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 at
  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 281 and you have not had more than 1 full year of high school French, then you should enroll in French 101 or 103
  2. Below 281 and you have had more than 1 full year of high school French, then you should enroll in French 102
  3. Between 281 and 360, you should enroll in French 102 or French 103.
  4. Between 361 and 450, you should enroll in French 201
  5. Above 450, you should enroll in French 212, a 220-series course, 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 2014-15, French 101 and 103 are offered during fall semester only; sections of French 102, French 201, and French 212 are 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. Contact Prof. Carole Kruger, chair of French & Francophone Studies to arrange for such an interview.