Frequently Asked Questions

About the Placement Exam

About Registration

About Class Attendance

About Other Issues

About Placement:

1. I took X years of Spanish in high school but I don’t remember much. However, the placement exam placed me in L2. Can I attend an L1 class instead?

No. If you attend a level you were not placed into, the Registrar will give you no credit for it. If there are attenuating circumstances, talk to María Vázquez ( 

2. The placement test placed me in L4 but I went yesterday to class and I feel it is too advanced for me. Can I go to an L3 class instead?

No. If you attend a level you were not placed into, the Registrar will give you no credit for it. If there are attenuating circumstances, talk to María Vázquez.

3. I just took the placement exam, but now I see that Spanish does not fit my schedule this semester. Can I take Spanish next semester without retaking the Placement Test?

Yes. The placement test results are good for next semester. However, after two semesters, you need to retake the exam. Example: You took the exam in fall 2016. If you take Spanish in spring 2017, you don’t need to retake the exam; if you take Spanish in fall 2017, you need to retake the exam, even if you know for a fact that you will place into the same level.

4. I took the placement test two years ago and I was placed in L3. Can I attend your L3 class this semester? If that course is too difficult, can I take an L2 class?

No to both questions. Placement test results are valid for one semester only. You need to retake the placement test to see if your level is still L3. You cannot attend a different level class without evidence from the Placement test results.

 5. I never took Spanish before, so I did not take the Spanish Placement Test. I pre-registered and I was placed in L1? Is this okay? Do I need to do anything else? 

Yes, this is okay. Just register officially in OCS when you know for sure you want to stay in the section you were placed in.

 6. I was placed in L1  but t here is no room in any section. Can I attend the intensive course L1-L2 instead?

Yes, but you should talk to the instructor of that course. He/She needs to review your scores to see if that course is appropriate and then inform the Registrar. Also, be aware that this intensive course is two hours a day, not one.

7. I finished L2 at Yale and then spent the summer abroad. I think I could jump directly into L4 without doing L3. Is this possible?

Yes, it is possible to skip levels if you take the placement test and results show you belong to L4.

8. If I take the placement test and I place into L4, does that mean that I do not need to take any Spanish courses because my 3-semester requirement is fulfilled?

No. Unfortunately, placing out does not give you the credit for that course. In the case that you describe, you will have to take two Spanish courses to fulfill your requirement, L4 and L5.

9. My family speaks Spanish at home. Can I just take any course that I think is right for me?

No. You must take the placement test not only for placement reasons, but also to enroll you formally through the registrar. Make sure you answer the question about heritage students correctly in the placement test, so that the heritage expert takes a look at your test and decides which level is more appropriate for you.

10. I am from a country where English is not an official language. Do I need to take 3 semesters of Spanish to fulfill my requirement?

No. You only need two.

11. I have not taken the Placement Test. I took one year of Spanish in high school, so I know I will probably be fine in L1. Is this OK?

No. If you took Spanish in high school, you need to take the Placement test regardless of what you think your real level is. Otherwise, the Registrar will give you no credit for this class. If the dates for the test passed already, talk to María Vázquez.

12. Do I need to take the placement exam in order to pre-register for classes?

You do not need to take the Placement Exam if you never took Spanish in high school (elementary or middle school do not count). Everyone else must take it and pre-register, even if they know they will probably fall into L1. If you missed the dates for the exam, talk to María Vázquez.

About Registration:

1. I have two tabs for Spanish in Canvas. Why?

One tab is your class section (example: SPAN110 03) and the other tab is the umbrella course (SPAN110 UMB) through which the coordinator will communicate with all Spanish 110 students. You only need your class tab visible; you can hide the umbrella with your old courses.

2. I pre-registered in L1 but they placed me in a section that I don’t want to /I can’t attend. Can I come to another section instead?

Yes, you can change sections, but if you do, you will lose your secured spot in your section and be placed in the waiting list of that new section.

3. I am a graduate student and I was not allowed to use the pre-registration system. How can I pre-register for Spanish classes?

Send an e-mail to the coordinator of the level you need to enter (L1, SPAN 110:  María VázquezL2, SPAN 120 Pilar Asensio ; L3, SPAN 130Carolina Baffi ;  L4, SPAN 140: Giseli Tordin; L5 Luna Nájera; so that she adds you manually before classes start. If classes have started, just attend the class of your choice and sign in the waiting list.

4. How do graduate students register for Spanish courses?

Registration systems for YC and GSAS are not synchronized or linked.

GS students will begin to enroll in a class on January 12.

For Graduate Students nothing has changed:

  1.  Request permission to enroll in a specific section via email (contact both the course coordinator and the instructor)
  2. Add the course in your worksheet

The language instructor or course coordinator will confirm registration or may ask you to remove the course from your schedule and move to another section.

5. I did not pre-register or take the Placement exam, but I just learned that I have to take Spanish this semester to advance my status. What can I do?

Please talk to María Vázquez (

6. Pre-registration sent me to a particular section but I heard that the exams are easier in a different section. I would like to change sections.

All class requirements are exactly the same for all sections, and instructors grade exams following a common rubric, so there should be no sections in which exams are easier. The only difference between sections is the instructor’s relationship/rapport with the students. If you do not like your instructor for whatever reason, you can look for another section during shopping period.

7. I never had Spanish before, so I pre-registered for L1. However, someone told me the class goes very fast. Is there an easier level than L1 or is there a slower-paced section for L1?

No. L1 is our lower level and all sections go at the same speed. If you think Spanish is going to be a problem, there are several things you can do: you can buy your materials before classes start and study on your own, you can audit a class for a while before registering officially the next semester, you can get a tutor as soon as you feel you are behind, etc.

8. I registered for L1 and attended an L1 class last semester. However, I did badly and got a D in the class. Since a D is passing, I have to take L2 this semester. I feel I am not going to do well in L2. Can I retake L1?

No, you cannot retake a course you already passed. You could audit it for a semester to relearn everything, and then enroll in L2 the following semester, or you could get a tutor before or when the L2 class starts.

About Class Attendance:

1. I have been on a waiting list for a week and I still do not know if there is room for me.

If a week has passed, ask your instructor how many people are ahead of you and which other sections might have room. You can also ask the coordinator via e-mail.

2. I attended 8 days of the shopping period but then I missed class one day. When I came back, somebody had taken my place. Can I get it back?

No. You can only get back in the list if someone in the list does not come to class one day during shopping period or someone decides to leave for good. If the number of enrolled students is below the limit –this cap changes semester to semester–, you will probably get in right away.

3. It is the end of Shopping period and I was unable to join the section I wanted. What can I do?

You can choose another section that has room, or you can drop Spanish and take it next semester.

4. I was on a waiting list for a particular section and I would like to stay. However, the teacher told me that there is no room in the class. I saw plenty of chairs available. Can I just stay?

There is a limit of number of students per class, regardless of how much physical space is available. If the cap was reached, you will not be allowed to stay. A small number of students provides greater chances for speaking and improving linguistic skills. If another section at that time has room, you must go. 

5. I am a graduate student and my school classes start 1-2 weeks later than Yale College classes. Can I start coming to class 2 weeks later than the other students?

No. If you wish to attend a Yale College course, you must follow our schedule. Students are allowed 5 unexcused absences per semester and start losing final grade points after the 5th absence. 

Other Issues:

1. Do I need permission to leave the class early? I have to do X every Wednesday.

Yes, you need permission. Talk to your instructor.

2. I would like to audit your Spanish class.

E-mail the instructor of that section and he or she will give you information regarding auditing.

3. I know you have a strict rule about attendance but I will be missing many days because of the sport I am involved in.

No problem, as long as your coach/Dean can confirm your absences. Read the syllabus regarding attendance rules. If your practice consistently coincides with the time this class meets, register for a section that meets at a different time. If you miss a graded assignment (composition, exam, etc.) during your absence, you will have to make it up when you return.

4. I bought the book from a friend, where can I buy the code for the homework online?

You can buy the WebSAM code in the website. Read the syllabus for more information.

5. I bought the textbook package through Amazon but it will not arrive until the end of shopping period. Is this a problem?

As long as it arrives before shopping period is over, you are fine, because late homework does not get penalized through shopping period. During that time, you will have to ask a classmate to share his/her book in class, and use the scanned copies in Canvas when you are outside of class.

6. I bought the code and it comes with the vText. Can I just bring the computer to class or do I need a paper copy of the book?

All students need to bring a paper copy of the textbook. 

7. I bought an old-edition of the same book and then I purchased the Supersite code online. Can I use this old textbook?

Pagination might not be the same. I do not recommend it, but if you have economic difficulties, do it. However, always make sure you compare your old edition with the new edition, so that you study what you are supposed to, and you do the correct textbook homework.

8. How many attempts do I have in the Supersite for L1 and L2?

You always have 2 attempts except for True/False exercises and mock quizzes, for which you have only 1 attempt.

9. I am busy tonight and cannot do the homework. Can I do it tomorrow?

Yes, you can do it tomorrow, but you will have a penalty of -10% per day late (except during Shopping Period).

10. I was not in New Haven and couldn’t come to class. I have a Dean’s excuse for my absence but my homework assignments still show a penalty.

Your instructor can manually eliminate the penalty on an individual basis only if the student is physically unable to study and do the homework while away, or if he/she travels to an area without Internet access. Otherwise, you are responsible for doing your homework regardless of your excused absence.

11. When doing my homework, I wrote a correct response but the machine graded it incorrectly. What can I do?

Tell your instructor to review that particular exercise. If your answer was indeed correct, he/she will give you your points back.

12. I am not doing well in class and I was wondering if I can change my grade from Letter-grade to Credit/Non-Credit.

If you school permits such a change, no problem. You will receive credit for this class if you get a C, B, or A. Talk to your school registrar to do the change.

13. I haven’t decided if I want to stay in Spanish this semester, but I already bought the books. Can I return them if I decide not to take Spanish?

If the package is unopened, I believe you can return it for the full price. If it is opened, they might or might not buy it back. Alternatively, you can keep the materials for one semester in case you decide to take Spanish next semester. You can also sell it to someone who is taking Spanish now.

14. I am about to take an L5 course. Will this course count toward a Spanish major if I decide to major in Spanish?

Yes, L5 courses now count toward the major.

15. Can I do a minor in Spanish?

Unfortunately, we do not offer a minor in Spanish. We do allow for double majors, though. Also consider an Advanced Language Certificate in Spanish ; language certificate guidelines.

16. I am auditing the course, but I don’t see the tab in my Canvas. Thus, I don’t have access to resources or receive communications.

It is possible that your instructor forgot to add you manually. Let him/her know. It is also possible that the course is hidden under “Courses” (left blue menu).

17. I am a graduate student and my school holidays are different than those of Yale College. I will be missing class for a week. Is this OK?

You are allowed 5 unexcused absences during the semester. After that, you will be penalized.

18. I entered the code for the Supersite, but I don’t see the exercises that you assigned in the syllabus.

You possibly bought the wrong code. Check the ISBN with your syllabus. Talk to Tech Support in the Supersite website to see how to solve the problem.