UW World Language Proficiency Testing
How does it work?
Step 1: Determine if you're eligible
The UW LLC provides the proficiency assessments for languages not taught at UW for UW students. To take this assessment:
- You must be a current UW Student.
- The language you wish to test in must not be taught at UW.
- The assessment should be done in the first 2 years of your undergraduate education at UW.
- The assessment can can be taken twice in a 12 month period.
- You must read the ACTFL Proficiency guidelines from novice low through intermediate mid.
- You must register and pay for the speaking and writing assessments at least two weeks before the test date.
Take a moment to think about your current language skills in the language that you wish to be tested in (not English). If you can answer ''Yes, I can do this fairly easily'' to each statement, then you will probably be able to satisfy the college exit requirement when you take the language assessments.
These assessments are offered only to current UW students for languages not taught at the UW. These assessments should be taken as early as possible after beginning your studies at UW. These assessments cannot be taken more than twice in a twelve month period. Therefore, students need to take these before their senior year.
- Listening: I can understand main ideas and a few details in sentences, short conversations and some forms of media.
- Reading: I can understand the main idea and many details in some texts that contain familiar vocabulary.
- Person to Person Communication: I can begin and carry on an unrehearsed conversation on a limited number of familiar topics. I can ask and answer simple questions and exchange information in highly familiar situations.
- Spoken production: I can connect basic sentences to provide information on familiar topics. I can relate with some details, information about what I read, hear and see.
- Writing: I can write about familiar topics and experiences in series of sentences.
Please review the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines
for a more complete description of each of the proficiency levels.
Note that you will need to be able to understand and produce language at least at the Intermediate Low level for both the oral and writing components in order to satisfy the UW College of Arts and Sciences exit requirements. For practice, you can do these example writing tasks
Step 2: Register for and then take the tests
Learn more about the tests:
your tests must be paid for in advance of the testing day or you will not be confirmed for testing.Register and pay at least two weeks before the scheduled test date
Step 3: Learn more
Beyond the college admissions requirement of 2 credits, the University of Washington College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Social Work, and the College of Education have a college exit requirement for world languages that can be satisfied by students who have 3 or more (high school) credits of the same world language on their high school transcript. Because some UW students did not have the opportunity to earn competency-based credits in their language before coming to the UW, the UW Language Learning Center is working with the Dean's Office to offer UW students an opportunity to satisfy the College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Social Work, and the College of Education language exit requirement through proficiency testing. At this time, the testing process is available only to languages that are not taught at the UW.
For K-12 students considering attending the UW
Many K-12 school districts in Washington now recognize the value of preparing students to be global citizens with the skills to communicate in English and other world languages.
They provide testing opportunities for students to demonstrate their language proficiency in order to earn high school credits for languages they know, regardless of when or how they learned them. High school students need 2 (high school) credits of the same world language for admission to a 4-year college in the state. Many high school students whose languages are not taught in the schools have been able to satisfy both the college admissions and exit requirement through the World Language Credits Program. If there is any possibility that you might attend the UW in the future, it is highly recommended that you take the assessments before you graduate from high school.
By meeting the proficiency level requirements before high school graduation you can both receive high school credits as well as possibly satisfy the UW's language entrance and exit requirements.
Step 4: Meet the exit requirement
In about four weeks, you will receive a letter and packet with your test results. If your test results qualify you for the equivalent of 3 or more high school credits (overall proficiency level of at least Intermediate Low on the ACTFL Proficiency Scale), then an official copy of your test results will be sent to Dean Kevin Mihata in the Dean's Office in the College of Arts & Sciences. You should contact the Dean's Office to find out how to indicate in your UW transcript that you have satisfied the Arts & Sciences College exit requirement.