Office for Prior Learning Assessment

PLA Language Examinations

pla-blairLanguage Examinations

The Office for Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) at USM offers language exams for over fifty languages. These exams evaluate student knowledge of languages and assign points which translate into undergraduate credit at USM. These tests do not require knowledge of technical terms or specialized vocabulary. These exams test the four basic language skills - listening, speaking, reading, and writing - that are necessary for everyday communicative tasks.

On each test, students are required to:

  • Answer questions about a listening comprehension passage,
  • Translate into English and the target test language,
  • Write a short essay in response to a selection of general topics, and
  • Respond to short answer or multiple choice questions.

How to Request the Exam (click on this link)

USM offers two versions of all fifty language exams:

Scheduling an Exam

Exams are scheduled at a time mutually agreeable to both the Office for Prior Learning Assessment's Test Administrator and you.

To Request the Exam and complete an application packet, please contact:

Kate Mitchell,katem@usm.maine.edu, 207-780-4663. You will need to submit the following for your application packet (also see "How to Request the Exam"):

  • Your completed registration form. (Please print clearly.)
  • NEW!  The exam fee of $300 or $400 must be paid by money order, payable to New York University. (This fee cannot be charged to a credit card.)
  • NEW!  The exam registration fee of $20 must be paid by money order, payable to New York University. (This fee cannot be charged to a credit card.)
  • A separate money order or certified check for the shipping and handling fee payable to New York University. (This fee cannot be charged to a credit card.)
  • Proctoring fees at $30 an hour, payable to USM either by check or credit card.

Please complete this application packet, and either bring or send it, along with your three money orders for 1) the shipping and handling fee ($20),  2) the exam fee (either $300 or $400), (3) the exam registration fee ($20), and 4) the check for the proctoring fees ($30 per hour) to:

Kate Mitchell, 100 Payson Smith Hall. 96 Falmouth Street, University of Southern Maine, Portland, Maine  04104-9300.

PLA will mail your application packet to NYU for you.

Materials for the exam should be sent to:

Kate Mitchell, University of Southern Maine,100 Payson Smith Hall, 96 Falmouth Street, Portland, Maine  04104-9300.

Proctor Fees for the Language Exams

Proctor fees are $30 an hour, and must be paid on the day you submit your registration form. They may be paid to USM by check or credit card.

Time Validity of the Exams

The results of the language exams are valid for a period of five years from the date of the exam. Official letters will not be mailed to institutions for tests that are more than five years old.