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Placement tests: all you need to know

Why?

The placement test is necessary in order to: evaluate the student's level of proficiency in French and determine which course is the most appropriate.

Who has to take the Placement Test?

  • All students (including complete beginners) wishing to take a French course are required to take a placement test.  All French courses given at the French Language Centre (FLC), have limited enrollment and placement tests are mandatory for all students.
  • Students currently enrolled in a French class at the French Language Centre (FLC) or students who have completed a course at the FLC in 2013-2014 and/or 2014-2015 do not need to take a placement test to enroll in another FRSL course.  To know which course you are recommended for, please refer to the recommandations de cours found on the MyCourses website (Notes/Gradebook section) of the last FRSL course taken. Please register as soon as possible.  If the recommandation de cours does not appear in MyCourses or if you experience any problems registering, please send an email to flc [at] mcgill [dot] ca and include your McGill ID number, the last FRSL course taken (course number, CRN as well as the term/year and the professor's name), the course number and the CRN of the course you wish to take (e.g. FRSL101, CRN 9230) and potentially a screen shot of the error message.  The secretary will then tell you which course(s) you can register for and issue a permit to register.
  • Special students, visiting students, or exchange students have to take the placement test on regular testing dates. If you are not available for testing on those dates (only for students wishing to take a summer course), please send an e-mail to flc [at] mcgill [dot] ca.
  • Graduate students who wish to take a course at the FLC for the first time must bring a letter of permission signed by an authorized person in their faculty or department (e.g a program supervisor) to the secretary (Arts Building, Room 155, 853 Sherbrooke Street West) during opening hours, any day prior to the end of the add/drop period.  The letter can also be sent by the student via e-mail to cecile [dot] lomounmew [at] mcgill [dot] ca (cc. matthew [dot] dupuis [at] mcgill [dot] ca) or flc [at] mcgill [dot] ca.  This must be done as soon as possible in order to receive a permit to register.
  • Graduate students who wish to continue their studies at the FLC must contact the secretary regarding this matter by e-mail (flc [at] mcgill [dot] ca).  Permits to register are not issued automatically for these students.

What do you need?

All students wishing to take the placement test must have:

  • their McGill 9-digit student number
  • their McGill log on username (firstname [dot] lastname [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca) and password

Students might need to show a copy of their previous French language course(s) transcript.

What are the steps to follow?

  • Step 1: Computerized test
    Read the instructions carefully.  If you skip them, you will not be able to go back.  All students are required to write a composition.  If you have some French knowledge (even very little) you have to write something.  The instructor won't attribute a course without knowing the level of writing.
  • Step 2: Interview with an evaluator
    Students with no French at all will receive a message at the end of the placement test about the next step to follow.  If you speak French or have some French knowledge, you will have a short interview in order to evaluate your oral skills. All students (except perfect beginners) have to go through this step in order to have a course assigned. Having then an overview of your French skills (speaking, writing, listening and reading), the evaluator will assign (a) course(s) appropriate for your level, and will then issue a permit to register (you will receive a paper slip with further instructions).
    N.B. Please bring your personal schedule to check if the chosen French course fits in an available time slot. Evaluators won't have time to check this with you on Minerva.

What is the next step?

All students (registered or not) who want to take a French class have to attend class every day from the first day of class to the last day of the add/drop period in order to stay in the class. Since enrollment for our courses is limited, a student who is absent from class without sending an explanatory e-mail to the instructor will be asked to step out and give the spot to the next student on the waiting list. All students are expected to attend class without fail during the add/drop period in order to retain their places. If you decide to drop your French course(s), please do so as soon as possible on Minerva in order to allow another student to register for the course(s).

If the class is already full:

  • Check Minerva as often as possible and keep trying to register.  Some students may change their minds and may drop the course before the class starts.
  • Attend class as soon as possible and ask your professor to add you to the waiting list.

Students on the waiting list have to show up every day from the first day of class to the last day of the add/drop period to stay on the waiting list and be potentially added to the official class list if any places become available.