Other Frequently Asked Questions


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I have a Minnesota Bilingual or Multilingual Seal or a World Certificate. What are my next steps?

The College of Liberal Arts (CLA) recognizes and celebrates proficiency in languages other than English, certified through Minnesota Bilingual and Multilingual Seals and World Language Proficiency Certificates. Students who have received a Seal or Certificate are eligible to take CLA's Language Proficiency Exam (LPE) to fulfill the CLA Second Language Requirement and for access to third-year language courses. Students with a Seal or Certificate do not need to take the Entrance Proficiency Test (EPT) unless they need placement into a second-year language course.

In cases where the language being certified with a Seal or Certificate does not have an LPE available, students will be directed to faculty on campus who teach that language for assessment or to an Individual Language Assessment (ILA) for languages not taught on campus.

Successful completion and passing of all sections in the LPE, faculty assessment, or Individual Language Assessment, will fulfill the CLA Second Language Requirement and will allow students to progress into higher level language major coursework.

Students are encouraged to inform their advisers immediately during Orientation if they have a Seal or Certificate so that they can be appropriately directed to their language testing option.

Can I take a test for language credit?

U of M does not offer any tests for language credit and does not accept any tests for language credit regardless of score, including AP, IB, and CLEP.

However, CLA does offer retroactive credits for prior language learning. After you have passed your first language course at U of M with a C- or better, you can apply through your CLA advisor for retroactive credits for the previous courses in the sequence, excluding 1001. There is no charge for retroactive credits. Students in a college other than CLA must consult with their adviser regarding their college's retroactive credit policy.

For example, Student A takes the LPE, passes, and begins coursework at the 3000-level. After the student passes the 3000-level course with a C- or better, they can apply through their advisor for retroactive credits for 1002, 1003, and 1004 (3 x 5 credits = 15 credits total + credits earned for 3000-level course). Retroactive credits are not given for 1001.

Are there any study guides or practice tests available?

The EPT, LPE, and LPE Screening Test are proficiency tests, meaning that they evaluate how you are able to use the language spontaneously, in an unrehearsed setting. There is nothing specific you need to study for the tests, and there are no practice tests. The best preparation is to use the language in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Each test has a general test description and test content for your reference.


Visit the EPT Test Content page to review what is on the placement tests for French, German, Spanish, Somali, Hindi and Urdu.


Visit the LPE Test Content page and select your language.

LPE Screening

Visit the LPE Screening Test Content page for more information on the French, German and Spanish Screening tests.


How can I take my test with accommodations?

The CLA Language Testing Program provides equal opportunities for all students to demonstrate proficiency in a second language, including students whose language is not taught on campus, and students with documented disabilities. Review information and procedures on the Test Accommodations page.

How many times can I take a test?


You may take the EPT only one time. You will be placed into your first language course at the U of M based on your EPT results.

LPE Screening Test

You may attempt the LPE Screening Test multiple times, provided you have not yet taken and failed the LPE. Once you take and fail the LPE, you are ineligible for the Screening Test and instead must complete through 1004 to fulfill your CLA Second Language Requirement. The Screening Test is only for students who have taken or are currently in 1001, 1002, 1022, or 1003 and want to try to test out of the language requirement early prior to taking 1004. There is a $25 fee for each Screening Test attempt. You may attempt the Screening Test only one time per semester.


Eligibility to take or retake the LPE is determined by the Eligibility policy. Eligible students who attempt the LPE one time may only retake the LPE if they have earned a C- or better in 1004. Students who have not yet earned a C- or better in 1004 may not retake the LPE until they pass 1004 with a C- or better.

Do I have to pay for tests?

EPT and LPE: There is no charge for the Language Proficiency Exam (LPE) or the Entrance Proficiency Test (EPT).

LPE Screening Test: There is a $25 fee for each attempt at the LPE Screening Test. Your student account will be charged $25 when you register for the test. The Screening Test is purchased from another institution, and the fee is to purchase your individual test. No other costs associated with offering this test at the University of Minnesota are passed on to students. Be aware that there can be no refunds of the Screening Test fee, so be sure that you want to take the test before registering for it.

What if I speak a language other than English at home?

Frequently, CLA students at the University mistakenly assume that they are exempt from the second language requirement because they lived overseas for a time as children, or because they are the children of immigrant parents who use a language other than English. 

This exemption can only be granted formally by your college. You should talk with your college adviser to see if you are classified as bilingual, a non-native speaker of English, or otherwise. 

Is there a way to fulfill the second language requirement in a language not taught at U of M?

Yes, please begin the conversation with your CLA advisor to discuss options. Some options include:

How do I activate/reactivate my U of M student account?

Students without a U of M record who need a student ID number, need to set up their internet account, or need to reactivate their account should submit a form to create or reactivate your student record. You cannot register for or take any placement or proficiency tests unless you have an active UMN student ID. 

What is the Certificate of Advanced-Level Proficiency?

The Certificate of Advanced-Level Proficiency is an option for undergraduate students who are interested in achieving advanced-level proficiency in Chinese, French, German, and Spanish, and having their skills formally recognized. It is open to majors and minors of the respective languages, as well as University of Minnesota undergraduate students from any college studying any discipline.

General requirements include:

  1. Pass the Language Proficiency Exam (LPE) in the respective language.
  2. Pass two upper-level courses taught in the respective language with a C- or better. Options vary with each language.
  3. Participate in an intensive language immersion experience. Options vary with each language.
  4. Take 4 self-assessments and use your results in the critical reflection essay.
  5. Pass the critical reflection essay: Submit a short essay (450–600 words) written in English that is both a self-assessment of your language skills and also explains how you have used your language and cultural understanding skills at the university and beyond.
  6. Pass the ACTFL advanced-level exam in the respective language by achieving a rating of Advanced-Low (AL) or higher in all four sections. It is strongly recommended that you do not attempt the ACTFL exam until the self-assessment results indicate that you may have achieved advanced-level proficiency.


If you are interested in getting started, please send us an email at [email protected] to receive the next steps.