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Assessment and placement

Not sure what level of French is appropriate for you?

We want to ensure you are placed in a course appropriate to your level of ability. Native speakers or any students who are unsure of their level of competency are invited to browse the information below to learn more about placement in French.

Curious about written placement test deadlines?

Please contact the Program Coordinator for current dates.


  • You do not have to wait until the deadlines to submit your placement test.

  • Placement tests submitted after the deadlines will incur a $25 late marking fee.

  • The School can refuse a student permission to remain in a particular language course if the instructor deems that the student's knowledge exceeds the level of that course. Students are advised that misrepresenting their level of knowledge in the language of the course constitutes academic dishonesty or misconduct

Placement information

High-school students from Alberta

As a general rule, students with Alberta High School French are placed as follows:

No previous knowledge of French

FREN 209


Students are advised to write the FREN 211 placement test


FREN 211

FLA 10

FREN 211 or, if a placement test is successfully taken, FREN 213


FREN 211

FREN 20N, 20S, 21, 30, N30, 30-3Y

FREN 213

FREN 30N, 30S, 30-9Y

FREN 225 or 291

FREN 31, 31A, 31B, 31C

FREN 225 or 291


FREN 225 or 291

IB students (minimum grade of 5)

The University of Calgary awards a full year of credit (five full-course equivalents) for the completed International Baccalaureate diploma. Specific course credit or advanced standing for Higher Level courses is awarded as set out below.

Advanced Placement (AP)

Students who present approved courses in AP examinations will automatically receive advanced credit for coursework completed with grades of "4" or higher in AP subjects. 

Students from outside of Alberta

Students who obtained French high-school or university qualifications elsewhere should talk to our French Undergraduate Advisor to ensure that they are placed appropriately.

Email the undergraduate advisor

In cases when the evaluation is not clear, we'll advise you to take a placement test. A placement test is also recommended in the following circumstances:

  1. you are a native speaker, or possess near-to-native fluency, but have no formal qualifications;

  2. you wish to enrol in a course for which you lack the prerequisites;

  3. you have learnt the language without formal tuition whilst living and/or working in a francophone country;

  4. you obtained formal qualification several years ago and have used the language infrequently or not at all;

  5. you feel that the course you have started taking is too easy or too difficult. In this case the placement test should be taken straight away, well before the deadline for registrations.

Placement test instructions

  • Please print your test and fill it out manually.

  • Once completed please email to 

After the test

After three working days you can contact the School at 403.220.7226 to inquire about your results. Electronic approval will then be posted for the appropriate course/s.

Already have a UCID number?

Students who already have a University of Calgary ID will be able to self-register through PeopleSoft.

Don't have a UCID number?

  1. Fill out an Open Studies Student form

  2. Take your form to the School for a signature of authorization,

  3. Take your signed form to the Registrar's office for registration.

In order to choose the appropriate test, please read the placement test information carefully.

FREN 211 (Beginner's II)

Students wishing to take FREN 211 should be able to conjugate verbs in the present and the imperative; be familiar with basic grammar, including the definite and indefinite articles; comprehend basic texts; and answer simple questions. They should be familiar with the vocabulary of family, colours, nationalities, school and professions.

FREN 213 (Intermediate)

Students beginning FREN 213 are familiar with simple idiomatic expressions; the present perfect (passé composé) and the imperfect of the indicative; the comparative and superlative of adjectives; and object pronouns. They should be familiar with the vocabulary of food, school and professions.

FREN 225 or 291

Students of FREN 225 or 291 know how to use more advanced tenses of the indicative (imparfait; passé composé; future) and the present subjunctive; possess of good understanding of idiomatic expressions; and can write compositions about general subjects.

FRENCH 300-level

Students at this level should have a thorough knowledge of the usage of all tenses of the indicative; are familiar with the subjunctive, the conditional, the passive voice, and all types of pronouns; can write compositions using a wide lexicon and a variety of grammatical structures.

FRENCH 400-level

Students at this level should have a thorough knowledge of the usage of all tenses of the indicative and the conditional; are very familiar with the subjunctive, the passive voice, and all types of pronouns; can write elaborate compositions using a wide lexicon and a large gamut of grammatical structures.

A male student studies in the library

Credit by Special Assessment (CSA) means that students may obtain credit for a given course by examination only. Students wishing to consider taking a course by CSA should first of all consult with the French Undergraduate Advisor.

CSA is generally limited to language courses. The School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures has ruled that "applications will normally be limited to students wishing to resolve problems of transfers of credit." That is, in instances where students are not granted credit by the Registrar's Office for courses taken elsewhere, they may consult with the School regarding eligibility for CSA.

Courses taken at institutions which do not have official university status often fall into this category. However, students must have documentation (records of attendance, certificates of courses completed, etc.) from the institute in question in order that a request for CSA be considered.

If granted, students will complete the form "Permission to Take Courses by Special Assessment" which is available from the Registrar's Office and have it signed by the School Director or designate. Deadlines and fees are the same as for registration in regular courses.

CSA students write the same final examination as regular students registered in the course. This examination is scheduled by the Registrar. In certain courses, students may also be required to take an oral examination. Students seeking credit in this manner should also consult regulations regarding CSA which are found in The University of Calgary Calendar.

Native speakers or those with advanced knowledge of the language are not eligible to take language courses by special assessment or to receive advanced credit for them.

French and Francophone Studies

Jean-François Richer

Undergraduate Advisor

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Micheline Lee

Program Coordinator, French Centre

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