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Department of World Languages and Cultures

Language Placement Exam

Why Should I Take the Exam

The World Languages and Cultures Placement Exam is used to determine what course level students should take for their foreign language course. The test is designed to determine the appropriate course level for students continuing their previous study of French, German, or Spanish.

All students majoring in programs in the College of Arts and Sciences (except the BSW - Social Work) are required to have competency in a language at the 102 level. In the College of Visual and Performing Arts only the BA in Art and Art History are required to have competency in a language at the 102 level.

If you have not yet declared a major, but are considering a major in any of the programs in the College of Arts and Sciences (except Social Work), you should take the Language Placement Exam. The Placement Test will determine whether you should enroll in the very beginning class (French/German/Spanish 101) or a higher level.

Course Credit for 101, 102, and 201 Level Courses

Students may obtain credit for Elementary French, German, or Spanish (French 101 and/or 102; German 101 and/or 102; Spanish 101 and/or 102) and Intermediate French, German, or Spanish (French 201, German 201, Spanish 201), upon completion of the appropriate course (usually French 202, German 202, or Spanish 202) with a grade of "B" or higher. Credit will not be given for courses for which university credit has been awarded previously. No grade is assigned to this credit. A grade is received only for the courses taken at Winthrop. This program has the benefit of allowing students to graduate sooner and save money, because students do not need to enroll in one or more lower-level courses. For additional details, consult the departmental brochure (pdf - 222 kb).

When and Where

The placement exam is normally given to incoming freshmen and transfer students during orientation sessions in the language lab, Kinard Hall, room 307. For the date and time of the next session, please contact the Chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures at or call 803-323-2534.

Any individual wishing to take the placement exam at any other time during the school year should e-mail our administrative specialist, Ms. Amanda McGarity (, to set up an appointment.


Winthrop University uses WebCAPE (Computer Adaptive Placement Exam). The test is given online and is adaptive, meaning that it is different for every person who takes it. It is designed to get easier if you are doing poorly, and harder if you are doing well. The test is multiple-choice, and typically takes 20-30 minutes, but you should plan for up to 60 minutes.

Test Results

Placement exam results are available to students immediately after finishing the exam, and student's advisors will have access to their placement scores as well, prior to registration during orientation. Depending on your score, you will be advised to enroll in the 101, 102, or higher level of the language course that you plan to take.

The possible placements in French, German, and Spanish are 101, 102, 201, or 202 or higher. Some students may be at a very advanced level already, but the test can only determine the precise level for the first two semesters. Therefore, students placing into the 201 or 202 levels for French, German or Spanish, will be advised to meet with Dr. Scott Shinabargar, the department chair of World Languages, to discuss what course would be most appropriate beyond the elementary level. Transfer Credit, CLEP, Advanced Placement (AP) Credit, or IB Credit should be discussed with Dr. Shinabargar or the academic advising areas listed below.

To verify that your credit will satisfy your language requirements, please contact the appropriate college academic advising area:

Arts and Sciences/Undeclared 803/323-2183

Business (includes Computer Science) 803/323-2186

Education 803/323-4750

Visual and Performing Arts 803/323-2465


Department of World Languages & Cultures
237 Kinard Hall
Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA
803/323-4043 (fax)
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