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Language Placement Test

Coronavirus Update: Due to the current COVID-19 situation, requiring remote classes and work for students and faculty, the Department of Modern Languages has worked with OIT to make the Language Placement Test (French/German/Spanish) available through Proctortrack. If you need to take the Language Placement Test to register for classes for Summer Semester 2020 or Fall Semester 2020-21, click here for instructions.

Students who would like to take a French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish language course must first take the language placement test. Placement test results must be posted to a student’s Ohio University account before they can schedule a language class.

Students wishing to register for FR/GER/ITAL/RUS/SPAN 1110 do not have to take the placement test. However, if you start in 1110, you cannot subsequently take the placement test in order to move up in the series.

You must start at the level where you place. If you feel you were placed too low, be sure to attend class and talk to the instructor. The instructor will let you know where to go from that point.

Non-majors may be able to test out of their degree’s foreign language requirement by taking the placement test. Bachelor of Arts students need to score at the 3000 level to waive the language requirement. Bachelor of Science students must score at the 2000 level.

Please contact Justin Kendrick with questions. 

Taking the Test
  • Visit Gordy Hall room 283 with your Ohio University student ID (or state ID) on any weekday between 8 a.m. and noon or 1 and 4 p.m. No appointment is required.
  • For French, German, Russian, or Spanish placement tests, you will be given a form to take to the computer lab in Gordy Hall room 115. For Italian or Portuguese, you will take a paper test.
  • You may only take a placement test once, but you may take a test for more than one language.
  • The placement test may take up to 20 minutes to complete. 
  • It will take between 24 and 48 hours for results to be posted on your student account. 

Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI)

Coronavirus Update: Students may take the OPI and WPT exams remotely while we are under a “Stay-at-Home” order. There is an additional fee ($20-$35) to have an online-proctored exam. As soon as staff resume working on campus, tests will once again take place in Gordy Hall. Click here to register online.

The Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) exam is recommended for anyone who needs an official rating of their oral language abilities. It is required of all Spanish, French, and German majors and all language education majors at Ohio University. It costs $139 to take the exam. 

Students may take the exam as often as necessary to attain the required rating from their major. If a student does not attain the required rating for their program by graduation, they will not have fulfilled one of the requirements for graduation and will not receive their diploma. 

About 

The OPI is an official double rated interview given by testers certified by the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages). In order to determine your speaking level in any given language, you will have a telephone interview with a tester who will then evaluate your language level according to strict standards.

This interview gives an accurate and objective assessment of your oral language skills. In order to maintain high standards, certain degrees require this objective assessment. You will also find the rating useful in future job placements where you will need to prove your oral language abilities.

Preparation

The OPI is designed to rate your level at the time that you take it and is not designed for any special preparation. You might want to practice speaking with a native speaker, read texts out loud, and listen to the radio or television in order to increase your fluency.

For some, it is a good idea to practice speaking the language over the phone. It is a conversation that does not have any scripted questions, so there are no precise questions you can prepare to answer.

There is a Spanish OPI prep class (SPAN 2900) for one credit, and students are recommended to enroll.

When taking the OPI, listen carefully to the questions asked by the interviewer before answering. When answering, give as detailed a response as possible. Saying little to avoid making mistakes will not improve your rating. If you do not know a specific term in the target language, describe it and try to avoid making up words. (If you do not use the tested language or a slang term, do not be surprised if the interviewer asks you to describe what that word means in the target language.)

Download OPI Practice Tips

Registration

It is best to register by the 10th week of the semester that you plan to take the test. We also recommend that you take it after you return from a study abroad program or the semester before you graduate.

You must be registered with the testing website, Language Testing International (LTI), at least 10 days before the exam date. This allows LTI to find an interviewer who can accommodate the times you indicate. You will be contacted by LTI via email about one week prior to the scheduled interview.

Tests will be taken on the Ohio University Athens campus.

If you are not on the Athens campus, make sure you allow a window of time to schedule the interview, as your time depends on tester availability. You will also need to arrange for a proctor if you are not on the Athens campus. Your proctor should be a person of authority and must fill out the proctor sheet, sign it, and you must send it to LTI. To find a proctor, you may check with your public library, go to an area university or school, ask a business secretary, etc. You must also make the call from a landline. We suggest you use a calling card to pay for the call, as it is not toll-free.

Instructions (Download)

  • You will register for the test online through www.languagetesting.com.
  • Select your language, then select Search for your institution or school program under “Students/Teachers.”
  • At Are you testing for State Teacher Certification? select yes or no. If yes, select Ohio.
  • Search Ohio University-Dept. of Modern Lang. and click continue.
  • At the welcome page, click continue.
  • Select the test language and click continue.
  • The Select Test page shows the test prices and options. Select the appropriate test, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click continue.
  • At the Proctor page, click the radio button for Ohio University. There is no additional charge for this option. Dr. Betsy Partyka, (740) 593-2765 is the contact person. Click continue.
  • Select the Date and Time of Test. Click continue.
    • Select Eastern Time (U.S. & Canada) because the test will be taken at Ohio University, then indicate your top two date and time preferences. 
    • Tests must be taken during office hours, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. You should not schedule a test when the university is closed. 
  • The Department of Modern Languages does not require an official certificate, but you may pay extra to get one. After choosing, click continue.
  • Review your order or add another test, then click continue.
  • Sign in or create an account. If needed, add candidate information. Then enter your payment information and click submit.
  • An email confirmation of the test date and time will be emailed to you and the Department of Modern Languages.
Test Day

Please arrive at the Modern Languages office, Gordy Hall room 283, 10 minutes prior to the test time with your OHIO ID or a state ID. Tests last approximately 30 minutes.

Results

OPI results may take one or two weeks. LTI will provide you with a link to the test site for your rating. You must retain the original email message from them that verifies your interview time. Once you receive your results, please notify Dr. Partyka so the results can be added to your student record.

If you cannot access the LTI link or lose the email, contact Dr. Partyka about two weeks after you take the test, and she will verify your rating.

Language majors must score at least an Intermediate High. Language education majors must score at least an Advanced Low.

Rating Explanations

Retakes

You may retake the exam as often as necessary until you attain the required level. Because the exam has a fee, you should not take it until you feel you have a high level of proficiency.

LTI requires at least 90 days between interviews. If you need to take it at the end of the subsequent semester, a waiver of the 90-day requirement can be requested by Ohio University

More about the 90-day requirement waiver

Helpful Downloads

Written Proficiency Test (WPT) 

Coronavirus Update: Students may take the OPI and WPT exams remotely while we are under a “Stay-at-Home” order. There is an additional fee ($20-$35) to have an online-proctored exam. As soon as staff resume working on campus, tests will once again take place in Gordy Hall. Click here to register online.

The Written Proficiency Test (WPT) is optional for all language students at Ohio University. However, it is recommended that students take the WPT if they will need an official rating of their written language abilities. It costs $70 to take the WPT. 

Students who would like to register for the WPT may follow the guidelines listed for the OPI exam above. 

Learn more about the WPT