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Foreign Language Exams and Foreign Language Validation

Foreign Language Exams

All students who have taken two or more years of the same foreign language in high school (one or more years if the language is Spanish) should take the language placement test in that language, regardless if they plan to continue language study. Requirements for continuing a foreign language are dependent on your academic program or major.

The Center for Languages, Literatures and Cultures coordinates and administers online placement tests in French, German, Italian, Hebrew, Russian, ASL, Korean, Arabic, Latin, Somali, and Swahili and in-person placement tests for Spanish. Other languages can be accessed by contacting the department directly or going through the CLLC ( When preliminary results indicate eligibility above the 1103 level, you may be asked to take a supplementary proficiency exam.

Online placement tests through the CLLC are fully remote.  Placement tests are also scheduled as part of new student orientation programs. Transfer students without language transfer credit also must take placement tests during orientation or remotely. We recommend taking the placement test at least 2 days in advance of your orientation or during orientation. If you do not take it during orientation, please take it as soon as possible. You can contact the CLLC at for more information or assistance.

Note: It is advised to have a level of knowledge or experience comparable to students who have successfully completed the course you are attempting to test out of.

Foreign Language Exams offered at Ohio State, see which courses have a departmental exam option.

  • To take a Departmental Exam, contact the department.
  • To take a Departmental Exam at a regional campus, contact your campus advising office.
  • Departmental Exams are not repeatable.



Foreign Language Validation

If you are a native (or near-native) speaker of a language other than English, you may have your world language validated. OSU defines a native speaker as someone whose permanent address is in a country where English is not an official language, who went to high school where the main instruction was not in English, and/or has taken an English Proficiency exam such as TOEFL or DUOlingo. If you fulfill some or all these requirements, please reach out to to confirm your Native speaker status. You will then have your advisor validate your world language. This means that your world language requirement is waived. You will NOT be awarded EM credit hours for a validation.

If you are a speaker of a language that is not taught at OSU, you can have your language validated through the ACTFL LTI proficiency test. If you score high enough, you will have your world language validated. This means that your world language requirement is waived, but you will not be awarded EM credit hours. The Testing Center offers the Certified ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and the Certified ACTFL Written Proficiency Test (WPT) for foreign language validation. Please check if your language requires both the OPI and WPT. You must take this exam in the OSU Testing Center.

For more information on validation as a native speaker, directions for taking the ACTFL LTI test, and scholarship opportunities for students who take/took the ACTFL LTI test, please visit Center for Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.

View a list of languages available for validation