Department of World Languages and Cultures at Winthrop - Language Placement Exam
Contact Information
Department of World Languages & Cultures
237 Kinard Hall
Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA
803/323-4043 (fax)

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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 first language course at Winthrop in 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 History is required to have competency in a language at the 201 level.

Course Credit for 101, 102, and 201 Level Courses

Students may obtain credit for Elementary French, German, or Spanish (101- and 102-level) and Intermediate French, German, or Spanish (201-level), 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 - 70 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 the Administrative Specialist 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 10-20 minutes.

Test Results

Placement exam results are available to students immediately after finishing the exam, and students' 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. If you forget your score, you may ask the Administrative Specialist to look it up for you.

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 student services office:

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

Last Updated: 8/20/20