Placement guidelines for French

Taking the French Placement Assessment

Prior to taking the French placement assessment, all students must enroll in the Canvas Placement Module.

After enrolling in the Canvas Placement Module, contact Renée Cailloux to schedule an appointment to take the assessment.

Who should take the assessment?

If you have had any previous study of French, you must to take the placement assessment to determine which class best suits your skill level. If you have had any previous study of French, do not enroll in FREN 1 without taking the placement assessment first. You will not be allowed to stay in this beginning level course if your knowledge of French is too advanced for the material. Failure to take the placement assessment may result in your having to wait a quarter to enroll in the appropriate level, given that more appropriate classes may be full at the beginning of the quarter.

If you have no prior experience with French, you may enroll in FREN 1 without taking the placement assessment.

About the assessment

The placement assessment is online.

Once your placement has been determined, the result will be sent to the Department of Languages and Applied Linguistics to be entered in the Canvas Placement Module. This can take 3-4 business days (not including holidays and weekends). Your French placement assessment result remains valid for the entirety of your time at UCSC.

To give you a general idea of where you might be placed, here is a brief description of the basic grammar you should know before entering each level:

  • French 1: None; no previous study of French
  • French 2: Present tense of regular -er verbs and of avoir and etre; adjective form and placement, possessive adjectives, question formation
  • French 3: Present, passé composé, and imparfait of common verbs; reflexive verbs; object pronouns
  • French 4-6: Exposure to all basic grammar + future, conditional, and subjunctive

Orientation & More Information


View our French Schedule for more information.

To learn more about the French program and its instructors, please take a few minutes to watch the following short videos: 

Bryan Donaldson
Renée Cailloux  
Carine Rohmer 

We look forward to welcoming you to a French class at UCSC soon!