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Placement Test and Retro-Credit Information

Placement Test

The Modern Languages department strongly recommends that students begin foreign language study during their first year at ONU, especially those students whose major or degree requires them to take a foreign language. (See list.)

New students may take a placement test to determine their proficiency in French, German, or Spanish. The placement exam is a tool to determine placement level only. NO CREDIT is awarded for a score on the placement exam.

Click here to take the placement test. Once you reach the website, select Ohio Northern University from the menu and use the password polarbears1. Answer the questions as well as you can, without using a dictionary or other outside help. At the end of the test, you will receive a score that indicates where you should begin language study at ONU.

Students are encouraged to enroll at the level at which they feel most comfortable. If you have questions or disagree with the score, please consult the Modern Languages faculty for advice. The faculty will provide assistance based on your language background and placement exam results.


Retroactive Credits

Placing into a higher level language course at ONU and passing it with a ‘C’ or better makes you eligible for additional credits retroactively awarded for the lower level language courses.

For example, a student who places into and passes a third-year language course with a ‘C’ or better can receive credit for the first two years of the language. That’s 15 credits for one class! There’s a chart below that lays it all out for you.

This opportunity is open to ALL STUDENTS, regardless of major or degree requirements.* It is especially desirable if your major or degree requires you to take a foreign language (see list) because retro-credits count toward graduation, count toward a foreign language major and minor, and satisfy the foreign language requirement.

Click here to download the application for retroactive course credit. Then follow the completion and submission instructions on the form.

*Retroactive credit does not apply if transfer credit, AP credit, CLEP credit, or IB credit was received for equivalent coursework in the same language. Transfer, AP, CLEP, IB, and retroactive credits in French, German, or Spanish do count toward the completion of a major or minor.



If you place into this Modern Languages course and complete it with a grade of 'C' or better, you will earn 3 credits for the course.
Then, if you complete the retro-credit form and pay the one-time $44 fee, you will also receive 3 retro-credits for each of these lower-level courses.
Thus, you will receive this total number of credits (completed + retro).

1011 Elementary 1


3 (3+0)

1021 Elementary 2

1011 Elementary 1

6 (3+3)

2011 Intermediate 1

1011 Elementary 1 and
1021 Elementary 2

9 (3+6)

2021 Intermediate 2

1011 Elementary 1 and
1021 Elementary 2 and
2011 Intermediate 1

12 (3+9)

3011 or 3021 Advanced

1011 Elementary 1 and
1021 Elementary 2 and
2011 Intermediate 1 and
2021 Intermediate 2

15 (3+12)



Contact Dr. Kanishka Sen, Chair, Department of Modern Languages, 419-772-2114 or


Department of Modern Language

Ann Hood

Dukes 200
525 South Main Street
Ada, Ohio 45810
Monday: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Tuesday: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Wednesday: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Thursday: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed