About the Placement Exam
About Class Attendance
About Other Issues
1. Why do I need to take the Spanish placement exam?
The departmental policy is that all students who have studied Spanish before matriculating at Yale (elementary or middle school do not count) and wish to enroll in a Spanish language course must take the Spanish placement exam before registering in any course. The purpose is to assess students’ language abilities to match them to the language courses most suitable for their level.
Self-placing is not allowed. Students will not be permitted to register in a Spanish course unless they have been placed into it after taking the placement test or have completed the prerequisite course (not applicable to the beginning-level course).
Only in these situations, students are exempted from taking the placement exam:
• You are a true beginner (meaning you have never studied Spanish before). You may enroll in SPAN 110 directly.
• You received a 5 on the AP Spanish Language OR Literature exam. (You may enroll in any L5 language or literature course)
• You received a 6 on the high-level IB exam (You may enroll in any L5 language or literature course)
Note: Since many students may or may not have the same proficiency level as when they took the AP or IB exams, we strongly recommend that everyone take the exam to evaluate whether they are ready for the advanced level and thus determine if an L5 course would work for them. However, if a student with an AP 5 score or 6 on the high-level IB exam decides to take the placement exam, they would have to register at the course level they have been placed into after taking the placement test.
2. When can I take the placement exam?
Placement exams are administered three times a year: late fall, late spring, and late summer.
Students are responsible for checking on our departmental website or the CLS Spanish placement exam page for dates and updated information about the placement exam: https://cls.yale.edu/students/placement-testing/spanish-placement-test
NOTE: Students considering summer study abroad are advised to take the placement test in fall.
3. I missed the published window to take the Spanish placement exam. Is it still possible for me to take the test?
No. If you missed the deadline, you need to wait for the next placement exam period to take your placement exam. Make-up exams will be given ONLY under exceptional circumstances. To discuss your particular situation, please contact the Spanish Language Program Director, Jorge Méndez-Seijas (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Yes, students with documented disabilities may request accommodations for placement testing through the Student Accessibility Services office. Please contact them through the online registration form at least one week before the placement test begins.
Please note that these requests for accommodations apply only to the placement testing period. To register for ongoing accessibility arrangements, students should submit a request and meet with SAS before the start of the semester.
5. Where can I see my placement results? What if I am not happy with my results?
Results will be posted prior to the start of the pre-registration period on Canvas (within the “Spanish Placement Test Site”. The Canvas link to register on this site is available at the bottom of the Center for Language Study Spanish Placement Test Page.
It is your responsibility to check your Placement results. They will NOT be emailed to you.
If, after you receive your placement exam results, you’re unhappy with the result, whether too high or too low, you may contact the Spanish Language Program Director, Jorge Méndez-Seijas (email@example.com).
6. 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 language level you were not placed into, the Registrar will give you no credit for it. If there are attenuating circumstances, speak with your language instructor or contact the Spanish Language Program Director, Jorge Méndez-Seijas (firstname.lastname@example.org).
7. The placement test placed me in L4 but I went to class yesterday and felt it was too advanced for me. Can I go to an L3 class instead?
No. If you attend a language level you were not placed into, the Registrar will give you no credit for it. If there are attenuating circumstances, first speak with your language instructor. Your instructor should decide if you are at the right level or recommend contacting the Spanish Language Placement Director, Spanish Language Program Director, Jorge Méndez-Seijas (email@example.com), for further evaluation.
8. The placement test placed me in L4 but I should be in L5. Can I be switched to an L5 course instead?
No. If you attend a language level you were not placed into, the Registrar will give you no credit for it. If there are attenuating circumstances, first speak with your language instructor. Your instructor should decide if you are at the right level or recommend contacting the Spanish Language Program Director, Jorge Méndez-Seijas (firstname.lastname@example.org), for further evaluation.
9. 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. Language placement results are valid for one academic year. After two semesters, you need to retake the exam, even if you know for a fact that you will place into the same level. Contact the Spanish Language Program Director, Jorge Méndez-Seijas (email@example.com) if you have any questions.
10. I took the placement test two years ago and I was placed in L3. Can I attend an L3 class this semester? If that course is too difficult, can I take an L2 class?
No to both questions. Because of the nature of language acquisition and maintenance, placement test results are valid for one academic year only. You need to retake the placement test to see if your level is still L3. You cannot attend a different level class without proof of the Placement test results.
11. 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?
You don’t need to take the placement text if you are a true beginner (meaning you have NO prior experience in the language). Just register officially in OCS when you know for sure you want to stay in the section in which you were placed in.
12. I was placed in L1 but there 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. They need 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.
13. 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. That is, of course, if you are taking the placement exam for the first time or retaking the exam after one year when results are no longer valid.
14. 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. Placing out does not give you 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.
15. 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 to take the heritage placement test, so that the heritage expert takes a look at your test and determines which level is more appropriate for you. If you have any questions regarding what is considered a Spanish heritage learner or questions concerning the heritage language placement and courses, please contact Sybil Alexandrov (firstname.lastname@example.org).
16. I am a native speaker from a Spanish-speaking country. Before registering for a Spanish course, do I need to take the placement exam?
No. Students whose secondary school transcript shows that the language of instruction was in Spanish do not need to take the placement exam and may fulfill their language requirement by completing one course in Spanish designated L5 or a comparable course at the DUS’s discretion, or by completing one or more courses in a third language, neither English nor the language of their secondary school instruction, at least through the level designated L2.
17. Do I need to take the placement exam in order to pre-register for classes?
No, but you need to take the placement exam before classes begin to confirm that you registered at the right level. You cannot attend a different level class without proof of the Placement test results.
Please note that placement exam periods are usually scheduled before pre-registration so students can register at the appropriate level. So if you haven’t taken the placement exam before pre-registration, you most likely missed the dates for the exam. If that is your case, wait for the next placement exam period to take your placement exam. Please know that make-up exams will be given ONLY under exceptional circumstances. Contact theSpanish Language Program Director, Jorge Méndez-Seijas (email@example.com), to discuss your situation.
18. After taking the placement exam, how many language courses do I need to take to complete my language requirement?
Students who place into L1 must complete three courses in Spanish, designated L1, L2, and L3.
Students who place into L2 must complete three courses in Spanish, designated L2, L3, and L4.
Students who place into L3 must complete two courses in Spanish, designated L3, and L4.
Students who place into L4 must scomplete one course in Spanish, designated L4.
Students who place into L5 must complete one course in Spanish, designated L5 or a comparable course at the DUS’s discretion.
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 Vázquez; L2, SPAN 120: Pilar Asensio ; L3, SPAN 130: Carolina Baffi ; L4, SPAN 140: Giseli Tordin; 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:
- Request permission to enroll in a specific section via email (contact both the course coordinator and the instructor)
- 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 the Spanish Language Program Director, Jorge Méndez-Seijas (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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 add/drop 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 class during the add/drop 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 add/drop 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 add/drop 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.
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 vistahigherlearning.com website. Read the syllabus for more information.
5. I bought the textbook package through Amazon but it will not arrive until the end of add/drop period. Is this a problem?
As long as it arrives before add/drop period is over, you are fine, because late homework does not get penalized through add/drop 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 add/drop 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.