Who should take the WLPT?

If you completed four years of the same world language in high school, you do not need to take the WLPT unless you plan to continue studying that language at the University of Iowa.

If you completed fewer than four years of the same world language in high school, refer to the General Education Program requirements for your major and your college. You will need to take the WLPT if your high school course work does not satisfy the General Education Program World Language requirement for your major. Learn more about the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences World Language requirements. 

If you are an open major and complete fewer than four years of the same world language in high school, you should take a World Language Placement Test.

The test results will help you and your advisor determine the best level for your first enrollment in a language course.

Placement factors considered (in addition to your WLPT score) include how long you have studied the language; strength of instruction; grades earned; experience abroad or with native speakers; and length of time since the language was studied.

Online World Language tests

Online tests are offered in Arabic, Chinese, German, Greek, French, Japanese, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swahili. Complete online tests at least 1 week prior to your Student Online Advising and Registration (SOAR) appointment.

The tests are multiple choice and cover vocabulary, grammar, and reading comprehension. These are adaptive tests, which means that question difficulty will vary depending on how you responded to previous questions. You may not use books, notes, or any other materials or resources. Tests vary in length. 

Tests in other languages

A placement test for American Sign Language can be arranged individually by contacting the ASL Department at asl-program@uiowa.edu.

If you don't see your language listed here

A student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with a knowledge of a language that is not taught at the University of Iowa may have the option of taking a proficiency exam to meet the General Education CLAS Core World Languages requirement. If the exam demonstrates that the student has the required level of language proficiency, the student will have met the GE CLAS Core requirement in World Languages, with this completion noted on the student’s degree audit. Visit the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences website for more information about placement tests offered in languages not taught at the University of Iowa, and discuss testing options and course placement with your advisor during your SOAR appointment. 

Furthering Language Incentive Program (FLIP)

The UI offers opportunity to earn incentive credit through the Furthering Language Incentive Program (FLIP) for taking language courses after completing the language requirement. Learn more here


For accommodations on placement tests, students first need to register with Student Disability Services (SDS). For information on how to register with SDS, please visit Student Disability Services. Once students are registered with SDS, complete the following steps to request accommodations for placement tests:

1. Enroll in the placement test on ICON.

2. Share with your SDS Access Consultant which placement test(s) you are enrolled in and requested accommodations.

3. SDS will confirm when accommodations have been enabled (within 24-48 hours).

4. Take the placement test.