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For those taking another language and a placement exam:

50calgoesboom50calgoesboom Registered User Posts: 123 Junior Member
I'm not a asian/hispanic/whatever cultural major, and I plan on taking a foreign language for electives and a GPA boost. I understand it that there is a placement exam if you'd like to go into a class with some existing knowledge of a language.

If I were to do "bad" on the exam, common sense would dictate that I would be placed in an easier foreign language course and have a likelihood of receiving a better grade. If I were to do "good" on the placement exam, I would be placed in a much harder course and thus have to put forth a stronger effort and have a better possibility that I wouldn't receive the same grade I would get in a lower level course.

Besides moral complications, does anyone see a problem with this? (Is there a downside for taking lower-level courses? <Is there a benefit besides the "prestige" that comes with taking a higher-level coures?>)
Post edited by 50calgoesboom on

Replies to: For those taking another language and a placement exam:

  • sheep55sheep55 Registered User Posts: 254 Junior Member
    Placement exams are optional meaning you would take them only if you don't want to start from the lowest level. It is totally up to you if you want to start at a lower level to ensure you get a better grade.
  • limnienglimnieng Registered User Posts: 201 Junior Member
    ^ Not true. For the Chinese language, placement test is mandatory for all. Be clear that the department, faculty, instructors and TAs are all very aware that students like to try for that easy 'A' by taking a lower-level course when they actually have higher proficiency levels. If you do that, besides ensuring the wrath of instructors/TAs and distain of your fellow students, the department will immediately enroll you in a higher-level course mid-way, or drop you from the course altogether. It's almost impossible to 'play dumb' about your proficiency because the TAs and instructors have been dealing with this for a long time.
  • sheep55sheep55 Registered User Posts: 254 Junior Member
    Limnieng, lighten up! When I was looking for information on the Spanish department website, it said that the Spanish placement test was optional and that you could place yourself based on how many years of Spanish you have had in high school. However, if it has been a year since you last took a Spanish class, then you should move down one level. So if you had Spanish 3 in your junior year, then you should place yourself in Spanish 3, instead of 4.
  • limnienglimnieng Registered User Posts: 201 Junior Member
    sheep55:

    It's totally possible that the Spanish Department have their own ways of doing placement, but I was simply pointing out the falsity that all placement exams are optional.

    However, I'm more concerned about the endorsement of "It is totally up to you if you want to start at a lower level to ensure you get a better grade." I believe not even the Spanish Department would endorse such a statement or action. By acknowledging "moral complications", 50calgoesboom is himself/herself very aware that there are ethical dilemmas in doing so. Therefore I find it highly problematic when 50calgoesboom seems to be asking for justification to knowingly commit a less-than-ethical act, and the stance you propose is to "lighten up".
  • Think_DifferentThink_Different Registered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
    The downside of taking lower-level courses is that you have to take more courses lol. For example, if you place into Spanish 1, you have to take 3 quarters of Spanish. On the other hand, if you place into Spanish 3, it will be more challenging, but you only need to take one quarter of the language before you fulfill the requirement.

    If you DO place into a higher level but want the easy class, I suggest taking it at a JC over the summer. Granted, the GPA won't transfer until grad school, but the credit will.
  • 50calgoesboom50calgoesboom Registered User Posts: 123 Junior Member
    I believe I already completed my language portion as a transfer student. (I took 2 years of a language in a community college). I dont see what you mean by requirements.
This discussion has been closed.