complete the form for the Proficiency Exam. 2. Get approval from the Language Program. 3. Complete the Proficiency Exam. 4. Get your results.

Instructions for All Languages (Academic Year 2023-2024)

  1. All languages: Submit the Proficiency Exam Form to request to take the exam.
  2. Requests will be reviewed and screened by the Language Program office.
    • Note: Proficiency Exams only need to be completed if required for college/major/minor language requirements.
    • If you are looking to determine which course to take, you will need to complete a placement test.
    • Proficiency Exams are not available during the summer.
  3. If approved, you will be contacted by the Language Program with instructions. (Note: It may take up to two weeks to receive these instructions). Exams will be administered in one of two ways depending upon the language requested:
    • You will be provided with access to a Canvas module that will contain a reading in the target language and you will be asked to record and upload videos responding to questions about this reading in your target language.
    • You will be provided with a name of a Proficiency Exam Administrator to contact to coordinate a 1:1 interview in which you will be given a reading in the target language followed by a conversation with the Proficiency Exam Administrator.
  4. Results
    • Canvas module: These results will be graded in batches twice per quarter and you will be notified by the Language Program office if you passed or not.
    • 1:1 interview: The Exam Administrator will inform you if you have passed or not at the end of your interview. They will submit your results to the language office.
    • All: Passing results will be recorded on your transcript and degree audit by the end of the quarter in which you completed your exam (and in many cases before the end of the quarter).

Attention Exam Administrators

Please refer to the email sent on 9/23/2020 by Rachel Pekras for current remote exam guidelines and for the electronic Examination Form. Contact Rachel Pekras at for any questions.

Guidelines for Test Administrators