FAQ – about Spanish placement exam

Q. Does the placement exam serve for other institutions?

No. The placement exam at UH Mānoa should only be taken when the student is going to take classes at UH Mānoa.

Q. Will the placement exam allow me to fulfill the H/SL requirement without doing anything else?

No. You must take either a class or an additional proficiency exam.

Q. How can I fulfill the H/SL requirement?

a) complete SPAN 202 with a grade of D or better (note that a C or better is needed to continue in the course sequence in Spanish),
b) pass with a C one Spanish course at the 300 level or higher, or
c) take an oral and a written proficiency exam.

Q. I took the placement exam several semesters ago. Is my score still valid?

No. Spanish placement scores are only valid for one term. You should take the placement exam the same semester you plan to take your first Spanish classes.

Q. Can I take the placement exam more than once?

No. Currently the placement exam can be taken only once a year.

Q. How long will you keep my score?

We will keep your score for 6 months. But the authorization code is valid only for the current semester.  If you delay your Spanish study, you will need to request an authorization code (if within 6 months) or take the placement exam again (if more than 6 months have passed).

FAQ – I’m a Spanish native speaker

Q. I’m a “native speaker” of Spanish. Do I still have to take the placement exam?

You need to come to the placement exam to determine the best options for you to fulfill the H/SL requirements, earn a Spanish Certificate, or a Spanish BA.

Q. Can I skip Spanish classes and earn credits?

Yes. If you score above 450, you can earn up to 9 credits in a “Credit-by-exam” basis (to complete a Spanish Major or Spanish Certificate). After you take the placement exam we will determine if you are eligible for credit-by-exam, and then guide you on how to proceed.

Q. If I’m a native speaker of Spanish, can I waive the H/SL requirement?

The University has specific rules regarding language waivers. You will need to take a written exam (not the placement exam) and complete an oral interview. Please contact the Spanish chair or undergraduate adviser Prof. Thau (thau@hawaii.edu). Note: the waiver does not earn any credits.

FAQ – Back credits

Q. How can I earn back credits in Spanish?

Back credits are a reward for previous experience and are only granted for one language (taken after high school). You must earn a grade of C or better in your first Spanish class and then apply for the back credits. The form is on the LLL and Spanish Division Website; fill it out and bring it to MH 464 for processing. Remember: No course, no credits!

Q. Can I receive back credits if I earned Spanish credits at another college?

No. You are not eligible. Note: Spanish credits from other UH campuses usually transfer automatically to UHM. If you know another language, you may be eligible.

Q. How do I get my back credits?

You must apply for back credits once you have completed the first course. After that semester’s grades are submitted, the form will be processed. Fill out the form and bring it to Moore Hall 464. You can download it from the LLL website or the Spanish Website



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