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Skidmore College
World Languages and Literatures

Language Requirement and

Class Placement

To fulfill the language requirement at Skidmore College, all students must complete one course in a foreign language-designated course in the Department of World Languages and Literatures or in the Department of Classics. There are several ways to place into the correct level of the language you choose to study. The course must be appropriate to your level of language expertise. as determined below:

  • Students with a minimum of one year of prior language study are excluded from taking a 101 course in that language and need to use one of the placement guides below or start a new language. To enroll in WLF or WLS 101, you must send an email to the instructor explaining that you have not previously studied the language . This information will be verified by the Registrar.
  • Students with a score of 3 or higher on an AP test should enroll in courses above the 203 level.
  • Students who have taken the SAT II exam for a foreign language should refer to the chart below for placement information.
  • Students who have not taken an AP or SAT II exam and who plan to continue previous study of French, German, Italian, or Spanish must take the web-based placement exam (WEBCAPE). See the instructions below.
  • Students with previous experience with Chinese or Japanese are placed based on their written level  of competency and on their oral proficiency. Students will submit writing samples or take an in-person placement exam. There is an oral assessment to confirm placement at the beginning of the semester.

In all cases, it is ultimately the professor who determines a student’s appropriate language level.

Placement determined by an SAT II Exam: If you have taken the SAT II exam for a language, use the following guidelines for placement:

SCORE PLACEMENT - Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese
A score of 0-490 German or Italian 102
A score of 500-560 Chinese, German, Italian, or Japanese 203
A score of 570 and above Chinese, German, Italian, or Japanese courses above the 203 level
A score of 0-430 WLF 102
A score of 440-550 WLF 203
A score of 560-600 WLF 206
A score of 610-650 WLF 208
Above 660 Contact Prof. Talley
A score of 0-430 WLS 103
A score of 440-550 WLS 203
A score of 560-600 WLS 206
A score of 610-650 WLS 208
Above 660 Contact Prof. Lander or Prof. Rangil

AP Spanish Literature and Culture

3 WLS 208
4 WLS 208, possibly WLS 211 or WLS 212 after talking to instructor
5 WLS 211 or WLS 212 (either one)

AP French Language and Culture

3 WLF 206
4 WLF 208
5 WLF 210

AP Spanish Language and Culture

3 WLS 206
4 WLS 208
5 WLS 211 or WLS 212 (either one)

Online Placement Exams for French, German, Italian, and Spanish: If you plan to continue your previous study of French, Spanish, or German and you did not take the SAT II or AP exams, you must take the online placement exam to determine which level of course to take at Skidmore.


Any student who deliberately does poorly on the Skidmore language placement exam or who knowingly and willfully enrolls in a class below the student’s language proficiency level is in violation of the Skidmore College Honor Code and may be referred to the Office of the Associate Dean for Academic Advising and/or the Integrity Board for further action. Students should be aware that the penalties attached to an academic integrity violation may jeopardize a student's standing at the college. Students should also be aware that those who have committed academic integrity violations are ineligible for college honors, including, but not limited to, the Dean's List, graduation honors, and inclusion in certain honor societies. Students who have questions about their placement should speak to their class instructor.

To create a new TrueNorth (WebCAPE) account, go to:
  1. Complete the webform to create an account.
    • For Email, you must enter your Skidmore email address.
    • For Student Id, you must enter your Skidmore Student ID, which is the nine-digit number that you should have received from the Registrar’s Office.
    • The Password you create must be at least 8 characters long and not commonly used.
  2. Check the box to agree to the TrueNorth Privacy Policy & Terms of Use.
  3. Click the Create Account button.
  4. You will then be directed to a confirmation page that your account was created successfully with a link to Sign In.
  5. Click on the link and then enter your login credentials:
    • Username or email: Enter your Skidmore email address
    • Password: Enter the password you created when you setup your account.
  6. To start a test, click the TAKE TEST button for the WebCAPE language test you need to complete. 

Once you have created an account with TrueNorth, you can access the site by going to:

Note:  If you already have an account with TrueNorth and you attempt to create another one, you will be directed to the login page to login with your existing account credentials. If you do not remember your password, click the Forgot Password? link on the login page and provide your Skidmore email address to have an email sent to reset your password. 

WebCAPE Placement Exams for french:

No experience in French. Students who want to enroll in WLF 101 MUST contact the instructor.
1–250 WLF 102
251-375 WLF 203
376-460 WLF 206
461-570 WLF 208
More than 571 Contact Prof. Talley

WebCAPE Placement Exams for spanish:

No experience in Spanish. Students who want to enroll in WLS 101 MUST contact the instructor.
0–339 WLS 103
340–390 WLS 203
391-460 WLS 206
461-570 WLS 208
More than 570 Contact Prof. Lander or Prof. Rangil

WebCAPE Placement Exams for German and Italian:

0–339 French, German or Italian 102
340–390 French, German, or Italian 203
391 and above French, German, or Italian 206 and above

Please note:

There is a 24-hour delay for this score to post to the system; therefore. you should take the exam at least one day prior to your registration timeslot.

For students interested in Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, Korean, Portuguese or Russian, please contact the instructor.