Every student who does not have the required minimum score in external Spanish exams (AP, IB, etc.) must take this online placement test for Spanish ASAP (it takes less than 30 minutes on average.)

Spanish 101 and 102 are only offered once a year (fall and winter term, respectively), so you need your placement information early in order to be able to secure a seat in the right class. All Spanish courses have limited enrollment.

The placement exam is free and available year round for incoming and current students. Incoming students are advised to take this placement test by mid June, before they talk to their summer advisor or preregister for fall classes. 


1. Go to the Spanish exam
2. You'll be prompted to create an account on the TrueNorth web site
3. Enter your first and last name
4. Enter your Lawrence email address
5. For ID, type in "new student" (without quotes)
6. Create a password for yourself (do NOT use your Lawrence password)
7. After reviewing and acknowledging the privacy policy, click the Create Account button 

If you have previously created an account and are returning to the site, click the "I already have an account" link at the bottom to log in.


This test is only for placement into Lawrence classes. It carries no academic credit and it is does not satisfy the language requirement. The score comes with a specific course recommendation (which you should save and share with your advisor).

You may take the test on your own and there is no time limit. Please contact spanish@lawrence.edu if there are circumstances that justify a retake (for example, technical problems) or if you have any questions.

How can I satisfy the language competency requirement in Spanish?

A. Through coursework:

  • For B.A. and double-degree students: completion of SPAN 201 (or SPAN 200 during the summer)
  • For B.Mus. students: completion of SPAN 102.

Students who never studied Spanish, as well as those who studied Spanish for 1-6 years before college, must take the online placement exam and register for the recommended course: SPAN 101, SPAN 102 or SPAN 201.

Students who place into SPAN 101 can take the full sequence during the academic year (i.e fall: SPAN 101-> winter: SPAN 102 -> spring: SPAN 201) or the 18-unit intensive summer course (requires no previous knowledge of Spanish; separate tuition; email spanish@lawrence.edu if interested).

IMPORTANT! SPAN 101 is only offered in the fall and SPAN 102 is only offered in the winter, so you should plan accordingly. All SPAN classes have limited enrollment.

Transfer students who took Spanish courses at their former college should email spanish@lawrence.edu to ask about equivalences. 

B. Through an examination

  1. If you are a native or heritage speaker or an advanced second-language learner of Spanish, and you have not taken an AP, IB, CLEP or SAT II exam in high school, you may take a special exam that evaluates your oral, written and cultural competency in Spanish. Contact spanish@lawrence.edu if you are interested in this option.
  2. If you have taken an AP, IB (HL), CLEP or SAT II exam, submit to the Registrar:
  • a minimum score of 4 on the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam. Credit equivalent to 6-unit course SPAN 202, which fulfills one course requirement toward the Spanish major or minor.
  • a minimum score of 4 on the AP Spanish Literature exam. Credit equivalent to 6-unit course SPAN 320, which fulfills one requirement toward the Spanish major or minor.
  • a minimum score of 6 on the IB Spanish exam at the Higher Level (HL). Credit equivalent to 6-unit course SPAN 202, which fulfills one course requirement toward the Spanish major or minor.
  • a minimum CLEP score of 63 for B.A. students and 52 for B.Mus. students.
  • a score of 630 or higher on the SAT Subject Spanish or Spanish with Listening exam.

NOTE that only taking SPAN 200/201 or submitting the required score in AP or IB (HL) exams carry academic credit. All other options satisfy the language requirement but do not carry academic credit.  

Spanish majors and minors are advised to complete the language competency GER in Spanish during their freshman year. Spanish 100-200 level courses may not be taken S/U.