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UW World Language Exit Requirement Proficiency Testing

Latest Test Information
PRE-REGISTRATION for Spring Quarter is now CLOSED.

The next opportunity to take the tests will be Fall Quarter, 2020. If you wish to take the test in Fall, please pre-register before the 2nd week of Fall quarter.

How does it work?

Step 1: Determine if you're eligible

The UW LLC provides 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:
  1. 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.)
  2. The language you wish to test in must not be taught at UW. You can search the course catalog or Google to check.
  3. 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).
  4. The assessment can be taken up to two times, and each attempt must be in the same 12 month period.
  5. You must read the ACTFL Proficiency guidelines from novice low through intermediate mid.
  6. 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 2: 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 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. 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.

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 taken at the Language Learning Center and all should have a speaking 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, that for each you will be asked to write a few paragraphs.

For practice, you can do these example writing tasks.

Step 3: Register for and then take the tests

  1. Pre-register for the test, using the link at the end of this section.
  2. You will receive an email around 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 around the second week of Spring quarter.) That email will provide instructions for paying for the test and completing your registration.
  3. Pay at least two weeks before the scheduled test date.
  4. Email us, confirming that you will be available to take the test on the test day from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. (while the entire test may only take around 1.5-2 hours, we need a range of available times to find a proctor who can work at that time.)
  5. 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.
  6. Testing is held in Denny Hall 158.
Note: 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 up to $180, depending on the language. (If you have not passed one of the tests before, you will want to register for both the writing and speaking test.)

Pre-Register Now

Step 4: 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, 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 (years or 6 semesters) 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 5: Meet the exit requirement

In about four weeks, 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:
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 speaking 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. 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.

Credit will appear on the transcript with a ''P'' for pass as the grade mark.

Questions? - Contact Us

Denny Hall, Room 162 Box 353140 Seattle, WA 98195

Phone: (206) 543-0536