Language Proficiency Exams

If you are an undergraduate student at UT Austin who would like to receive a waiver of your UT foreign language requirement in a language that is not regularly taught at UT-Austin, the Texas Language Center proctors language proficiency tests. Please check the FAQs for any questions you might have.

Note: If you are not a UT-Austin student, we offer testing in the languages listed below as well as many others. Please refer to the FAQs or contact us at tlc@austin.utexas.edu or by phone at (512) 471-6574 about your testing needs.

The TLC offers testing for over 40 languages, and the testing process and cost is different depending on the language and the test(s). If you are interested in TLC's language proficiency testing, please follow these steps:

  1. Determine the test vendor for your test language (see the test vendor lists below).
  2. Pay for the testing in the TLC's online TxShop store. Be sure to select the appropriate test source and test language.
  3. Provide additional personal information via the Test Taker Information and Availability online form (also linked from the TxShop proficiency exam ordering page) that will aid us in the preparation of the tests.
  4. Wait for a confirmation email from the TLC, and then arrange a date and time to take the test.
  5. Take your test(s) in the TLC office.
  6. When the TLC receives your official results (and assuming they're high enough), we will request your language requirement waiver from your college/program.
NotePlease be aware that successfully completing these exams does not offer you credit hours

Test Vendors

If you want to take a test in one of the following languages, select Online BYU Language Proficiency Exam in the TxShop store menu:

Albanian

Armenian

Bulgarian

Cambodian

Cantonese-Simplified

Cantonese-Traditional

Cebuano

Croatian

Estonian

Fijian

Finnish

Georgian

Haitian Creole

Hmong

Hungarian

Icelandic

Ilongoo-Hiligaynon

Indonesian

Latvian

Lithuanian

Malagasy

Malay

Mongolian

Norwegian

Romanian

Samoan

Serbian

Tagalog

Tahitian

Thai

Tongan

Ukrainian

Vietnamese

This is a single test that assesses your listening, grammar, and reading skills. The total cost for this option is $110.

If you want to take a test in one of the following languages, select Paper BYU Language Proficiency Exam in the TxShop store menu: Afrikaans, Aymara, Cakchiquel, Guarani, Maori, Navajo, Quechua, Rarotongan, and Welsh. You will take a single test to assess your listening, grammar, and reading skills. The total cost for this option is $135.

If you want to take a test in one of the following languages, select NYU-LTI Language Proficiency Exam in the TxShop store menu: Bengali, Bosnian, Gujarati, Igbo/Ibo, Pashto, Punjabi, and Swahili. There are two exams, one assessing your speaking and listening proficiency (the Oral Proficiency Interview, or OPI) through LTI and another assessing your reading and writing proficiency (the WPT or the 12-point written exam) through NYU. The total cost is $435 for this option.

FAQs

Will I get course credit if my test results are high enough? UT-Austin Students  General Public

What score do I need to get a language requirement waiver? 

Which languages do you test? UT-Austin Students  General Public

Are practice questions/exams available anywhere?

Where and when is the exam be held?

How long do I get to complete the exam?

How long does it take to get results?

If I don't score high enough on the test, can I take it again?

I have more questions. Who do I contact?

UT-Austin Students

Will I get course credit if my test results are high enough?

No, the TLC does not award course credit. The TLC proctors tests for languages not offered at UT-Austin. Since there are no associated course numbers for such classes, there is no way to award credit. If you score well enough on the exam (that is, your proficiency level meets or exceeds that required by your college or school), the TLC will request a waiver of your foreign language requirement from your college or school. 

What score do I need to get a language requirement waiver?

If your degree program requires two semesters of a language, your proficiency level needs to be at or above the ACTFL Novice High level. For four semesters, your proficiency must be at or above the ACTFL Intermediate Mid level. The TLC considers a passing score on both levels in the BYU test as at or above ACTFL Intermediate Mid level or the four semester level at UT-Austin. Here are the current ACTFL proficiency guidelines.

Which languages do you test?

See the Test Vendors section (above) for the current list. The TLC proctors tests only for languages not offered at UT-Austin where there is a test available from our test vendors. If the language is taught at UT-Austin, please contact the corresponding language department regarding testing. 

Are practice questions/exams available anywhere?
The TLC does not have practice exams or test preparation materials. The best way to prepare is to practice your reading, listening, and speaking of the language.

Where and when is the exam be held?
You will take your exam at the TLC offices, which is located at BUR 572 in the west wing of the fifth floor of Burdine Hall.  We will work with you to arrange a day and time during our office hours for you to take the exam.

How long do I get to complete the exam?

The time for tests depends on the source of the test. LTI oral proficiency interviews are 30 minutes. You are allowed up to 2 hours for NYU written proficiency tests and 2 ½ hours to complete the BYU tests.

How long does it take to get results?

The amount of time varies substantially depending on the test vendor. The entire process can take up to four weeks for BYU online tests and more than eight weeks for NYU tests. If you need to fulfill a foreign language requirement for graduation, sign up for your test as early as possible; do not wait till the last minute as there are no options to “rush” this process.

If I don't score high enough on the test, can I take it again?
You can retake a language proficiency exam after six months.

I have more questions. Who do I contact?

If you have read the Language Requirement page and reviewed these FAQs, but you still have questions, please feel free to contact us at tlc@austin.utexas.edu or by phone at (512) 471-6574.

General Public 

Will I get course credit if my test results are high enough?

You will not get credit from UT-Austin regardless of your test results. You will get a certificate with your official results that you can submit to your own institution (and receive whatever credit they offer). The TLC recommends you contact your advisor before you register for testing to make sure your institution will award you credit or offer a foreign language waiver based on your performance on the proficiency exam(s) we administer. 

Which languages do you test?

The TLC can proctor tests for non-UT-Austin students in any language available from our test vendors. In addition to the languages listed in the Test Vendors section (above), the TLC can also proctor BYU online tests in the following languages (cost is $110).

Arabic             

Mandarin-Simplified

Czech  

Mandarin-Traditional

Danish

Persian-Farsi

Dutch  

Polish

French            

Portuguese-Brazilian

German

Portuguese-Continental

Greek             

Russian

Italian 

Spanish

Japanese

Swedish

Korean

Ukrainian