French placement policy and test

The following information is intended to facilitate your placement in the correct course. Please email Elena Shimanskaya at with any questions.

General French language program policies

The Basic French Language Program consists of first- and second-year French language instruction. The program consists of two, four-credit first-year courses (FREN 111 and FREN 112) and two three-credit second-year courses (FREN 211 and FREN 212). these courses are not intended for native or heritage French speakers. All four French courses corresponding to the first two years (FREN 111, 112, 211 and 212) must be taken in sequential order; you may not enroll in more than one of these courses during the same semester.

If you want to register for two or more consecutive courses during the summer sessions and the fall semester (ex. FREN 111 in the first summer session, FREN 112 in the second summer session and FREN 211 in the fall), please email Elena Shimanskaya to waive the course prerequisites and to give you permission to enroll in the higher numbered course(s) based on your enrollment in the first course.

If you plan to take upper-division French courses, or to minor/major in French, you should consult with Jodie Barker at before enrolling in 300-level courses or above.

Placement in the first- and second-year French courses is based on the following criteria:

Placement for students without prior knowledge of French

  • Students who have never studied French do not need to take a placement test and should enroll in FREN 111.

Placement for students with prior knowledge of French

Students who have taken French courses previously and who are not native or heritage speakers must take the French Placement Test (if you are a native/heritage speaker of French, please contact Elena Shimanskaya). Placement may be modified by the department following consultation with the placement advisor.

Based on your placement test score, you will be able to enroll in the specific French course listed below:

Eligible French course based on test score
Course FREN 111 FREN 112 FREN 211 FREN 212
CAPE Scores 0-149 150-309 310-344 345+

How do I take the test?

The placement test can be taken online from any location with a high-speed internet connection. The cost is $10. The test should take anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes (the test is shorter for beginners than for intermediate learners).

To take the test, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the button below (make sure you have read all the information on this page before starting the test)
  2. Create an account by providing the information requested
  3. Sign into your account when directed to the "TrueNorth" login page
  4. Purchase the French Reading/Grammar test
  5. Enter your payment information
  6. Take the test
  7. Your score will be sent to Admissions and Records within ten business days
  8. Record your score in a safe place (take a screenshot) and keep it for future advising sessions

Take the French placement test

Students who have taken the CBAPE or IB French tests should consult the University Catalog for information on how their scores transfer to the University.

Students with questions or concerns about these policies should contact Elena Shimanskaya at