World Language Credit-by-Exam Frequently Asked Questions
Students must be logged into their ACPS student email account to access the links below.
- What is Credit-by-Exam?
- Why should students take the Credit-by-Exam?
- How many world language credits can students earn by taking the exam?
- Who is eligible to take the exam?
- Who is not eligible to take the exam?
- Who should not take the exam?
- Can students who are non-native speakers of a language take the exam?
- In what languages is the exam offered?
- How does the rating of a credit-by-exam assessment help students attain the Seal of Biliteracy?
- How is the exam scored and will students receive a grade for the exam?
- How many exams are given each school year?
- What is the cost to take an exam?
- Can students repeat the exam?
- When will the exam be administered?
- How and when can students sign up for the exam?
- How can students prepare for the exam?
ACPS offers students with the ability to comprehend and communicate in languages other than English, the opportunity to earn up to three high school credits for world languages. Students need to demonstrate their language proficiency on a division-approved national or international assessments. ACPS approved nationally normed assessments are the AAPPL, ALIRA, ASLPI, OPI and WPT.
There are four main advantages to take a World Language Credit-by-Exam. It affords students the opportunity to
- Fully or partially meet the world language requirement for the advanced diploma. The advanced diploma requires either three high school credits of one language or two high school credits of two languages.
- Meet the world language requirement for the Virginia Diploma Seal of Biliteracy.
- Meet the graduation requirement for “consecutive elective credit.”
- Earn high school credits if a student was placed in a higher-level language course; e.g., a student placed into French Level 3, however, s/he can only earn credit for Level 1 and 2 by taking the official Credit-by-Exam assessment, as a school/teacher administered placement exam does not allow for award of credits.
Students can earn up to three world language high school credits. Credits are awarded based on the student’s proficiency rating on a nationally or internationally normed assessment.
Proficiency Rating Awarded Credits Novice High 1 credit Intermediate Low 2 credits Intermediate Mid 3 credits
Students in grades 6-12 are eligible to take a credit-by-exam assessment if they can read, write, speak and listen in the language of the exam tested. Students must be able to complete all work independently at the novice-high proficiency level or higher. Students should review the self-assessment (PDF) grid to see if this option is a good fit.
Students who want to replace a low or failing grade in a previously taken world language course.
Students who are enrolled in a world language level 4 course or Spanish for Heritage Speakers Level 3 should not take the exam. These students will take the AAPPL assessment towards the end of their course in the spring. Taking this assessment will offer them the opportunity to also meet the world language requirement for the Virginia Diploma Seal of Biliteracy.
Yes, non-native speakers of a language may take the assessment if they can read, write, speak and listen in the language of the exam tested. Students must be able to complete all work independently at the novice-high proficiency level or higher. Students should review the self-assessment (PDF) grid to see if this option is a good fit.
The exam is offered in most languages, including American Sign Language. View the information on available assessments and languages. Unfortunately, at this time, we cannot offer assessments in the following languages Fuldude, Kannada, Malagasy, Mam, Tigrinya and Xhosa.
The assessments offered for Credit-by-Exam are also approved Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) nationally normed assessments for the Virginia Diploma Seal of Biliteracy. If students meet the minimum requirements set forth by the VDOE, students will meet the world language requirement for the Seal of Biliteracy. However, students still need to ensure that they meet the English requirement for the Seal of Biliteracy, which is passing the 11th-grade reading and writing Standard of Learning assessment or a state-approved equivalent, such as the WorkKeys.
Students will receive a proficiency rating in the ranges of novice to superior, depending on the assessment. Students will not receive a grade and as such, a student’s GPA will not be affected. The transcript will reflect the credit for the course as “pass.”
The World Language Credit-by-Exam is administered once per year in the fall. Seniors in need of credit to graduate should contact their counselor and the world languages instructional specialist for spring testing no later than February 28, 2019.
ACPS will pay for the first administration of an assessment. A student may repeat an assessment as many times as they wish, but ACPS only covers the cost of the first administration.
Students may repeat the exams as many times as they choose, however, ACPS only pays for the first administration of the exam.
For the 2018-19 school year, the exam will be offered on November 6, 2018 (Election Day – Non-student day) at Alexandria City High School. Some languages requiring the Oral Proficiency Interview or the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview will be scheduled individually and students/parents or guardians will be informed via email about the testing date and time.
Students will be able to sign up for the World Language Credit by Exam now through October 12, 2018 by registering online. For students under the age of 18, both, students and parents or guardians or a school counselor must certify that all information provided is accurate. It is the responsibility of students and parents or guardians to check the provided email and post address regularly to ensure they receive all required information.
First, students need to determine the assessment they will take, which depends on the language assessment they request.
Preparation for AAPPL: (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai):
Review Tips on how to do well on the assessment :
- Review and practice with demo tests. If your language is not available for practice, select English.
- Be familiar with the keyboard shortcuts for accents and special characters: French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish – instructions for shortcuts will be available during the assessment, however, students should already be familiar with them.
- Be familiar with the keyboard layout for: Arabic, Hindi, Korean, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese (simplified), Russian and Thai
Preparation for Writing Proficiency Test (WPT): (Albanian (Booklet form only), Cantonese Chinese, Danish, Greek (Modern), Haitian Creole (Booklet form only), Hebrew, Norwegian, Persian Farsi, Polish, Turkish, Vietnamese):
Preparation for Oral Proficiency Interview (OPIc): (Bengali, Indonesian, Pashto, Brazilian Portuguese)
Preparation for Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI):
There is no demo test for the OPIC.
Preparation: ALIRA (ACTFL Latin Interpretive Reading Assessment):