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Frequently Asked Questions

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    Which language class should I take if I served a mission speaking that language?

    Returned missionaries who wish to maintain their language skills can do so in a number of ways as BYU students.

    If your language is not taught at BYU or you are not a BYU student, you are eligible to take the FLATS exam, which provides you with up to 12 pass/fail credits.

    If your language is taught at BYU, and you are a BYU student or a visiting student, you are eligible to take the Challenge Exam, which provides you with up to 16 graded credits. In order to take the Challenge Exam, you must be enrolled in the corresponding upper-division class. By completing the class, you will fulfill the Global and Cultural Awareness and Languages of Learning General Education requirements.

    If students wish to continue further with their language learning, they can continue their studies through earning a Language Certificate, a Minor, or a Major if it is available in their language.

    For more information, view What Returned Missionary Language Course Should I Enroll In?

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    Which class should I take if I came home early from my mission?
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    What is the Challenge Exam and how do I take it?

    The Challenge Exam is a language credit exam. BYU students who are enrolled in a corresponding upper-division language class that offers a Challenge Exam are eligible to take the exam.

    If you take the Challenge Exam, you will receive four individual grades – one for 101, 102, 201, and 202 – which you can then accept or discard individually. If you achieve an A, A, A, and B, for example, you can discard the B grade, which will then not be included on your transcript. You will receive 16 graded BYU credits that go directly on your transcript and do affect you GPA.

    You can only request a Challenge Exam once. You must take it while enrolled in the designated course. After you finish the course, you are ineligible to take the Challenge Exam. If you are not enrolled in the class, please do not sign up for the Challenge Exam. 

    Languages Offered:

    Albanian Croatian Haitian Creole Malay Slovak
    Armenian Czech Hmong Mongolian Slovenian
    Bulgarian Dutch Hungarian Romanian Tagalog
    Cambodian/Khmer Fijian Indonesian Samoan Tongan
    Cebuano Georgian Malagasy Serbian Ukrainian
    Vietnamese

    More information on the Challenge Exam

    Request a Challenge Exam

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    How do I prepare for an OPI?

    Prepare for the OPI using the following resources:

    Proficiency Tests Handout

    Preparing for Your OPI

    OPI Familiarization Manual (ACTFL)

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    What is the Language Certificate?

    Whether or not you are seeking a degree in a foreign language, you can earn a BYU Language Certificate. The Language Certificate Program is available to all matriculated BYU students who are pursuing any BYU undergraduate or graduate degree.

    The recognition of your foreign language proficiency will make a meaningful addition to your university experience and strengthen your resume or portfolio as you seek employment, begin your career, or apply to graduate school as a diversely skilled individual.

    • Your BYU transcript will have an official notation of your advanced coursework and language proficiency.
    • You will receive a BYU Language Certificate endorsing your completion of advanced coursework and proficiency achievement.
    • You will receive official certificates from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) documenting your proficiency for speaking and/or writing.
    • It’s FREE!

    Visit Language Certificate for more information.

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    What classes do I need to take for the Language Certificate?
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    When do I need to take the two exams for the Language Certificate? How do I sign up?

    These WPT and the OPI must be done on the BYU-Provo campus and must be scheduled before graduation.

    When you are ready to take your proficiency tests, please send an email request to languagecertificate@byu.edu

    For more information, visit Language Certificate.

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    When can I expect to hear back about my exam results?

    The ratings for each assessment will typically be available within 2-4 weeks after taking them. Students need to contact CLS 2-4 weeks after their exam in order to receive their results. Email us at languagecertificate@byu.edu.