Spanish Placement Exams | Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Placement into Spanish Courses: General Guidelines

    What is Franciscan University of Steubenville's foreign language requirement? The University requires that all students in B.A. programs fulfill their foreign language requirement by either:

    1. Successful completion of six (6) credits at the Intermediate level in either Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew, French, German, Latin or Spanish or
    2. Demonstration of equivalent proficiency, either with equivalent college-level transfer credits or by exam.


    Determining your Appropriate Level in Spanish:

    1. Students who have credits in Spanish from another college or university, via CLEP, or who earned an officially documented AP score of 3 or higher:

      The Registrar, upon receipt of proper documentation, will determine equivalency levels and your academic major department / academic major advisor will let you know if you still have to take more Spanish to meet Franciscan University's language requirement.

    2. Students who do not have any college-level credits in Spanish:
      1. Students who wish to take Spanish and have no knowledge or very little exposure to the language: take Spanish 101. It is offered primarily during fall semesters, with limited availability during spring semesters (and sometimes during the summer, but please do not rely on summer offerings as we cannot guarantee them). Be sure to consult the most up to date course schedule to see what is available.
      2. If you have had Spanish in high school or some other context, please take Franciscan University's Online Placement Exam in Spanish.

    Accessing the Online Spanish Placement Exam:


    1. Follow the directions and take the exam.
    2. You may try as many times as you like—your placement is based only on your highest score.
    3. For information on how to interpret your test results or if you have further questions, please go back to the “Placement Exams” page on Franciscan University’s web site and click on “Placement into Spanish Courses: General Guidelines.”
    4. Disclaimer: Misrepresenting your knowledge on this exam violates the University Code of Conduct. Furthermore, it jeopardizes your potential for academic success. Although we realize that misrepresenting your knowledge level is possible, it will only cause you to be either over or under challenged once enrolled in the course. The intent of our program is to set students up for success in their continued studies of one or more of the languages we offer, by placing them in a language course that, as much as possible, allows them to build and expand upon their prior knowledge of the language studied. The goal is to place students in a course that, given due effort on their part, neither completely overchallenges nor underchallenges them.
    5. The password is barons1
    6. You can take the placement exam here after reading the previous instructions.


    Interpreting the Online Spanish Placement Exam Results:

    • If you score below 250 on this exam, please register for SPN 101, Elementary Spanish, Part 1.
    • If you score 250-349 on this exam, please register for SPN 102, Elementary Spanish, Part 2. If you are in doubt about this, please consult “Material Covered in Spanish 101, 102, 201 and 202” below. If, after consulting this material, you feel you are not ready for Part 2 of Elementary Spanish, you may begin with 101, Elementary, Part 1.
    • If you score 350-450 on this exam, please register for SPN 201, Intermediate Spanish, Part 1. If you are in doubt about this, please consult “Material Covered in Spanish 101, 102, 201 and 202” below. If, after consulting this material, you feel you are not ready for Intermediate-level Spanish, you may begin with 102, Elementary, Part 2.

    • If you score 451 or above, you may be eligible to “place out” of Franciscan University’s foreign language requirement. However, since the online placement exam can NOT be used to fulfill the language requirement and/or to test into higher-level Spanish courses, this can ONLY be done by either:
      • taking an additional FREE-of-charge paper-based placement / testing-out exam administered by the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures during New Student Orientation in August (exact time and place TBA);


      • by taking the CLEP exam. The CLEP exam is not administered by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. Rather, the CLEP exam (and any information about it), is available through the University’s Student Academic Services (SAS), located on the 1st floor of Egan. Please contact Katheryn Easterday at or by phone at 284-5358 for details. -- Note: The CLEP exam is NOT FREE of charge. However, it has the advantage i) that you can make an appointment to take it throughout most of the year and ii) that you might qualify to earn college-level credit hours for the French, German and/or Spanish courses that you tested out of (provided that you have not received academic credit for any higher level Spanish courses prior to taking the CLEP exam).

    Ready to Test out ouf the University’s Language Requirement?
    Ready for Spanish Courses Beyond the Intermediate-level?
    Unsatisfied with Your Onlice Spanish Placement Result?

    1. If you are unsatisfied with your online test score or

    2. if your online test score indicates that you might have a chance at testing out of the University’s Intermediate-level foreign- language requirement for B.A. degrees and/or

    3. if your online test score is 451 or above and you want to qualify for taking a Spanish course above the Intermediate level,


    You MUST/should take the FREE-of-charge paper-based Spanish Testing-Out/Placement Exam that will be given during New Student Orientation in August (exact time and place TBA). IMPORTANT: this is a ONE- TIME-ONLY opportunity. So don’t miss this important exam date!!!

    (If you miss it, you will have to pay for the CLEP test in order to test out of the University’s Intermediate-level language requirement for the B.A. degree and/or into any Spanish course higher than 201. Note: the CLEP exam is not administered by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. Rather, the exam, including any information about it, is available through the University’s Student Academic Services, located on the 1st floor of Egan. Please contact Katheryn Easterday at or by phone at 284-5358 for details.)

    Further Questions? Unsure About Something?

    If you have any further questions, please e-mail Prof. Engel-Doyle at

    Special Notes and Possible Areas of Confusion

    1. All B.A. programs require 6 credits of Intermediate-level foreign language or equivalent proficiency. However some programs specify only 201-202 on their typical program sheets, assuming that students will understand that they need elementary proficiency to enter 201. One problem that results from this is that sometimes students do not realize that they need to take Elementary-level language courses first. If you are not ready for 201, you will have to begin with Elementary Spanish, either 101 or 102 depending on your placement exam results. Please take this into account when you are planning your academic schedule.

    2. Spanish courses must be taken in sequence. Since all courses from 102 onwards build on the knowledge base established in the previous course, language courses cannot be skipped or taken out of sequence.

    Semesters When Spanish Courses Are Offered:

    • Not all Spanish courses are offered every semester in Steubenville. In general, SPN 101 and SPN 201 (Elementary Part 1, and Intermediate Part 1) are offered in the Fall, with SPN 102 & SPN 202 (Elementary Part 2, and Intermediate Part 2) being offered in the Spring. There is limited availability for the inverse (i.e., 101/201 in the spring and 102/202 in the fall). 
    • Spanish in Austria: We do not currently offer Spanish courses in Austria. Thus, any students planning to take advantage of our Austria program will need to plan their Spanish courses accordingly.
    • Steubenville Summer Offerings in Spanish: Since 2005, Elementary and Intermediate Spanish have been offered during Summer sessions. However, there is NO guarantee about future summers. Please take this into account when planning your academic degree program. Please check with the Department of Modern Languages to ascertain the availability of such courses.

    MATERIAL COVERED IN SPN 101, 102, 201 AND 202:

    • SPN 101:

      • Communicative Contexts and Vocabulary:
        • Greetings and farewells
        • Identifying oneself and others
        • Expressions of courtesy
        • The classroom and academic life
        • Fields of study and academic subjects
        • Days of the Week
        • Class schedules
        • Family
        • Professions and occupations
        • Pastimes, hobbies and sports
        • Places in the city
      • Grammatical Structures:
        • Nouns and descriptive adjectives; agreement with definite and indefinite articles
        • Numbers 0-100
        • Telling time
        • The verb ser
        • The verb estar
        • The present tense of -ar, -er, and -ir verbs
        • Forming questions
        • Possessive adjectives
        • Present tense of tener, venir, ir
        • Present tense of stem-changing verbs
        • Present tense of verbs with irregular yo forms
        • Weather expressions
      • Cultural points of focus in the Hispanic World:
        • Greetings and introductions
        • University life
        • Hispanic families
        • The importance of "el fútbol" (soccer) in the Hispanic world
      • Aspects of pronunciation/writing emphasized:
        • General alphabet
        • Vowels
        • Diphthongs
        • Stress and accent marks
    • SPN 102:

      • Communicative Contexts and Vocabulary:
        • Travel and vacation
        • Months and seasons of the year
        • Ordinal numbers
        • Clothing and shopping
        • Negotiating a price and buying
        • Colors
        • Daily routine
        • Personal hygiene
        • Time expressions
        • Food and meals
      • Grammatical Structures:
        • Ser and Estar
        • Present progressive
        • Direct objects (nouns and pronouns)
        • Personal "a"
        • Numbers 101 and higher
        • Preterite tense of regular verbs
        • Indirect object pronouns
        • Demonstrative adjectives and pronouns
        • Reflexive verbs
        • Indefinite and negative words
        • Preterite of ser and ir
        • Gustar and similar verbs
        • Preterite of stem-changing verbs
        • Double object pronouns
        • Saber and Conocer
        • Comparatives and superlatives
        • Pronouns after prepositions
      • Cultural points of focus in the Hispanic World:
        • Lodging
        • Open-air markets
        • Typical daily schedules in the Hispanic world
        • Hispanic food
      • Aspects of pronunciation/writing emphasized:
        • Spanish b and v
        • The consonants d and t
        • The consonants r and rr
        • The sounds represented by ll, & ñ, c, and z
    • SPN 201:

      • Communicative Contexts and Vocabulary:
        • Parties and celebrations
        • Personal relationships
        • Life’s stages
        • Health and medical terms
        • Parts of the body
        • Symptoms and medical conditions
        • Automobiles and automotive accessories
        • Electronic products
        • Computers and peripherals
        • Parts of a house
        • Household chores
        • Table settings
      • Grammatical Structures:
        • Dar and Decir
        • Irregular preterites
        • Verbs that change meaning in the preterite: (conocer, saber, querer, and poder)
        • ¿Qué? and ¿cuál?
        • Imperfect tense
        • Constructions with se
        • Adverbs
        • Time expressions with hacer
        • Preterite and imperfect
        • Por and para
        • Reciprocal reflexives
        • Stressed possessive adjectives and pronouns
        • Relative pronouns
        • Formal commands
        • Present subjunctive
        • Subjunctive with verbs of will and influence
      • Cultural points of focus in the Hispanic World:
        • Hispanic celebrations
        • Medical care in Hispanic countries
        • Transportation in Hispanic cities
        • Housing in the Hispanic world
      • Aspects of pronunciation/writing emphasized:
        • h, j, and g
        • Accentuation and strong syllables
        • Accentuation in the case of similar words
        • Upper and lower-case
    • SPN 202:

      • Communicative Contexts and Vocabulary:
        • Nature and the environment
        • Recycling and conservation
        • City life
        • Daily chores
        • Money and banking
        • Post office
        • Health and well-being
        • Exercise and physical activity
        • Nutrition
        • Professions and occupations (part II)
        • The workplace
        • Job interviews
        • The arts, movies and television
        • Current events, the media and natural disasters
      • Grammatical Structures:
        • Subjunctive with verbs of emotion
        • Subjunctive with doubt, disbelief and denial
        • Subjuntive with certain conjunctions
        • Subjunctive in adjective clauses
        • commands
        • Nosotros commands
        • Past participles used as adjectives
        • Present perfect
        • Past perfect
        • Present perfect subjunctive
        • Future tense
        • Future perfect
        • Past subjunctive
        • Conditional tense
        • Conditional perfect
        • Past perfect subjunctive
        • clauses: real vs. hypothetical, contrary-to-fact situations
      • Cultural points of focus in the Hispanic World:
        • Ecotourism
        • Specialized shops
        • Attitudes toward physical fitness and exercise
        • Women in the workplace
        • Hispanic film
        • The media in the Hispanic world
      • Aspects of pronunciation/writing emphasized:
        • Punctuation in Spanish
        • Abbreviations
        • b and v in writing
        • y, ll, and h
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