Spanish Placement Test

Placement Test Details & Scoring

The WebCAPE Spanish Placement Test (SPT) is a multiple-choice computerized exam that tests a student’s knowledge of Spanish at different levels of difficulty. The exam discerns a student’s solid knowledge from partial knowledge, which allows the assignment of a score that will predict accurately a student’s ability to succeed at a particular level of Spanish course. The exam measures knowledge, rather than experience, so students should not be bumped up or down a level based on the number of years of high school Spanish taken. Doing so will cause the student to struggle, either through lack of preparation or through boredom with previously learned material. 

The Spanish Placement Test is required for all students who wish to study a Spanish course at Western. Exception: Students who want direct placement into 101 (beginning level of Spanish) are not required to take the test. Students may register for 101 directly. Placement into 102 and higher require completion of placement test. A $8 fee will automatically be charged to your Western student account after test is complete.

Results of score compared to placement into WWU Spanish courses

If a student’s highest college credit is (see TER):

They should take:




103 or 104



1. If they have no college credit:

they need to take the Spanish Placement Test unless they are complete beginners who will take 101.

2. If they have college credit for 121, 122, and/or 123:

they can take the SPT to jump ahead according to the cutoffs below. If their score would put them in a lower course than the cutoff indicates, ignore the SPT score. No one has to retake a course for which they have credit.

 Spanish Placement Test Score  WWU Spanish Course
0-99 101
100-149 102
150-199 103
200-279 104
280-349 201
350-399 202
400-up 301
400-up, lived in a home where Spanish was spoken regularly and feels comfortable speaking the language in casual situations 301 for heritage speakers.
Must obtain an override from the professor or MCL staff in order to register.

Get Started

  1. The Spanish placement test is available through the WebCape/TrueNorth website: WWU Spanish Placement Test.
    • Set up account by creating username and password (use WWU email and student ID number.)
    • Test is multiple-choice format and not timed. Time for completion is approximately 20-40 minutes, depending upon each person’s experience and level of comfort with the language.
  2. Upon completion of test, score will display immediately. 
    • Use the chart below to determine placement. Courses are not offered every quarter; refer to ClassFinder for schedule. Also take note of our Experienced Speakers Policy listed below.


Contact a Spanish Advisor (note: advisors are professors who teach in the program)


Experienced Speakers of a Language

First-year courses in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages are designed for students with minimal or no previous exposure to the target language. Students enrolling in second-year courses should have no more than foundational knowledge, equivalent to the first year. Students having previous experience with the language, such as attending junior high school, high school, community or technical college, or university in which the language in question was the primary language of instruction, may be required to begin study at a more appropriate level, if available. The decision will be left to the discretion of the instructor and the language department.