Santa Clara University

Modern Languages and Literatures department

Proficiency Exam Information

The following Proficiency Exams are offered by the Dept. of Modern Languages & Literatures:

French Arabic German
Italian Spanish Chinese
Japanese Vietnamese Tagalog


In the proficiency exam you will have to prove a Novice High (Arab and Asian language) or Low intermediate language (European languages) level according to the ACTFL Guidelines.

In a Novice High level a student is able to listen, read, write and understand short, learned utterances and some sentence-length utterances in a strong supported context which is clearly audible; the student is able to comprehend words, and phrases from simple questions, statements, commands and courtesy formulae; the student may repeat, rephrase and have slow comprehension and speech.

For more complete information click on ACTFL guidelines: Listening skillReading skill,Writing skill, and Oral skill.

In the Low Intermediate level a student is able to listen, read, write and understand sentence-length utterances, which consist of recombination or learned elements in a limited numbers of content areas; his/her understanding is often uneven and repetition or rewording may be necessary. However, a student is able to understand main ideas or facts from the simplest connected texts dealing with personal and social needs.

For more complete information click on ACTFL guidelines: Listening skill, Reading skill, Writing skill, and Oral skill


Please, make sure you cannot fulfill the language requirement in any other way but taking the proficiency exam. Click on language requirement to get more information about ways to fulfill the requirement.

If you have determined that you need to take the language proficiency exam, please click here for test dates and times.

Information for those who want to take Proficiency Exams in a language that is NOT offered at Santa Clara:

Students proficient in a language that the department of Modern language does not provide a proficiency exams for, are responsible to find a college professor (tester) who can test their language proficiency at the level that their major requires. The Results Report should have an official seal of the institution and the signature and contact information of the professor. Please click the links below to get complete information to provide your tester. Please, send the Result Report to: Irena Stefanova, Department of Modern Languages & Literatures, Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara CA  95053-0300.  Please address questions to Prof. Stefanova at

Information for testers

Results Report

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