UW World Language Exit Requirement Proficiency Testing
Latest Test Information
Pre-registration for Autumn 2023 is now open.
The general testing date for Autumn 2023 will be Friday, November 3rd, 2023.
If you wish to take the test in Autumn:
- Pre-register by Wednesday, October 11th, 2023. You will receive an email (before October 16th) with information on the next steps to complete your registration process.
- Please regularly check your email and provide requested payment and scheduling information. Failure to respond to emails in a timely manner may result in needing to postpone the test to another quarter.
- Please pay for your test and send us the confirmation of payment by Wednesday, October 25th, 2023.
- The test itself will be offered around November 3rd.
- The testing will be conducted in Denny Hall room 158.
Step 1: Learn more
Beyond the college admissions requirement of 2 high school credits (two full high school years, i.e., 4 semesters), the University of Washington College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Social Work have an exit requirement for world languages that can be satisfied by students who have 3 (years or 6 semesters) or more (high school) credits of the same world language on their high school transcript.
Because some UW students were unable to earn competency-based credits in their language before coming to the UW, the UW Language Learning Center is working with the College of Arts & Sciences Dean's Office to offer UW students an opportunity to satisfy the College of Arts & Sciences and the School of Social Work language exit requirement through proficiency testing.
At this time, the testing process is available only to languages that are not taught at the UW (Seattle), only for the language exit requirement (not the entrance requirement), and only for students enrolled at UW Seattle.
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 (i.e., a language entrance requirement) 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 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 2: Determine if you're eligible
The UW LLC proctors the proficiency assessments for UW Seattle campus students for languages NOT taught at UW.
These tests are to satisfy the EXIT requirement and NOT the ENTRANCE requirement.
To take this assessment you must meet the following six requirements:
- You must be a current student at the UW Seattle Campus (at this time, only students of UW Seattle are eligible to take this test) and you must be enrolled (i.e., declared a major) in either the College of Arts and Sciences or the School of Social Work.
- The language you wish to test in must not be taught at UW. You can search the languages taught at the UW section on this page or use a search engine (e.g., Google) to check.
- The assessment should be done before your junior year of your undergraduate education at UW (i.e., you should take it at least 2 years before you plan to graduate so that you are unable to satisfy the requirement with the test, it will leave you with enough time to complete a full year of language courses taught at the UW to satisfy the requirement).
- The assessment can be taken up to two times, and each attempt must be in the same 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. (Assessments for existing language tests need to be ordered from the east coast. If you register for a custom test, it may take longer in order to find a certified language assessment specialist. * We cannot guarantee test availability for languages that aren't listed. Please pre-register or contact us directly to learn if your language is available.)
Step 3: You must read and understand the ACFTL guidelines
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 exit requirement when you take the language assessments.
Again, these assessments are offered only to current UW Seattle 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 so that they have time to take a full academic year of language courses to satisfy the requirement if they are unable to satisfy the requirement through the proficiency tests.
- 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. If you only earn Intermediate Low or higher for either the oral or writing component on your first attempt, then you have the option of only retesting (and repaying) for the one component that you need to and not both.
What is the actual test like?
Depending on your language, the test varies. Some tests are offered on a computer, while some are done on paper and over the phone. However, all tests are proctored in person at the Language Learning Center (in Denny Hall) and all tests should have an oral and writing component. The speaking test is usually conducted over a phone with a highly trained L1 ('native') speaker of the language you are testing in. The writing test usually involves a series of prompts. For each prompt, you generally will be asked to write a few paragraphs in the target language.
For practice, you can do these example writing tasks.
Step 4: Pre-register for, pay for, and then take the test
- Pre-register for the test, using the link at the end of this section.
- You will receive an email after the second week of the quarter that you will be taking the test. (E.g., if you register in Winter quarter after the deadline, you should receive an email sometime shortly after the second week of Spring quarter.) That email will provide instructions for paying for the test and completing your registration.
- Pay at least two weeks before the scheduled test date.
- Email us, confirming that you will be available to take the test on the test day from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. (While the entire test may only take around 1.5-2 hours, we need a range of times to find a proctor who is available to work with you.)
- You will receive a confirmation of your payment and be given the time that your speaking and writing tests are scheduled for. Please arrive at least 10 minutes before your assessments begin (for many oral tests, if you are late, you will miss your opportunity to test and have to pay for the test again the following quarter).
- Testing is held in Denny Hall 158.
* Your tests must be paid for at least two weeks in advance of the testing day or you will not be confirmed for testing.
* If you are taking both the written and speaking tests, the cost could be around $180, depending on the language. Some very rarely tested languages can cost more. Payments go to cover the costs of the tests offered by the independent testing companies/proctors. Payments are processed by the Washington Association for Language Teaching (WAFLT). The UW LLC does not collect payments or add any costs to the student for this service, and simply provides the proctoring and support to students, again, at no additional cost.
* If you have not passed one of the tests before, you will want to register for both the writing and speaking test.
Step 5: Meet the exit requirement
In about four weeks after you took the test, the LLC will receive a letter and packet with your test results and you will be notified via email.
All assessments will be evaluated based on ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines 2012 from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).
Credit will be granted if you meet the following levels of proficiency:
- Novice Mid - 1 credit
- Novice High - 2 credits
- Intermediate Low - 3 credits
- Intermediate Mid - 4 credits
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 in BOTH oral and writing assessments), 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. The Dean's office will review the results, and if they are satisfactory, they will be sent to the Registrar's office where they will be added to your transcript (as satisfying the language exit requirement). Credit will appear on the transcript with a ''P'' for pass as the grade mark.Questions? - Contact Us