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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:

A score of 0-490 French, German, or Italian 102; Spanish 103
A score of 500-560 Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, or Spanish 203
A score of 570 and above Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, or Spanish courses above the 203 level

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 access the WebCAPE exam, go to:

    Alternatively, in your Internet browser, go to:

    • Look up the school: Skidmore College.
    • Enter the password: tbreds1 (“tbreds” followed by the digit “1”).
    • Select the language: French, German, Italian, or Spanish.
    • Enter your Skidmore I.D. number. (This is a nine-digit number that you should have received from the Registrar’s Office.)
    • Click on “Continue.” The first screen is a practice item. After that, you will begin the exam.
    • Your placement score will be displayed at the end of the exam. Be sure to click on “Finished” to send a copy of this information to Skidmore. Keep a record of your score.

WebCAPE Placement Exams for:

French, German, Italian and Spanish

0–339 French 102, German or Italian 102, Spanish 103
340–390 French, German, Italian, Spanish 203
391 and above French, German, Italian, Spanish courses 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.