The Spanish Placement Process at Bowdoin

Mexico City Post Office
Mexico City Post Office – photo by Eduardo Cortės

Students can take a first Spanish course at Bowdoin only after the Department has assessed their level and recommended an appropriate class. This recommendation typically comes from the placement exam, which all students must take before course registration.

If your AP Spanish score is 5 or you have never been exposed to Spanish, you need to complete only the first five questions of the test.

During course registration, all students should know which course level was recommended based on their placement exam. This information is available from their academic advisors through the Registrar’s electronic system (Polaris).

Students should enroll in the recommended course. Movement between course levels can be allowed during the first weeks of classes only after consultation with the instructors.

How to take the Placement Exam and obtain your course recommendation:

  1. Login to Blackboard at
  2. Click on the Placement Exams and Surveys link.
  3. Click on Languages from the left-hand menu. Then follow the online directions carefully.

 If, after logging in to Blackboard, you find that you are unable to access the Placement Exams and Surveys link, please contact the Academic Coordinator for Spanish, Kate Flaherty (, or a Spanish faculty member, to gain access to the Blackboard Placement course. Once you have access, please follow the above instructions.

A few days after submitting your online test, your academic advisor will have access to your placement recommendation through the Registrar’s electronic system (Polaris).