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Placement Exams FAQs

There is no time limit on the exam, but it generally takes less than thirty minutes. 

 No. SMU fees and tuition cover the fee for all placement exam testing. No further payment is required. 

Most students take the placement exam before enrolling in their first semester at SMU. Some students delay enrollment in a language course at SMU, and can take the placement exam at a later date (results are valid for 12 months from the date the placement exam is taken). 

Incoming students who are considering enrolling in a language course and who have had instruction in high school or elsewhere prior to enrolling at SMU should take the placement exam in that language as part of their Pre-Advising Canvas Course (PACC). Advisors cannot register a student for ANY language class if s/he needs to have taken a placement exam but has not.

  • A placement exam may be taken online at any time, from any location via computer with Internet access.
  • Matriculating students should have received invitations to the Pre-Advising Canvas Course (PACC).
  • All other students may request exam access by emailing  
  • A placement exam may be taken only once in each language. 
  • SMU professors review all exam results and students may be contacted for oral language testing to confirm placement.

NOTE: All students testing in Arabic and Japanese as well as native/heritage speakers testing in Chinese will need to set up appointments to have oral skills evaluated at the conclusion of the written portion of the exam.

Placement exams are offered in all languages taught at SMU, with the exception of Ancient Greek. Students can take more than one placement exam if they have previous experience with or knowledge of more than one language. 

General questions or concerns about placement or the second language requirement should be sent to the WLL Advisor at

Please contact Disability Accommodations and Success Strategies at 214-768-1470 if you have any questions regarding services for students with disabilities. Please note that there is no time limit to the exam.