Modern Languages Placement Exams

General Information and Important Dates:

In order to move through the sequence of language courses at UMW, first-time students should begin their language study at the appropriate level. The Department of Modern Languages offers a placement exam in Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

Our placement exam is administered through Avant Assessment. New students will need to take the exam at home between April 2 and May 15, 2019Students will be notified of their scores and recommended placement at Orientation. Students who score high in the summer will be invited to take another proctored exam at the beginning of the fall semester if they wish to seek exemption from the UMW language requirement. Otherwise, they can take the recommended course.

You should only take a placement exam for a language that you have previously studied in high school. If you plan to start with a new language that you have never studied, do not take a placement exam. You should register for the 101 course in that language.

It is important to do well on this exam. Students who start at the lowest level will be taking 12 credits total to complete language requirement. Testing into a higher level of language means more room for major or minor courses, or proceeding more quickly to advanced language studies. Students can prepare for the exam by reviewing previous language study, and by taking the Avant practice exam.

By taking this test you are bound by the University of Mary Washington Honor Code. This means, that you are on your honor to take the placement test by yourself using no assistance during the test. You will not use any reference materials, nor will you have another person help you. Likewise, you are not to download, print out, or in any way save this test.

System Requirements:

The equipment you will need for the exam include a PC, Mac, or Chromebook computer; a headset with microphone; and Chrome or Safari internet browsers. For more information about the test and the technical requirements and to take a practice exam, please visit our exam technical support page before taking the Avant PLACE test.

Getting Started with Your Exam:

Once you are ready to take the exam, you can find the special UMW log-in link and instructions for the test you want to take below. You will enter a Test Code and Password (provided to you via email) as well as your full legal name. The email from the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures will be sent by April 2, 2019.

You need to allow about 45 minutes to complete the test. You will find out your scores and your recommended placement at orientation.

After logging in you will fill out some important personal information.


To ensure that test score results are successfully matched to your academic records in a timely manner, please fill out the Test Score form with the following data from your student profile.


  • First and Last Name:Your name as listed in the Student Profile.
  • Test Taker ID:Your unique Student ID, seen in the Student Profile in the parenthesis next to your first and last name. Please include all leading zeros in your ID.
  • Test Taker Email:Your UMW provided email, seen in the first row of bio information.
  • Date of Birth:Seen in the fourth row of bio information.

Taking Your Exam:

*Log into the Placement Exam.*

Contact Information for Academic and Placement Questions:

Dr. Elizabeth Franklin Lewis, Chair, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.

For technical questions or problems with the functioning of the test itself, please visit our exam technical support page or contact the UMW Help Desk.
Phone:  540/654-2255

For additional information regarding UMW Language Requirement and Placement visit the Modern Languages and Literature UMW Language Requirement and Language Placement page.