Office for Prior Learning Assessment

PLA Language Examinations

Language Examinations

The Office for Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) at USM offers two ways to earn up to 6 general elective (GEL) credits for the language(s) you know.

Getting Started

NYU or FLATS Language exams offer opportunities to test in sixty-six languages. These exams evaluate your knowledge of the language of your choice, and assign points which translate into undergraduate credit at USM. They do not require knowledge of technical terms or specialized vocabulary, and test in three basic language skills. FLATS exams test for listening, reading, and writing while NYU exams test for listening, reading, and speaking.

USM is a testing site open to the general public, which means registration is not restricted to only USM students. Be sure to check with your home institution to learn their minimum cut-off scores and course equivalents. The list below is specific to USM.

Not sure which exam to take? Review the NYU Website  and/or the FLATS Website for more information about each of the available exams.

USM Equivalencies for Language Exam Passing Scores

The USM Equivalencies for Language exams given at USM are listed below. 

If you need a printable copy, we have that too!

All exams are scored in terms of points:

Number of Points

Credits Awarded

0-4

NO CREDIT

5-7

GEL 1XX (3 credits)

8-12

GEL 2XX CI (6 credits)

13-16

GEL 3XX CI (6 credits)

Available exams include:

If the exam is marked (NYU), it is only available through NYU. If an exam is marked (FLATS), it is only available through FLATS. If an exam does not have a designation, it is available through both NYU and FLATS.

 

Afrikaans (NYU)

Albanian

Arabic

Armenian

Bengali (NYU)

Bosnian (NYU)

Bulgarian

Cambodian (FLATS)

Cantonese, simplified and traditional

Catalan (NYU)

Cebuano (FLATS)

Chinese, Mandarin

Croatian

Czech

Danish

Dutch

Estonian (FLATS)

Fijian (FLATS)

Finnish

French

Georgian (FLATS)

German

Greek, Modern (NYU)

Greek

Gujarati (NYU)

Haitian - Creole

Hebrew

(NYU)

Hindi

(NYU)

Hmong (FLATS)

Hungarian

Ibo

(NYU)

Icelandic

Ilonggo Hilgaynon

(FLATS)

Indonesian

Irish, Gaelic (NYU)

Italian

Japanese

Korean

Latin

(NYU)

Latvian (FLATS)

Lithuanian

Malagasy (FLATS)

Malay

Mongolian (FLATS)

Norwegian

Persian-Farsi

Polish

Portuguese, Brazilian (FLATS)

Portuguese, Continental (FLATS)

Punjabi (NYU)

Romanian

Russian

Samoan (FLATS)

Serbian

Spanish

Swahili (NYU)

Swedish

Tagalog

Tahitian (FLATS)

Thai

Tongan (FLATS)

Turkish (NYU)

Ukrainian

Urdu

(NYU)

Vietnamese

Yiddish (NYU)

Registering for FLATS or NYU Language Exam at USM

FLATS

FLATS exams are online tests that generally take about 2.5 hours. The official test scores will arrive within 2-3 weeks of test completion. Students first register and pay for their exam ($50) at the FLATS Exam site. USM charges a proctoring fee of $30 for the exam. FLATS exams require a minimum of two weeks notice for scheduling. Email our Testing Associate, David Vardeman (david.vardeman@maine.edu) to schedule your registration as well as at least two times you would be available to come in to take your exam. For reference, his schedule is Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8 am to 2 pm. David is available on Tuesdays from 10 am to 4 pm. If you require a testing time outside of these hours, please let David know.

NYU

NYU exams are given in pencil and paper format only, and require a minimum of two weeks notice for scheduling. Results will be mailed to the student up to eight weeks after an exam is taken. USM (or the designated institution) will usually receive a copy of the letter. The results of the language exams are valid for a period of five years from the date of the exam. In order to register for an NYU exam, you’ll need to:

  • Complete registration form

  • Provide a money order payable to NYU for the exam ($350 or $450 depending on 12-pt or 16-pt exam)

  • Provide a money order (separate from the other) payable to NYU for the registration fee which is $20

  • Provide a separate money order for $20 for the postage fee

  • Pay the $30 administration charge at USM at the time of exam registration

NYU mails the exam back to USM after having received a completed application packet. USM’s PLA office will call the student to schedule an exam date/time.

Helpful Information for Exam Day

The FLATS exam website has some great information about how to prepare for the exam and what to expect:

When you come in for your exam at USM, you must:

  • Fully review USM’s Test Policies

  • Bring $30 for the test administration fee if you have not already paid it (we can accept check, cash, or credit card).

  • Have your valid and current driver’s license, passport or other government-issued identification that includes your photograph and signature. You will be asked to show this identification to be admitted to the testing area.

Posting Language Exam Credit

Whether you took a FLATS or NYU exam, the USM PLA office will evaluate and post credits based on the number of points you earned on your exam. You can expect that your credits will be posted to your transcript within 24 hours (or the next available business day) from the receipt of the official score report from NYU or FLATS. If you are not a USM student, your Official Score Transcript will be sent to the school you designated during the registration process.

RESOURCES

Languages Exam Handout 

USM Language Registration form

FLATS resources