Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures

Placement Test

The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures requires all entering students who have prior knowledge of Spanish, French, or German and plan to continue their language studies in these language areas at Auburn University to take a placement test to ensure correct placement in college-level language courses. Please be aware that each student will only be allowed one attempt per language.

The test that you will take is the CAPE (Computer Adaptive Placement Exam) and is an adaptive Multiple Choice format examination that includes grammar, reading, and vocabulary questions. No two students will receive the same test because the questions are randomized. The program selects each test item as a result of the answer to the previous question based on correctness of the response and difficulty. It determines competency level in approximately 20 minutes. Once the test is completed, the individual student, the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, and the Banner system are able to determine which class level is most suitable based on test performance and the rubric established by the department.

General information about the test

Who should take the test?

Students who plan to continue prior language studies in Spanish, French, or German at the college-level. You cannot place out of the foreign language requirement in the College of Liberal Arts, but you may qualify for advanced placement credit.

Why do we test?

The placement test is a good predictor of your language abilities; proper placement makes your language studies more successful.

What is tested?

Vocabulary and grammar skills in one of the common target languages Spanish, French, and German. Note: Though placement exams are not available for Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Greek, and Russian, we do offer courses in these language areas as well as nine study abroad programs, internship and exchange opportunities to help you improve your language and culture skills.

When should I take the test?

Any student taking the placement test must already have been assigned an Auburn University Student ID number. Incoming freshmen and transfer students should take the test at least 2 weeks prior to attending Camp War Eagle or SOS. Current Auburn University students may also take the placement test, but it is strongly recommended that they do so at least 2 weeks before class registration period begins each semester to facilitate proper placement and ability to enroll.

Placement Levels

Table for matching AU course with corresponding placement test score
AU Course Level Placement Test Score
FL 1010 below 240
FL 1020 241-324
FL 2010 325-371
FL 2020 372-427
FLSP 3010 and 3060 above 428

To access and complete the test

Before you start

  • Allow at least 1 hour for the test. Most students finish in less time; however, once you start you cannot pause and return later.
  • Have your Auburn University Student ID number or UserID (current students) and Password ready.

Words of caution:

  • Please consider taking the test on a computer, not a mobile device.
  • Please be patient - the test can be slow at times, especially at its very end, so give it some time, do not use the Back button and do not refresh the screen.
  • If you see an error message, please take note of the message and send it to

When you are ready to start

  • Log in to AU Access
  • Go to My Academics
  • Locate the Student Menu
  • Click on Foreign Language Placement Test

To view your completed test score

  • Log in to AU Access
  • Go to My Academics
  • Click on Student Menu
  • Click on Student Records
  • Click on View Test Score

Log in to AU Access now

If you need assistance

If you're experiencing technical difficulties, students (not parents) may contact the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at (334) 844-4345.

If you require special accommodations for testing, please make special arrangements to take the test through the Office of Accessibility at 334-844-2096 or in 1228 Haley Center.

We welcome you and are excited to have students who pursue foreign language studies, as Minors, Majors or just because they are interested and have fun acquiring knowledge of another language and culture.

Last Updated: November 07, 2019