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Language Placement Exam

kaekaekaekae Registered User Posts: 358 Member
edited June 2010 in Rice University
Has anyone here taken one in the past? I'm going to take the Spanish one soon, and I was wondering what it's like. I've taken both the Language AP exam and the SAT subject test with listening; I made a 5 and a 790, respectively. Is it comparable to these?
Post edited by kaekae on

Replies to: Language Placement Exam

  • StripedCandycaneStripedCandycane Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
    From what I've seen of the Spanish Subject Test, I'd say the Placement test was harder. I got the impression that they're pushing the limits ever-so-slightly, because they want to see how high the students can go rather than just make sure they learned a basic high school Spanish. The format is also different, although I don't want to say too much on that because of the Honor Code.

    I found it challenging, but not unduly difficult: I had to read the texts carefully and a couple of times to get everything, but after that it was fine. I've taken four years of Spanish and a class in history in Spanish, and have had some contact with Spanish (my mother's Chilean, and would speak to me in Spanish 24/7 when I was younger), but wouldn't say I am 100% fluent.
  • kaekaekaekae Registered User Posts: 358 Member
    I don't know if telling me this goes against the Honor Code (if so don't do so, obviously), but is there an oral portion of the test? The information page says
    Since language instruction at Rice University emphasizes oral-aural proficiency, after you have taken the test, you may be asked to take an Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) in order to place you more accurately in the appropriate course. If you are told by e-mail that an OPI is needed, please contact faculty listed below to schedule it during O-Week.
    and the test website says
    Please consult the posted results to see whether you need to take an oral proficiency interview. You will receive an email notification when results are available
    but then the instructions say that the third part of the exam is speaking. This seems contradictory.
  • slik nikslik nik Registered User Posts: 1,083 Senior Member
    I took the Spanish placement exam as an incoming freshman last year, and I wasn't asked to do the OPI.
  • kaekaekaekae Registered User Posts: 358 Member
    Is there a part on this year's test in which you have to speak, though? For some reason oral exams always make me really nervous.
  • BerkeleyMomBerkeleyMom Registered User Posts: 335 Member
    Yes, there's an oral component to the test. You shouldn't worry so much about this test! Remember that it's just for placement, so they can recommend a class level for you. If you don't agree with what they come up with, you can go talk to the professor about it. Think of this placement test as being for your benefit, not theirs. When my daughter took it, something went wrong when she was doing the oral portion of it, so the professor who evaluated it just used her written responses to place her. My daughter thought the level she'd been placed in was going to be too hard and ended up signing up for the class just below that one and was very happy with it. The placement test is only a guideline, not a grade.
  • computergeek173computergeek173 Registered User Posts: 457 Member
    Yeah, unless you NEED to start out in a particular class for your class sequence to allow you to graduate on time or something, then just be put into whatever class. They're not going to try to throw you into a lower class than you should be in.
  • kaekaekaekae Registered User Posts: 358 Member
    Yeah, I just took it. It was pretty easy.
  • kaekaekaekae Registered User Posts: 358 Member
    I just looked at my results, and I was placed in 300. I don't really know how to interpret this? I consider myself to be fluent and speak Spanish pretty frequently.
  • slik nikslik nik Registered User Posts: 1,083 Senior Member
    SPAN 300 is an advanced level Spanish course, so it appears to be an appropriate placement based on your assessment of your Spanish abilities. If you are bilingual (i.e. exposed to Spanish at home, etc.), then you should have been placed in a Spanish class specifically for bilingual students (I think it might be SPAN 303). All the other Spanish courses besides 301, 302, 303, 304 are elective courses. VERY RARELY are incoming students placed in a 400 level course --> almost all of the 400 level Spanish courses are literature courses taught completely in Spanish. That's equivalent to taking a college-level English literature course (which I find tough in of by itself), but it being all in Spanish.
  • StripedCandycaneStripedCandycane Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
    @kaekae: I got into FREN 300, and have spent 5 years at a local French school in France, speaking nothing but French with my friends and teachers, and doing all my schoolwork in French. Obviously, a 400 is pretty rare for language placement XD. I'm still waiting for my Spanish results, though...
  • anxiousmomanxiousmom Registered User Posts: 5,867 Senior Member
    If I remember correctly, DD didn't take the placement test until on campus, then elected to take a lower level class than the placement test indicated. (This is 6 years ago - time sure flies!!!!) After a few weeks, she moved up to the level she had been suggested to take. It's flexible at Rice, and there is quite a bit of "shopping" for the right classes at the beginning of the semester.
This discussion has been closed.