French Placement Exam

All incoming first-year students planning to continue to study French or fulfill the language requirement in French must take the following Web-based exam before registering for a French class.

The placement test and the report you get back from it will enable you to put the appropriate course among your original course selections. This is meant to help you avoid having to alter your entire schedule in trying to add your French class at some later date.

If you plan to begin French as a new language, you do not need to take this exam. You should enroll in French 101 or 103.

Follow the instructions below for taking the exam. After taking the exam, use the "Placement guidelines" (lower on this page) to select an appropriate course or to learn about the procedure for receiving an exemption from the language requirement.

For questions about the process or about proper placement, please contact Prof. Florin Beschea at

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Go to the placement exam website
  2. Enter the password provided in the material you received from the Registrar's Office. Be sure to enter the password in lowercase letters.
  3. Click on French
  4. Follow the instructions on the menu page
    1. For identification number, please use your Davidson ID number
    2. For email, use your email account
  5. Click on "Begin Exam"
  6. Do the sample question. Select a correct response at the bottom of the page and click "confirm response"
  7. The exam will begin, tailor making the questions for you. It will take approximately 20 minutes.
  8. Once you have started the placement test, please finish it without stopping. If you interrupt the test for even a few minutes, your test score will be invalid.
  9. Your exam score will be sent to your email address soon after completing the exam.

Placement Guidelines

If your score is:

  • Between 0 and 260, you should enroll in French 101 (Elementary French I) or French 103 (Intensive Beginning French counts as two courses and completes two semesters of French)
  • Between 261 and 340, you should enroll in French 102 (Elementary French II) or French 103
  • Between 341 and 430, you should enroll in French 201 (section designated for high school exposure)
  • For scores 431 and above, you should enroll in French 212 (Oral Expression, offered both semesters), a 220-series course (Introduction to Literature, both semesters), French 241 (Poetry, Passion and Painting - fall only), or French 260 (Contemporary France - spring only)

During academic year 2016-17, French 101 and 103-104 are offered during fall semester only; sections of FRE 102, 201 and 212 will be offered both semesters.

If you have a French AP score of 4/5 or an IB score of 6/7, and do not plan to continue your study of French at Davidson, you may use your AP or IB score to satisfy the college language requirement. In order to place out of the language requirement on the basis of a high placement test score, you must successfully complete a 15-minute oral interview in French with a member of the French & Francophone Studies Department. Students who score above 500 are more likely to qualify for exemption than those whose scores are between 420-499. Email Prof. Carole Kruger at, chair of French & Francophone Studies, to arrange for such an interview.