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PLEASE READ THIS COMPLETELY BEFORE TAKING THE EXAMS
BYU-Idaho offers Spanish tests for credit to returning Spanish-speaking missionaries and others who have had significant non-academic experience with the language. The exams are not available, however, to individuals whose native language is Spanish or to RM's whose foreign language was similar to Spanish, such as Portuguese or Italian.
Only current or former Ricks/BYU-Idaho students can take the tests. The tests are offered in the Testing Center. They normally start a week or so into the semester and continue until about two weeks before finals. Once you receive the tests in the Testing Center, you may not leave the center and come back later to finish. Give yourself at least three hours.
You must request to take the test (below) before going to the testing center. You may ask the secretary in Smith 450 if you have any questions.
You may receive credit for the following courses: Spanish 101 (4 credits), 102 (4 credits), and 201 (4 credits). As you can see, 12 credits in Spanish are possible. You will be given a different test for each class.
Your grade for each course will be A, B, C, etc.
After your tests have been graded, you will meet with a professor and be given the opportunity to accept or reject the credits you have earned. If you do well on some of the tests, but do poorly on others, you may reject the classes with the bad grades and keep the classes with the good grades.
You can replace a letter grade with a pass grade (P) if you receive at least a 73% on that particular test. When you meet with a professor to see your scores, please come prepared to decide which possible grades you will replace with a "P" and which you will keep as the normal letter grade.
You may decide to reject a grade entirely and not receive credit for one, two, or all the tests.
The tests are not easy. For the most part, they are final exams we have given in each class. We have used them for a long time and any unfair questions have long been recognized and taken out. If a question seems unfair there is some grammatical point you have not considered.
We understand that there are some regional vocabulary differences in the Spanish-speaking world. Every effort was made to make the Spanish as general as possible. Professors involved with and approving of the test have spent lengthy periods of time in Mexico, Spain, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Peru. The vocabulary comes from nationally recognized Spanish textbooks.
We have undertaken studies on the RM's who happen to ace all the tests. These RM's represent basically all parts of the Spanish-speaking world, including the United States. Although a few returned missionaries receive A's on all the tests, the average RM usually receives an A in 101, a B+ in 102, and a C+ in 201. Many score D's and F's on at least one of the tests, especially 201. The tests may not be retaken.
To maximize your potential of scoring highly, it is strongly recommended that you review as much Spanish grammar as possible. The following books are on reserve in the library: Spanish for Oral and Written Review, A Graded Spanish Review Grammar, Pasajes, and Spanish 2400. They are listed under Spanish 302/Ivers.
It is recommended that considerable amount of time be spent reviewing the subjunctive. It is also recommended that, if one's schedule permits, Spanish 302 be taken before taking the exams as to provide a good grammar review.
Portuguese, Romanian, and Italian speaking RM's may not take the Spanish exams.
Spanish Examinations for Credit: Appointment Information
You will be scheduled to meet with a Spanish instructor after taking the exams to accept/reject the grades you received. The grades you earned cannot be put on your transcript until you sign for them.
When you arrive for your appointment, the instructor will show you the grades you earned on all of your tests (you will not get to see them in the Testing Center or before the appointment). Grades are determined by a standard grading scale:
93-100% A 90-92% A- 87-89% B+ 83-86% B 80-82% B- 77-79% C+ 73-76% C
When you come for your interview, you must be prepared to make some important decisions. You can accept or reject any individual grades. A student cannot receive credit for any score under 73%, so in some cases the decision will be made for you.
If you desire, you may change any grade 73% or higher into a "P" (pass) grade. This will give you the credit, but will not affect your GPA. For example, you might decide to take a "pass" grade for 201 and accept the letter grades for the rest.
To enhance the possibility that you will make the best decision, you should consider what your decision will be based on different possible scenarios before you come in for your appointment. Come prepared knowing what you will do with your grades that are lower than an "A". It is unusual for a student to receive straight A's for all 12 credits. Good luck and we look forward to meeting with you.
To register for the Spanish exams for credit, click here. After you have registered, the department secretary will e-mail you further instructions, including two forms to print out.