Department of Modern Languages & Classics

Placement Test

Please, read the following before starting the test (the link to the test is provided at the end of this page). It is also useful to print this page out or to save it to your computer.

Who should take the test?

The test is designed for students who have not taken any French courses at SMU. Its goal is to determine your language proficiency with respect to the courses offered by our department. The results of this test will not affect your academic record.

Note, if you have already taken at least one French course at SMU, you should not take the test. To register for the next level, you should have at least C in a prerequisite course.

I am a graduate of a francophone or a French immersion school, shall I take the test?

Yes, the test is for everybody. You may have a good oral proficiency, but insufficient knowledge of grammar or vocabulary. At the university level courses, you are expected to attain a multifaceted language proficiency, and the test evaluates your actual performance in French. If it happens that your score is too low to enter an advanced level course, you should contact the instructor of the corresponding course. You may need to arrange an appointment, so your language proficiency can be tested individually.

What do I need to take the test?

  • A computer with Quick Time (6.0 or better) and Flash (7.0 or better).
  • An internet connection. We suggest to have a high-speed connection, since there are audio files to be played.
  • Check the functionality of your computer. Make sure it plays audio files.
  • We suggest to use a headset for a better perception of sound.
  • Have a piece of paper and something to write down your score at the end of the test.

In case of technical problems, try the test on different computers (a problem may be related to your web-browser or internet connection). Make sure everything works well before starting the test.

Accessing the test on-line

While entering the test, you will be asked to fill in the following fields:

  • Last name
  • First name
  • Registration No. (= your A number)
  • Group
  • E-mail address

Fill in only the first three fields, leaving group and e-mail address blank. Then press "Begin".

Your score

When you complete the entire test, you will need to press the "Results" button (on a floating menu on the left side of the screen). Your score is the percentage of correct answers. It will appear at the very last page of the test. This page will indicate the number of correct answers (out of 80) followed by a percentage number between brackets (%). This percentage is your score that you have to rely on while choosing a French course. Write it down for your own record.

The last page will also contain a table describing your results for each question. Ignore this table and, especially, do not go back to change your answers; you will loose your data.

You should select your course on the basis of the following chart:

78% and more—FREN 3307 "Advanced French Language Skills I"
60-77%—FREN 2235 "Intermediate French Level I"
36-59%—FREN 2201 "Basic University French Level I"
35% and less—FREN 1111 "Beginners' French Level I"

If your score is close to 35%, 59% or 77% but not enough for a higher level, contact the instructor. For example, if your score is between 54% and 59%, you may register for FREN 2235 after a consultation with the instructor.

Attention New Students: Banner might not accept your registration for technical reasons. Please contact the Chair of Modern Languages and Classics, Dr. Myles McCallum, at, to get an override.


Do not press "Results" before you are asked to do so (this will happen only after you complete the entire test).

The "Submit" button must be pressed only after you have seen your score (do not press "Submit" before "Results"!)

Do not misrepresent your knowledge! It is a serious academic offence which may lead to disciplinary action. You are not allowed to use any supplementary resources, neither books, including dictionaries, nor software.

Test link

If you have read the above information you can start the test: