Placement FAQs

Q:  How will you decide where I am placed in the World Language program?
A:   Your performance on the World Language Placement Exam will be the primary basis for our placement decision.


Q:  What if I am a native speaker of one of the six languages offered at IMSA, and I want to study that language?
A:   You cannot be placed in that language. The World Language program is designed solely for students who are learning what is to them a foreign language. This is because we believe that it is vitally important that students learn to communicate in what is to them a truly foreign language.


Q:  Why do I have to give four language preferences when when there’s only one language that I really want to study?
A:   You must do so because, due to schedule conflicts or lack of space in a class, we may not be able to schedule you into your top priority language, and perhaps not your second or third language preferences either.


Q:  What do you mean by “lack of space”?
A:   IMSA is committed to offering a wide array of foreign languages, and in order to maintain its six language programs, it sets limits on the size of all of them. IMSA also sets high standards for its language classes and sets limits on class size so that they are appropriate for our immersion–based approach to teaching and learning.


Q:  What happens if I do not do well enough to be placed into the language for which I took the Placement Exam?
A:   You will be placed into one of your other three language preferences, and you will take that language to fulfill your two–year graduation requirement.


Q:  Can I take the Placement Exam a second time at the end of this summer, or before I begin my junior year?
A:   No. We tested you at the time when your foreign language skills were at their peak, and we made our determination regarding your placement at that time.


Q:   Why would I not get into a level 2 or 3 class at IMSA if I did really well in my foreign language class in my home school? I got all A’s and my teacher said I was the best.
A:  The reason is that, while you may have been well positioned to continue on in your home school’s program, you may not be sufficiently prepared to be in an advanced foreign language class at IMSA. Differences between your home school’s teaching philosophy and IMSA’s Immersion philosophy, as well as differences in expectations and performance standards, generally account for this.


Q:  If I don’t test into a level 2 class, can I be put into a level 1 class instead?
A:   No. This is because our level one classes are exclusively for beginners, that is, students who have not studied that language before.


Q:  Can I appeal my placement decision?
A:   No. Our decisions about placement in our six language programs are final.