The Placement Exams (for USD Students only)

If you have obtained a Waiver of Placement do not take the placement exam.

The placement policy (exam or waiver) covers classes taken at USD or at other institutions. You may not enroll before receiving a placement determination. No exception to the policy will be granted in the case that your proposed class begins before the exam is evaluated. We will not approve courses for transfer unless this process has been completed prior to taking the class.

Placement notifications are sent to the e-mail address you provide when you take the exam as follows:

  • on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday by 5 p.m. during the semester (except on holidays)
  • once a week at all other times

The Banner system will block enrollment on campus (with a message about not having met the prerequisite) until placement results are uploaded by ITS staff. This occurs Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 8 a.m. If you experience trouble enrolling after your results should have been uploaded, contact Dr. Rubio-Fernaz, the Director of Placement (

Information About the Exam

It is highly advisable to take the exam early to secure your seat in the correct class. Correct and early placement will save you the trouble of having to make class changes during the very hectic first week of school.

If you enroll in a language class after the beginning of the semester your final grade will suffer due to the strict attendance policies in effect for language classes. It pays to know where you belong before enrolling so that you miss no classes.

The exam is a diagnostic tool designed to obtain a measure of your abilities in the language you want to study. What does this mean? It is not an "achievement" exam. We do not want students to prepare for it. For this reason, we do not provide sample tests or study guides.

We require each student to perform at the best of his or her ability without using dictionaries, grammar aids, friends, relatives, or any other sort of assistance and an electronic or handwritten signature declaring that he or she has observed these rules.

The exam begins with a "Language Background" survey. This is an integral component of the placement process and information obtained from this survey is essential to establish the right placement of each student. Incomplete or contradictory surveys may significantly delay placement results. You are, therefore, strongly encouraged to provide complete and reliable information regarding your language background, including an accurate e-mail address.

This exam is unrelated to the Language Competency Exam. It does not contribute in any way to "testing out" of the Core Curriculum requirement in language (previously known as General Education language requirement).


Placement exams are evaluated in a batch on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays by 5 pm. Watch your e-mail on these days for your official placement. If you have been given an optional placement and would like to exercise the option, follow the instructions in the e-mail.

Dr. Rubio-Fernaz provides placement results to be uploaded to the registration system. It is the sole responsibility of ITS to post them. This is done each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 8 am (except holidays).

The department does not allow anyone to enroll in a closed class, so it is important that you enroll as quickly as possible.


Placement results are uploaded to Banner on Tuesday, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 8 am by ITS staff.

If this is an impediment to completing a student's schedule (especially when the language class is nearly full), s/he may file an Add/Drop form with Dr. Rubio-Fernaz (Founders 138-A). Local students then take it to the One Stop Center. For the summer/intersession only, we will forward the forms of out-of-area students to the One Stop Center.

The department does not allow anyone to enroll in a closed class, so it is important that students enroll as quickly as possible. If a class is already closed before a student is eligible to enroll, s/he can get on the waiting list.

It is never guaranteed that we will increase enrollment; however, when an increase is permitted, the enrollment limit in multi-section classes will not be raised until all sections are closed.