Skip to main content

Placement Testing

French language placement tests are offered online.

  • First-year and transfer students will receive an email from the Dean's Office when the testing is available (mid-July).  After receiving this notice, the student must log into Moodle and select the New Student Orientation 2022 course. In the Placement Exams section of the course, you will find detailed instructions on how to access placement exams. It is important that you complete the language survey that appears at the beginning of the test. Upon completion of the exam, students will receive their score and instructions on how to proceed. Each test is an adaptive online exam available between mid-July and early August. The deadline to take the test is August 10. Depending on the score, some students will be prompted to write a short essay to complete the placement process. Those students will receive an email before orientation week to schedule a brief interview on August 24. This is one of the reasons it is critical for you to complete the exam early. If an oral interview is required, it is typically scheduled the middle of orientation week.
  • Students who are not first-years interested in taking placement exams should contact the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures for information and instructions.
  • Students who have taken French AP/IB are also required to take the online placement test.
  • Note: the French Online Placement Test is not a substitute for an official standard achievement test of a foreign language (such as the College Board exam or the International Baccalaureate). Therefore, it does not serve as proof of achievement for the purpose of fulfilling the language requirement. This test is only intended to assist instructors in placing students in the appropriate French course at Swarthmore.

NOTE:  For the French placement test, you will be asked a series of questions to which there are only multiple-choice answers. This is an adaptive diagnostic test and questions will be calibrated to your level. At the end of the test you will receive a diagnostic score and may be prompted to take a diagnostic essay and/or meet with faculty for an oral interview (please see below). Please complete the online test to the best of your ability.

Please set aside 15 to 20 min for the diagnostic paragraph, or 45 min minimum for the diagnostic essay, depending on your level. 

If you have never taken the language placement test before, you will need to create an account in their system to complete the placement test.

You will next be taken to a Dashboard screen where you select “French Reading/Grammar.”

Please, provide all the information requested and complete the pre-test survey. It helps for your placement at the appropriate level.

Complete the test. Take a screen shot or print your results and return to the Moodle page to follow the instructions for completing the essay.

  • If you received a score of 0 – 294, merci! You have completed the French placement test. Thank you for beginning French at Swarthmore College. Please register for FREN 001, FREN 013.1, and FREN 013.A
  • If you received a score of 295 – 365, merci! It’s great to see you have an interest in continuing French at Swarthmore College. Please follow this link to write a short diagnostic paragraph, depending on your level, you may be invited to speak with us in person upon your arrival on campus so we can determine your particular level and placement.
  • If you received a score of 366+, merci pour l’intérêt que vous portez aux études françaises et francophones de Swarthmore College. Please follow this link to write a diagnostic composition. You will be invited to an in person oral interview upon your arrival on campus for your placement.




Choose a Language Program