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 language other than English. 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.

Back to Top

When is the proficiency exam given?

In fall 2020, all proficiency exams will be proctored remotely, and so students may sign up to take an exam at the time most convenient for them. However, we encourage students who are interested in the proficiency exam to take it as soon as possible: with language, you use it or lose it! Taking the exam early in your college career will help you make more informed choices about your course selection and help you to graduate on time. You can learn more about the testing protocol for fall 2020 and sign up for an exam here.

Back to Top

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

You will receive the results of your proficiency exam directly from our test provider, FLATS. Tests may take up to a week to score and process, so take this time into account when scheduling your test date. 

Back to Top

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

You may retake all proficiency assessments one time, and you can schedule your re-take at any time that is convenient for your schedule. However, depending on your results, it may be a better choice to simply make alternate plans to fulfill the language graduation requirement, like registering for a language course. Your academic advisor can help you consider your options!

Back to Top

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

We provide proficiency tests in a wide variety of languages. If you speak a language not on this list, please contact us; we will do our best to locate a proficiency exam for you. However, tests in some languages may not be available in fall 2020 because of ongoing restrictions due to COVID-19 (for example, ASL testing is not currently being offered). If you are an underclassmen and we are unable to find you a test in your language, we recommend that you consider alternative options to fulfill the language graduation requirement, or you may choose to wait until next year to take a proficiency exam, when restrictions will presumably lift. If you are a graduating senior and there is not a test available in your language, you can submit a Petition for Waiver of Academic Policy to the Academic Standards Committee. 

Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

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 the language graduation requirement?

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

Back to Top

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. Language classes in study abroad programs or at institutions overseas may satisfy this requirement, provided the transfer value of the coursework equals at least two units of Puget Sound credit for a language class 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.

Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

How do I sign up for a proficiency exam?

We have detailed instructions for the testing protocol in Fall 2020 on our website!

Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

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

Please contact Meghan Rogers at meghanrogers@pugetsound.edu or 253.879.3404.

Back to Top