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Department of World Languages & International Studies

Proficiency Exam FAQs

Proficiency exam and the comprehensive exam: what's the difference?

The comprehensive exam is an exam for graduate students and the proficiency exam is one for undergraduate students.

Will I be provided a study guide before the exam?

No, unlike a "chapter test" which is designed to bench mark which subjects a student mastered during the course of the semester, a proficiency exam is designed to determine your proficiency or ability in that subject. 

I have never taken this language at the university level. Why do I need to bring in my high school transcripts before I can take the proficiency exam?

Morgan State University has a language placment policy which bases a student's placement on his/her high school experience.  The department is best able to determine placement after an examination of the high school transcripts.  If you have taken this language at Morgan, you have already brought us your transcripts.

What is "placement"?

Placement is the university's way to determine where a new student to foreign languages should begin.  A student who has successfully completed language courses in high school (beginning with the 9th grade) will normally place as follows:

0 or 1 year or level in high school (101)

1 or 2 years or levels in high school (102)

2 or 3 years or levels in high school (203)

3 or 4 years or levels in high school (204)

4 or more years or levels in high school (311 or 300>)

Is the proficiency exam a requirement?

No.  It is not a requirement.  The Foreign Language Proficiency Exam is an exam that students may take in lieu of the language course in which they were placed.

Can I take the foreign language proficiency exam to change a grade?

According to the policy concerning proficiency exams on pg. 59 in the MSU 2010-2013 catalog, "Proficiency examinations may not be used to change grades including failures, incompletes and withdrawals."