Many of the language departments at Carleton, in collaboration with the Language Center, provide students to take a proficiency test at the end of the language sequence (204 or 205 level). These tests provide the student with an accurate description of their proficiency level and provide the department and the college with a way to assess course outcomes. Occasionally, a language department may also provide the same opportunity to their majors and/or minors during their final year at Carleton.

Whether or not you decide to take a language proficiency test is typically entirely optional and usually will not play any role in your grades in your language courses. While these tests normally require additional time by you out of class, electing to take a language proficiency test offers numerous benefits for students. Tests like STAMP and OPI assess and validate your language skills, which can be a significant asset during and after your time at Carleton. Learn more about each proficiency test offered at Carleton below.

If you are taking or took language courses at Carleton to the 204/205 level or above and are interested in taking a language proficiency test, but were not offered the opportunity by your instructor, contact the Language Center Director to discuss your options.

Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI)

The Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) is a standardized test primarily designed to assess the spoken language proficiency of a candidate. These standardized tests are conducted by a certified examiner in a one-on-one phone interview. OPI tests are adaptive, meaning that your interviewer will adjust the difficulty of their questions based on you responses. This not only helps them determines the highest level of your consistent performance, but also ensures that you won’t be asked to perform above your skill level. OPI testing is widely recognized by educational institutions, government agencies, and employers around the world, providing a credible certification of language proficiency.

The OPI test also has a computer-delivered version, called OPIc (pronounced “oh-pick”), where instead of being conducted by a human examiner, the test is administered through a computer program. Both the OPI and OPIc tests have been used by language programs at Carleton.

Standard-based Measurement of Proficiency (STAMP) test

The Standard-based Measurement of Proficiency (STAMP) test is a web-based, adaptive language proficiency assessment used by many of the language programs at Carleton. It measures language proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Developed by Avant Assessment, the STAMP test is designed to align with national and international language standards.

STAMP tests are adaptive, meaning that the test adapts to your ability level, ensuring that questions are neither too easy or too hard, which provides a more accurate measure of proficiency. High scores on the STAMP test qualify you for a Global Seal of Biliteracy.