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Spanish Placement Exam

Printable Information Sheet (PDF)

How Testing Works
How to Sign Up
How to Prepare

Who Takes the Exam

Students who:

  • took Spanish in high school over two years ago and were strong in their studies
  • do not want to start over again at Spanish 101
  • want to place directly into Spanish 102 or even higher
  • are bilingual/biliterate and want to Minor in Spanish but never took a course
  • can pay the fee of $91
  • can write Spanish at or above the first semester of college or the first year of high school, with a grade of B
  • can write without resorting to English, even if they forget a word
  • can write in the present (I eat/I am eating) with great accuracy
  • can use accents with some accuracy/comfort

Note: For organized, in-depth practice before testing, consider our Free Spanish 101 Review.

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How Testing Works

  • The fee is $91 and is paid ahead of time. There is no profit; this pays evaluators. 
  • The fee is waived for Vets on GI Bills (other than Chapt. 31) and for Active Duty on tuition assistance.
  • Results can take up to 4 weeks. Plan accordingly.
  • The Exam may be taken only once. Plan accordingly.
  • The Exam takes up to 2 hours.
  • The Exam is like a written final; you will fill in blanks, create dialogues, conjugate verbs, write letters...
  • Placement is into 101, 102, 201, or even 202 or 250.
  • If placed into 102 or 201, you must take that class within the following three terms.
  • If placed into 202 or 250, this updates the Academic Requirements Report with LOTER as "Met". The date exam was taken is used in the ARR, not the date results come in. If you want to take more Spanish for fun or a Minor, you must take 202 within the following three terms or you can take 250 at any time.
  • A notice of 24 hours is required to reschedule within the same term.
  • No refunds are given for no-shows.
  • We cannot accommodate pets or children.
  • We gladly accommodate documented disabilities. Please include that information in your registration.

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How to Sign Up

What you do:

Email the below to

  • All possible days and times July 5-August 10, Monday-Friday, 8 AM - 6 PM, when you could be at the testing facility for 2 hours. For example: "Any July Monday 2-5 PM; Friday, July 13, 8-11 AM".
  • Tell us that you are signing up for the Spanish Placement Exam
  • First and Last Name (as it appears for CSUSM)
  • Campus ID (9 digits, looking something like: 000123456)
  • Phone Number
  • Campus Email (If you are not yet a CSUSM student, use another.)

What CSUSM then does:



  • CSUSM sends you an email suggesting a few dates and times that work for you and our facility.
  • You email back your confirmed slot.
  • CSUSM emails you final details and payment information. You are all set to test!

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How to Prepare

  • Read the Printable Information Sheet (PDF)
  • Self-Test Review Packets for 101102, and 201.
  • Write full sentences and dialogues in the present (I eat/I am eating), simple past (I just ate), simple future (I am going to eat) on personal life topics like: my vacation, my family, my career goals, my life....
  • Get in-person or online free, peer tutoring
  • For organized, in-depth practice before testing, consider our Free Spanish 101 Review

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