French Placement Test

Updated November 2018


All students who have not yet studied French at Yale (except for those who have no previous formal or informal exposure to French whatsoever) are expected to take the Departmental placement exam.  Students who studied abroad over the summer with programs other than Yale’s MUST take the placement exam in order to be eligible to receive credit for their work. The placement exam will also insure that these students enroll in the appropriate course should they wish to continue their study of French.

The Department strongly recommends that students who earned a score of 5 on the Advanced Placement exam, 6 or 7 on the Advanced-Level International Baccalaureate (IB) exam, a rating of C1 on the CEFR European test, or an A or B on the GCE A-Level exam take the placement exam in order to be directed to the most appropriate course and thus save precious time during Shopping Period.

Students who wish to begin taking French in the spring are advised to take the placement exam now. Placement exam results will remain valid for one year.

Results will be posted prior to the start of the semester on Canvas (within the “French Placement Test Site”; Canvas link will be available at the bottom of this page).

Once you have chosen a class at the appropriate level, you must preregister during online Preregistration.

Spring Semester Placement Testing

The Placement Test is being offered prior to the start of the spring semester for students in these categories:

1. Students who have never taken the Placement Test and who wish to enroll in a French course this spring

2. Students who took the Placement Test more than a year ago and who wish to enroll in a French course this spring

3. Students who plan to apply for study abroad over the summer and who have not yet taken a French course at Yale

4. Graduate students who need to demonstrate full competence in French as one of their program requirements

The pre-spring semester Placement Test is NOT open to students who are enrolled in L1, L2, L3 or L4 French this semester, as these students are expected to enroll in the next course in the sequence if they plan to continue with French.

Results of the placement test will be posted starting at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 within the Canvas “French Placement Test Site” (Canvas link will be available at the bottom of this page). 

Placement exam results will remain valid for one year.

*It is your responsibility to verify your placement testing results.

Online Preregistration

For Spring 2019: December 7th, 2018 at 9 am to January 9th, 2019 at 5 pm

  • All undergraduate students who wish to take a French Language course at Levels L2-L5 (FREN 120, FREN 130, FREN 140, FREN 150) must preregister during the Online Preregistration period
  • Students taking FR160 and above do not need to preregister.
  • If your Placement Level is L1 or L2, you will have to wait until next fall to enroll in a course. FREN 120 is open only to students who took FREN 100. FREN 121 is not offered this semester. 
  • Students who have taken the French Department’s placement exam should follow the link above to see their level (once results have been posted) and preregister for the appropriate course (below). For example, students placed in level 3 should follow the L3 preference selection link to register for FREN 130. (Please do not call.)
  • Graduate students cannot preregister online. They need to contact the appropriate course chair.

L2 –> Preregister for <FREN 120> - (Matuku Ngame)

L3 –> Preregister for <FREN 130> - (Soumia Koundi)

L4 –> Preregister for  <FREN 140> - ( Ruth Koizim)

L5 –> Preregister for <FREN 150> - (Françoise Schneider)

After entering your Yale NetID and Password, you will select your top 3 preferences from a list of available sections for your assigned level.  Try, if you can, to choose different time slots. The computer will assign places randomly, taking your preferences into account.

Notice of assignments will be available at 5:00 PM on Friday, January 11th , 2019.

*It is your responsibility to verify your section assignment.

To secure your place in the section, you must attend ALL class meetings.

If you missed the Online Preregistration or were not assigned a section, or if scheduling changes make it necessary for you to switch to a different section, you should contact the appropriate course chair. You should also continue to attend a section of that course until you are sure to have a place in another one.

For questions and concerns, please contact Ruth Koizim.

Further information about placement testing and the use of placement scores at Yale can be found here.

General Information for Online Testing

Dates for Online Testing 

  • Online Placement Tests for Fall Semester: July 1st at 9:00 am (EST) through August 15th at 5:00 pm (EST). 
  • Online Placement Tests for Spring Semester:  December 9th at 9:00 am (EST) through January 10th at 12:00 noon (tentative).

Please note that technical support for online tests is available during all Yale workdays. On weekends and holidays, you may expect a response on the next workday. For a list of Official Yale Holidays, check the online calendar here.


Unless otherwise noted, placement results are provided in one of the following ways: 1) shown on-screen upon completion of the test, 2) posted to Canvas prior to the start of the semester, or 3) distributed by faculty from the department.

Technical Requirements for Online Testing

Please use the latest version of the Google Chrome web browser (downloadable here) and a current version of MacOS or Windows (not an electronic tablet or phone). Prior to taking the test, you can check that your system meets the requirements by first logging in here, then navigating to Tools > Browser Check (if you don’t see the Tools menu, you can visit the Browser Check page here after first logging in). Note: Be sure to use Google Chrome to access the system check link.

Technical Support

If you experience technical issues in accessing or taking the test, please complete the Placement Test Support Form.

Academic Honesty

Before taking the placement test, please read Yale College’s policy on academic honesty.

Test Link

After checking that your computer meets the technical requirements above, click the test link below (if you login outside the stated test dates, the test will be unavailable).

Test Link