Carleton’s language requirement aims to assure that students will acquire a usable level of competence in a second language, involving all four skills (listening, reading, writing, and speaking). This competence is demonstrated either (a) through satisfactory completion of fourth-level language (fifth-level if Chinese or Japanese) course or (b) through acceptable performance on a standardized or departmentally designed examination

Students beginning their study of language, as well as those who need more study to complete the requirement, should enroll in language in their first year.

Entering students may fulfill the requirement by satisfactory performance on a College Board Advanced Placement of Achievement test. Students who have not taken such a test before entering the college should take the language placement examination on-line over the summer. Students beginning their study of language, as well as those who need more study to complete the requirement, should enroll in a language in their first year.

Language Placement in the German program

Exemption from the Language Requirement

  1. You will be exempted from the Language Requirement if you score a 4 or 5 on the AP German language or literature exam, or a 6 or 7 on the IB German language exam.
  2. If you score above 590 on the Carleton Web Exam or receive a TBA, you will be required to take the Avant PLACE exam on campus. You will need a score of 5 to be exempted from the Language Requirement.

A student must begin to fulfill the language requirement before the fifth term at Carleton. In sequential language courses, a student must earn a C- or better to progress to the next course.

Please note that the on-line exam is for diagnostic purposes only; it cannot exempt you from the language requirement, and you may also be required to take a written exam on campus.

More information on the Language Placement Test.

Placement Within the Language Sequence

Incoming first year students, as well as transfer students, who have had German instruction prior to coming to Carleton, but who have not achieved the AP, IB, or Avant PLACE scores listed above and are sent to the registrar, will take the Avant PLACE exam before they register for classes. This test is administered only once and determines your placement in our language sequence. We abide by the test score, regardless of the number of years that you have taken German elsewhere or of the subjective circumstances that may have influenced your test score.

A student can petition to take a second placement exam, only if since beginning the study of German language at Carleton the student has enrolled and completed with a passing grade a German language course, at the appropriate level, at another institution, for instance over the summer or while abroad. To petition to take the placement exam again, the student must present to the Chair of the department proper documentation (syllabus and transcript) confirming the level of the coursework and its successful completion, along with the completed petition form, available from the Modern Languages office (3rd floor LDC). Upon approval of this documentation, the Chair will make arrangements for the student to take the Avant PLACE placement exam. Again, the results of this test are final, and the student must abide by the results.

Under no other circumstances will a student be allowed to retake a placement exam. Given these strict regulations, we advise students that once they are placed in a German course they continue with their course sequence.

The department will consider no exceptions to this placement test policy.

For more information regarding the courses needed in German please refer to your catalog or speak with the section head, Professor Juliane Schicker.