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. Frank Jacobus.

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:

  1. Below 260 and you have not had more than 1 full year of high school French, then you should enroll in French 101 or French 103
  2. Below 260 and you have had more than 1 full year of high school French, then you should enroll in French 102
  3. Between 261 and 340, you should enroll in French 102 or French 103
  4. Between 341 and 430, you should enroll in French 201
  5. For scores 431 and above, you should enroll in French 212, a 220-series course, French 230, or French 260

Please note: It may be possible to take a course other than the one into which you placed. Course adjustments must be made in consultation with a faculty member in the French & Francophone Studies Department and should be resolved no later than the first week of class.

During academic year 2015-16, French 103-104 is offered during fall semester only; sections of FRE 101, 102, 201 and 212 will be offered both semesters.

If you have a placement test score scoring above 450 or a French AP score of 4 or 5 and do not plan to enroll in a French course, you may request an oral interview for possible exemption from the language requirement. In order to place out of the language requirement entirely, 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.