Frequently Asked Questions

Who needs to satisfy the requirement?

All students at the University of Puget Sound must demonstrate first-year college-level proficiency in a foreign language. Students who have never studied a language before must enroll in the first semester of a language program sometime during their college career.

Transfer students must also meet this requirement.

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When is the proficiency exam given?

The exam is given during new student orientation and by appointment through the rest of the academic year. Contact Rachael Gary at learningsupport@pugetsound.edu or 253.879.3790 for an appointment. 

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When I take the exam, how and when will I be notified of results?

You will receive an e-mail message indicating whether you have fulfilled the requirement, are required to schedule an interview with a member of the foreign language faculty, or need to register for a language course. Your faculty advisor will also receive this information.

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What if I take the test and I don't pass?

You may retake all proficiency assessments one time. Make an appointment for dates later in the semester.

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I know a language that is not on the list. What do I do?

For a list of languages for which testing is available, please contact Rachael Gary at learningsupport@pugetsound.edu or 253.879.3790.

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I have an AP 4 in Latin. Do I have to take the proficiency exam?

No. A score of AP 4 or better in any language satisfies the language requirement. Check to make sure that your advisor has an official copy of your AP scores on file.

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I have taken several years of language in high school. Do I really have to take a proficiency exam if I want to test out of a foreign language?

Yes, unless you have an AP score of 4 or higher in a foreign language or a score of 5, 6, or 7 on an International Baccalaureate Higher Level foreign language exam. Be sure your advisor has an official copy of your AP scores.

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I have taken college-level courses at another institution. Do these fulfill the requirement?

In the case of courses at other institutions, the transfer value must also equal at least two units of Puget Sound credit. Successful completion of such coursework will be interpreted as receiving a passing grade. Coursework in a foreign language in study abroad programs or at foreign institutions may satisfy this requirement, provided the transfer value of the coursework equals at least two units of Puget Sound credit for a foreign language at the first-year level. Please contact the Registrar's office to confirm that courses taken at another institution can be used to fulfill the requirement.

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What is the official record that I have completed the proficiency exam?

The transcript will read "Puget Sound language requirement completed" in the semester in which it was completed.

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How do I sign up for a proficiency exam?

You will have an opportunity to sign up for the proficiency exams during Fall Orientation. You may also contact Rachael Gary at learningsupport@pugetsound.edu or 253.879.3790 to reserve a place for subsequent exam dates.

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Do I get course credit for passing the proficiency exam?

No. You do get a special notation on your transcript that reads "Puget Sound language requirement completed" in the semester in which it was completed. By passing the exam, you will also have completed a Puget Sound graduation requirement.

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What if I have other questions that are not addressed here?

Please contact Rachael Gary at learningsupport@pugetsound.edu or 253.879.3790.

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