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Meeting the College Language Requirement

One of the ways in which you can meet the College’s language requirement is by taking 1 year of French at the 100-level or 1 semester at the 200-level. However, if you wish, you may take the FFS Proficiency Exam in lieu of taking these courses. Here are some FAQs about the exam:

Where and when is the FFS Proficiency exam offered?
Please consult the FFS student information Website home page for this information. Current information about location and time is posted from mid-August prior to the beginning of the school year.
How often is the FFS Proficiency exam offered?
The exam is only offered once a year, and is mostly meant for incoming first-year students.
What kind of an exam is it?
It is an hour-long exam that is administered on a computer in one of the campus labs. You will be tested on vocabulary, reading and listening comprehension as well as your knowledge of grammar and syntax of the French language.
Do I need to study for it?
No. You should be able to take the test without prior preparation. This way, the department will be able to judge your true level.
I am not a first-year student. Can I take the test?
Yes. You may.
Is it too late to take the test in my senior year?
We would prefer that you take a course at the appropriate level to fulfill your language requirement. In any case, you should not wait till your senior year to take the test because it may be too late to place you in a class in the event that you don’t pass the Proficiency exam. This could disrupt your schedule for graduation. The test should be taken as soon as possible, and preferably as an incoming student.
How do I register for the Proficiency exam if I am not a first-year student?
Please email ffs@vassar.edu to request a spot for the exam at least 2 working days prior to the date.
I am a first-year student. Do I need to register for the exam?
You should have received information about the test in the first-year handbook. Please email ffs@vassar.edu to request a spot for the exam at least 2 working days prior to the date.
I want to place into a course above the 105 level. Is this the exam I should take?
No. You need to take the FFS Placement exam. You should have received information about this exam in the first-year handbook. If you are not an incoming student, please contact ffs@vassar.edu for this information.
I want to continue with French. What do I do?
If you are an incoming student, please attend the advising session during the orientation period. If you are not an incoming student, please contact any instructor in the department to discuss your options prior to the close of a pre-registration period.
Are there other ways in which to meet the Vassar College Language requirement?
Yes. For other possibilities, please consult the current College Catalogue Website for Degree requirements.
What happens if I do not meet the proficiency requirements?
You will need to take a course at the appropriate level in FFS or another language at Vassar or elsewhere. If you plan on meeting the proficiency by taking a course at an accredited institution other than Vassar College, you will need to make sure that you are pre-approved for such a course. Forms for pre-approval are available at the Registrar’s office.
Is there a way for me to take the test a second time?
No. Unless you are asked to do so by the department, you may only take the proficiency exam once.