College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Spanish Placement Test

Spanish Placement Test

What is the WebCAPE Spanish Placement Test?

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. In cases of students who score within five points of a cutoff, on either side of it, they should speak with a Spanish advisor to have the proper level assigned.

Placement exam fee is $5.  Student's account will be charged once the student has registered and completed the exam.

Who should take the placement exam?

Any student who has taken Spanish prior to coming to Western as well as students who, without having taken formal Spanish classes, have experience with the language, either because Spanish is the language spoken at home, or because they have traveled or lived in Spanish-speaking countries should take the exam. Those students who have no experience with Spanish do not need to take the exam and should enroll in SPAN 101.

Transfer students

Students who have transferred from a community college or a university and did not take any Spanish classes in their prior institution, should follow the directions above. Students who took Spanish in their prior institution should continue at whatever level is next with respect to what they last took at their previous institution. It should not be hard to determine, by looking at their transfer equivalency report, what that level should be.

To take the exam

You are welcome to take the Spanish placement test anytime between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. When you are ready to take the test, come to Miller Hall 223 and we will give you further instructions. The test usually takes about 15 to 30 minutes. $5 will be deducted from your student account.

If you have any additional questions please contact Angela Brown (

Click HERE to see a PDF of our Spanish language placement guidelines.