Testing Options

College Level Exam Program (CLEP)

If you have acquired proficiency in a language other than English through family or community, living abroad, self-study, or other extracurricular means, you are eligible to meet the BA second language requirement and receive credit via the CLEP test.

Exams prepared by the College Level Exam Program (CLEP) of the College Board, a national organization, can provide placement information and can also confer UO credit. They are available for French, German, and Spanish. A student who scores at the equivalent of completion of the final course of the second year of language study on a CLEP proficiency exam would earn 12 credits, and also complete the University of Oregon BA second language requirement.

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The following options can be used to meet the UO BA second language requirement but do NOT give any UO credit.

If the language you wish to test in is available as a STAMP test, you will be required to take the STAMP test. Only if the language you wish to test in is not available as a STAMP test, will the other testing options be offered.

Scores for the below assessments are valid for two years and it is the student’s responsibility to ensure the scores have been received by the university and that the second language requirement has been cleared. For scores to be valid these assessments must be proctored. They can all be proctored at the University Testing Center, and many have options available for remote testing. 

Minimum passing scores for the below assessments can be found on the CAS website.

Avant Assessments

Standards-based Measurement of Proficiency (STAMP 4S)

Avant STAMP 4S determines language proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Avant STAMP 4S is web-based and computer-adaptive, with real-world questions on topics selected to be level-appropriate based on research into topics taught at each level. The questions engage learners, and because Avant STAMP 4S is adaptive, students are able to demonstrate their own actual proficiency level without any pre-set upper limits. Avant STAMP 4S has been validated by field testing and expert panels. It is a secure test that requires a proctor during administration.

The STAMP 4S test is untimed, and most students complete the assessment in two to three hours. As there is a speaking component to this assessment, we have limited appointment times available during the term. A passing STAMP score is required in all four areas to meet the second language requirement.

STAMP WS (Writing and Speaking)

STAMP WS offers language proficiency tests of less commonly taught languages in writing and speaking. Avant created the STAMP WS language proficiency test to meet the growing need for heritage language communities to have rigorous, professionally scored, and affordable assessments. This test measures the speaking and writing proficiency levels based on the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines.

STAMP WS alone will not meet the second language requirement. As it only tests writing and speaking skills, other assessments or documentation showing past study and skills in reading and listening may be required to fulfill the second language requirement.

Retake Policy

Students may retake the STAMP 4S or STAMP WS but must wait a minimum of 90 days before retesting. Any retake will be a completely new test and all sections mut be completed again. The highest score will be used. It is highly recommended that students take a significant amount of time to review their language skills before retaking the assessment. Learn about the full Avant retake policy.

Language Testing International (LTI)

LTI offers hundreds of languages for assessment, though not all languages are available in all test formats. Please visit the LTI website for more information. 

Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI)

The ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview, or OPI, is a live, 15 to 30-minute telephone conversation between a certified ACTFL tester and the candidate. It is a valid and reliable test that measures how well a person speaks a language. The procedure is standardized in order to assess global speaking ability, measuring language production holistically by determining patterns of strengths and weaknesses. Through a series of personalized questions, a sample of speech is elicited and rated against the proficiency levels described in ACTFL proficiency guidelines.

The ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview by Computer (OPIc) is a 30-minute speaking test delivered online or over the phone. The OPIc assesses proficiency across the entire ACTFL scale. Certified ratings are available within five business days. The OPIc is an internet-delivered test which provides valid and reliable oral proficiency testing on a large scale. The computer-delivered assessment emulates the live OPI, but delivery of questions is through a carefully designed computer program and via a virtual avatar, allowing the test to be taken on demand and at a time convenient to the candidate and proctor. Not all languages are available as an OPIc.

An oral assessment alone such as the OPI or OPIc will not meet the second language requirement alone. Since these tests only measures oral proficiency, to meet the second language requirement, you will also need to take an assessment of writing and reading in your chosen language or work with CAS to meet those requirements. 

Writing Proficiency Test (WPT)

The Writing Proficiency Test is delivered via the web, and consists of a number of prompts, which are customized to reflect the interests and experience of the test-taker. The candidate is presented with four to five prompts for written responses dealing with practical, social and professional topics that are familiar to the individual and of general and/or cultural relevance, encountered in both formal and informal contexts. The responses are assessed by certified ACTFL raters, and results provided against the ACTFL scale. The test takes 20–80 minutes, depending on the range of proficiency being assessed.

Reading Proficiency Test (RPT)

The reading assessment is delivered over the web, and requires that the candidate read a number of passages and review associated questions, selecting the most appropriate answers. Their choices are auto-graded, with results made available almost instantaneously, referencing the ACTFL proficiency scale. The standard form of the test takes 50–125 minutes to complete.

Retake Policy

Retests are allowed once without a waiting period. After the second time taking an OPI, OPIc, WPT, or RPT, you will be required to wait 90 days before you can test again. This restriction is put in place by LTI and no exceptions can be made. 

ALTA

Speaking and Listening

The General Speaking and Listening Assessment is ALTA’s most popular assessment and is available in more than 80+ languages. Through a series of carefully designed questions, this exam is aimed at eliciting a candidate’s ability to converse in the language being tested. The candidate is asked a series of questions that gradually increase in complexity, requiring the candidate to perform various spoken tasks. In doing so, ALTA’s evaluators are able to accurately rate how well a candidate can speak the language according to our protocol.

ALTA offers the Speaking and Listening Assessment in two formats—live and IVR (Interactive Voice Response). Both versions are given over the phone and take about 30 minutes to complete.

An oral assessment alone such as the ALTA Speaking and Listening Assessment will not meet the second language requirement alone. Since these tests only measure oral proficiency, to meet the second language requirement, you will also need to take an assessment of writing and reading in your chosen language or work with CAS to meet those requirements.

Written Skills Assessment

The writing skills test is used to measure a candidate’s ability to write in the target language. It is available in more than 80+ languages, and results are available within two business days. ALTA’s standard written evaluation consists of a variety of prompts that one would encounter in a variety of business settings. The skills test is available online with some languages available in paper format. All of ALTA’s written exams are scored according to our 12-level scale.

Reading Skills Assessment

The Reading Assessment is an online test designed to verify whether or not a student can read and comprehend the target language at a pre-determined level of skill based on the ALTA and ILR scales. It consists of a variety of passages written in the language being tested, with each passage being followed by a series of multiple-choice questions about the information contained within it. 

The ALTA Reading Skills Assessment is only designed to rate at a high level of skill and is not recommended for most students. Please contact the Testing Center if the language you wish to test reading skills in is only available through ALTA. 

Retake Policy

Students may retake ALTA assessments, but must wait a minimum of three weeks before retesting. No more than two attempts in a calendar year will be allowed. The highest score will be used. It is highly recommended that students take a significant amount of time to review their language skills before retaking the assessment.