Spanish Proficiency Exam

proficiency exam

The proficiency exam is a qualifying examination to exempt students from the specific language requirements of many WMU programs. Although some requirements may be fulfilled with the proficiency exam, no credit is awarded. This proficiency exam can be taken by new students with previous experience in French, German, Latin or Spanish. There is no fee for the proficiency exam.

Native speakers of Spanish may take the examination but are not required to do so. They must, however, consult with a departmental advisor before registering for Spanish courses.

Taking the proficiency exam

The exams are given in 410 Sprau Tower, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the academic year, except during University breaks.

To take the test, report to 410 Sprau Tower before 2 p.m. to ensure the test is finished by closing at 5 p.m.

Be on time and bring the following with you:

  • BroncoNetID card
  • WIN number
  • Lead pencil with a good eraser
  • Your best recollections of the foreign language you have learned

Make an appointment

Students must make an appointment with Madeline Alonso to take the proficiency exam.

Test results

Test results will be available to students within 48 hours by calling (269) 387-3001.

The nature of the proficiency exam

The proficiency exam takes approximately 90 minutes and it can be taken only once. It is multiple-choice and consists of three parts: 

  • Taped listening comprehension section
  • Grammar section
  • Reading comprehension section

Regardless of background, all students of a particular language take the same proficiency exam. Students with minimum background will probably find the exam difficult in certain sections, so do your best without spending too much time on any one question.

Results and registration

Students can not take this test to place into a higher level of Spanish. In order to place into higher level Spanish courses, students must take the online placement exam, which is an entirely different test. 

To enroll in a beginning class of a language you have not studied previously, no exam (online placement or proficiency exam) is necessary; simply enroll in a 1000-level section of that language.


Questions concerning placement or language study may be directed to a Spanish academic advisor.