Foreign Language Exams

Foreign Language Exams
Transferability varies

You can earn a lot of college credit for knowing a second (or third) language! The exam type you choose depends on your strengths (and weaknesses!) of listening, writing, reading, and speaking.  

 (2020-2021)NYU-FLPCLEPACTFL oralACTFL  writtenAP
Cost (2018)$300-$400$87$139$70$94

In preparation for foreign language exams, your teen can take foreign language courses for high school credit using any curriculum you choose. Your teen may also have the option of taking foreign language courses for dual enrollment (college credit), but if this is the case, the value of the foreign language exams decreases by the number of college credits already earned through dual enrollment.

Example: your community college’s dual enrollment program offers French 1 and French 2 (4 credits each). If your teen passes both courses, it would be pointless to take the CLEP French exam since the credits would likely cancel each other out. On the other hand, if the student used the ACTFL Oral exam, and scored the full 12 credit value, the “extra four credits” above the eight already earned are available for consideration.

Advanced Placement Exam

Good transferability
0–8 credits (advanced standing may be awarded instead of credit)

ADVANCED PLACEMENT: Languages – Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, and Spanish. Tested on – reading, writing, listening and speaking (this is the only exam that tests ALL 4 AREAS, making it the hardest exam of the bunch). Credit awarded: 0-16 based on language and score (only Chinese is worth 16, most max out at 8). Some colleges award zero credit, but award “advanced standing” in the language. The score is reported on an official College Board transcript. Cost $92 AP Exams

Chinese Language and Culture
French Language and Culture
German Language and Culture
Italian Language and Culture
Japanese Language and Culture
Spanish Language and Culture
Spanish Literature and Culture

Read more about AP Exams

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages

ACTFL WRITTEN: Languages- Albanian, Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. Tested on- reading and writing only (no listening or speaking). Credit awarded 2-12 based on the score. The score must be recorded on your ACE transcript. Cost $105 Written exam

ACTFL ORAL: 50+ languages. Tested on- listening and speaking only (no reading or writing). Credit awarded 2-12 based on the score. The score must be recorded on your ACE transcript. Cost $50-159 Oral Exam


Good transferability
6–9 credits

CLEP: Languages- French, German, and Spanish. Tested on- reading, listening, and speaking only (no writing). Credit awarded 6-9 based on the score. Note – students who took this exam before October of 2015 may be eligible for more credit since that version was worth 6-12 credits at the time. The score is reported on an official College Board transcript. Cost $80 CLEP Exam

French Language
German Language
Spanish Language

Spanish Writing

Read more about CLEP

NYU Foreign Language Proficiency Exam

Good transferability
12 or 16 college credits suggested
NYU Proficiency Testing

Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Cantonese, Cata an, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek(Modern), Gujarat, HaitianCreole, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Ibo, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Lithuanian, Malay, Mandarin, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese(Brazilian), Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Yiddish, Yoruba

Military Career Tip (extra pay!):  According to Defense Pay Regulation, Volume 7A, Chapter 19,  Military members who have received training in a foreign language and are assigned to a job requiring foreign language skills receive a monthly Foreign Language Proficiency Pay. It depends on upon the level of proficiency maintained. Additionally, other military members who are proficient in a language that the Department of Defense considers to be critical may also receive this monthly pay, as long as they maintain proficiency in the language.


These curriculum options would fulfill the homeschool high school language requirement/credit, and you could choose to follow the year(s) with a credit by exam option above.  Remember, that you cannot duplicate credit, so dual enrollment already awards college credit, these resources would either supplement a dual enrollment program, provide strictly high school credit, or be used for an entirely different language.

  • FREE ONLINE:  A free product you can use in your homeschool and is super easy is Duolingo. I did an experiment on Facebook using Duolingo every day for a year.  While I didn’t become fluent, it was easy to use and my teens enjoyed it too.  Duolingo  It is very much like Rosetta Stone in my opinion.  They currently offer about 20 languages.
  • DVD & STREAMING:  Many DVD course options, as well as streaming options, are available through The Great Courses (DVD) and The Great Courses Plus(streaming).  I’ve recently learned that you can even stream your Great Courses through your Roku.  The Great Courses offer many courses, but through the (cheaper) streaming option you can access:  Latin 101, Greek 101, and Spanish101.
  • ONLINE COURSES:  A large company that provides many online foreign language courses (including sign language) is Rocket Language.  They have monthly plans as well as one-time purchase options.  Specializing in Spanish is Synergy Spanish which seems to have a really good feedback rating as well.
  • UDEMY:  An open online marketplace for people to teach classes.  You can find a ton of very inexpensive courses taught by many instructors.   Udemy

American Sign Language is frequently used by parents as their teen’s high school foreign language, however, at this time I know of no way to roll that into college credit without taking it through a college.  If you’re looking for an ASL course, I have been told that the Rocket Sign Language course is an affordable option.

German Language Courses

CLEP exams offer students an opportunity to earn college credit in Spanish, French, and German. It’s easy to find Spanish and French classes, but today we’re bringing you classes for the much harder to find language: German!

CLEP Spanish *Perfect Score*

It’s one thing to pass a CLEP exam, it’s another to crush it!  Homeschooling for College Credit parent Scarlett has agreed to share her feedback about the exam with you.  At the bottom of the post, I’ve added links and additional info you’ll find helpful if this test is on your schedule.  Don’t miss the…