Language Placement Exam (WebCAPE)

WebCAPE (Computer Adaptive Placement Exam) assesses a student's previous knowledge of a foreign language, and assigns students to language classes at an appropriate level. WebCAPE is an adaptive test, which means that the exam questions become progressively more difficult as students demonstrate various skills.

All students seeking placement into elementary and intermediate level courses in French, Italian and Spanish at UB must take the test in order to register. Results will help determine the proper placement into language courses ranging from 101 to 213 in French, from 101 to 207 in Italian, and from 101 to 208 in Spanish.

Students should reserve an hour to work uninterrupted on the test.  Since the test can only be taken once, students should make sure to do their best on their only attempt.  No consultation is allowed, i.e., no dictionaries, no help from a friend/relative/teacher, no consulting a book, as this would be a clear violation of UB's Academic Integrity policy.  Please read carefully the detailed FAQs below before taking the test.

To take the exam, access WebCAPE, scroll down the list of universities to select SUNY Buffalo (UB) and enter the password: buffalo

Students must select:
SUNY Buffalo (UB)

Password for UB Students:
buffalo

Questions?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is WebCAPE?

WebCAPE (Computer Adaptive Placement Exam) is designed for all students who plan to study a foreign language. It is an adaptive test, meaning the questions are staged to get progressively more difficult as students demonstrate various skills.

Who has to take the WebCAPE exam?

Students seeking placement into elementary and intermediate level courses in French, Italian, and Spanish courses at UB (courses ranging from 101 to 213 in French, from 101 to 207 in Italian, and from 101 to 208 in Spanish) must take the test.

Why must I take the WebCAPE?

WebCAPE will determine the proper placement into a language course at UB. Thus, the students in the class will start at a relatively similar level of proficiency (taking into account individual traits and abilities).

Is there a fee for taking WebCAPE?

No.

Does this exam give me course credit?

No. No course credits are awarded based on the results of this exam. The exam is intended for placement purposes only.

Can I take a practice WebCAPE?

No.

Can I study for this exam?

Your high school coursework and/or prior experience with the language should be your preparation for the exam.

Do I need to install any software or plug-ins prior to taking the WebCAPE?

No. All you need is an internet browser. The recommended browsers are Firefox or Safari as there may be problems with other browsers.

Can I take the exam on my phone or tablet?

No. This exam is not compatible with mobile phones or tablets.

What topics are covered in WebCAPE?

Each language has a large database of questions. These questions test the student’s ability level with combinations of grammar, reading and vocabulary questions. Questions are taken from topics common to courses ranging from elementary to advanced levels in each language.

How long does it take to complete WebCAPE?

Please allow for one hour to take the exam. While the time to complete the exam is usually less, the time will vary depending on your ability to use the language.

Can I retake the exam?

You may only complete the exam ONCE. Therefore, please be advised, your first score will be the only one taken into consideration for placement purposes.

What is the format of the questions in WebCAPE?

The questions are multiple choice.

May I use a dictionary (online or paper) or consult with someone while taking WebCAPE?

No. Your understanding of vocabulary, grammar and content is important for determining placement. Using a dictionary, or outside help as a matter of fact, may result in a placement that is above your proficiency level. Furthermore, using any additional help is considered by UB as a case of academic dishonesty.

What do I do if I don’t know the answer to a question?

Choose a response that you think may be correct.

Can I review a question after I have answered it?

WebCAPE is adaptive (i.e., each subsequent question is selected based on how you answered the previous ones), once an answer is submitted, it cannot be changed. Do NOT use the “Back” button on your browser. If you do, your test will be terminated without being scored.

Is WebCAPE timed?

No. Although, the test allows for students to “pause” and “resume” the test, we strongly discourage students from using these options as it may throw off your results.  Allow yourself an hour, in a proper test environment, to complete the exam in one seating.

Is the exam accessible for students with disabilities?

WebCAPE is currently not compatible with most screen readers at this time.  If a student needs assistance making accommodations, please contact UB’s Office of Accessibility Resources.

How do I access my results?

You will receive an email with your results and recommended placement within 24-hours after taking the test.

What happens if I need clarification on my placement results?

If you have concerns about your placement results and would like a consultation with one of the language coordinators, please send an email to:

rll-info@buffalo.edu for FrenchItalian and Spanish.

Make sure to indicate: your full name, your UB person number, when you took WebCAPE, your placement results, and what kind of clarification you need in the email.  Please be as detailed as possible.

How long is my placement result valid?

Your placement result is valid for one year from the date of completion. If you take the exam but do not register in any language course within a year, you will need to retake exam. Please be aware that you will not be able to register into a language course without having a placement score from WebCAPE so plan accordingly.

Do I need to take WebCAPE if I am a transfer student or a high school student with articulated college-level credit in French, Italian or Spanish?

If you have a directly articulated transfer credit which meets the specific pre-requisite for the course in which you intend to enroll, you do not need to take WebCAPE.

If more than one-year has elapsed since you last took the college level course(s), your proficiency level may have changed depending on your experience with the language during those times. Therefore, we strongly encourage students in this situation to take WebCAPE in order to be placed in the level for which you have demonstrated ability.

What if I have AP or IB credit?

If you have a directly articulated transfer credit which meets the specific pre-requisite for the course in which you intend to enroll, you do not need to take WebCAPE.

If more than one-year has elapsed since you last took the AP or IB exam, your proficiency level may have changed depending on your experience with the language during those times. Therefore, we strongly encourage students in this situation to take WebCAPE in order to be placed in the level for which you have demonstrated ability.

What happens if my placement results put me at a lower or higher level than the one from my transferred/articulated courses?

If you place at a higher level through WebCAPE, you should register into that higher level.

If you place at a lower level, it is critical that you contact your general academic advisor to discuss potential academic consequences. Your academic advisor may also refer you to speak with a financial aid advisor to discuss possible impacts on your financial aid eligibility.

Does the department receive my score too?

Yes. There is no need to contact us for the results. We will receive your results.

Does my academic advisor have access to my score?

Yes. Academic advisors can view results in SSC (Class Info section) and in HUB (Admissions tab).

Where does my score place me?

French

Score Placement
0-100 FR 101
101-199 FR 104
200-299 FR 151
300-399 FR 152
400-499 FR 211, 212 or 213
500 or above Contact an undergraduate faculty advisor in RLL

Italian

Score Placement
0-250 ITA 101
251-325 ITA 104
326-409 ITA 151
410-575 ITA 152
576-600 ITA 207
above 600 Contact an undergraduate faculty advisor in RLL

Spanish

Score Placement
0-100 SPA 101
101-199 SPA 104
200-299 SPA 151
300-399 SPA 152
400-499 SPA 207 or 208
500 or above Contact an undergraduate faculty advisor in RLL

Access WebCAPE

Students must select:
SUNY Buffalo (UB)

Password for UB Students:
buffalo

Questions?