Modern Language Placement Exam

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The University of Nebraska–Lincoln offers online Spanish, French and German language placement exams. Not every college or major requires students to take the Modern Language Placement Exam (MLPE).

If you are not admitted to a program listed below but you anticipate taking coursework in Spanish, French, or German, we recommend taking the exam so you have a score on file. If your native language is not English, you will discuss with an academic advisor as there may be options that recognize heritage speakers.

Other language exams, including Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Latin, Japanese, Russian, Czech, Classical Greek and Omaha (Native American), are assessed by the Department of Modern Languages or the Department of Classics and Religious Studies. Please contact casadvising@unl.edu for questions about language assessment beyond Spanish, French or German.

You can access the exam in MyRED under the “Admissions” tab.

Take the Modern Language Placement Exam

Modern Language Placement Exam Requirements

Students Required To Take the MLPE

Students in the following colleges/majors are required to take the MLPE:

All Majors In:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Journalism and Mass Communications

Additional Required Majors:

  • International Business
  • Art
  • Art History
  • Graphic Design
  • Music
  • Dance
  • Theatre Arts
Students Not Required To Take the MLPE

Students in the following colleges are not required to complete a foreign language course in their degree but are encouraged to pursue a language.

  • College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
  • College of Architecture
  • College of Business (except International Business majors)
  • College of Education and Human Sciences
  • College of Engineering
  • Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts (Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music Education)

Undeclared (non-degree) students admitted to the Explore Center are highly encouraged to take the Modern Language Placement Exam.

MLPE Structure

The exam can be taken online once in each language offered (Spanish, French and German). The exam takes approximately 10-40 minutes to complete. The test assesses your reading and grammar, there is no oral component to the exam. 

MLPE Scoring

The score you will see after you complete the exam is a raw score. Your academic advisor will see your exam results and will help identify a suitable starting course. Your MLPE score may not be the only factor that determines your first-semester course placement.

In addition to your exam results, your advisor will consider prior academic experience in the language (including transfer credit), your home language, degree requirements and other information to identify the right course for you. Students who have the Nebraska Seal of Biliteracy will be offered placement at a higher level. You will discuss your MLPE results with your advisor during your advising appointment.