The Graduate School Foreign Language Exam (GSFLE)

What Is the GSFLE?

Indiana University graduate students who must demonstrate reading proficiency
in a foreign language to satisfy degree requirements may take the Graduate
School Foreign Language Exam (GSFLE) in lieu of taking language coursework.
IU Bloomington Evaluation Services and Testing (BEST), a Division of
Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, administers the GSFLE in cooperation with IU foreign language departments.

The GSFLE is available in French, German, and Spanish. Since these are
institutional exams NOT available at other universities, students should
complete any necessary language testing while in residence on the Bloomington
campus. The GSFLE cannot be administered on other campuses.

Students taking French or Spanish may test a maximum of three times. German
candidates may test two times. Testing in the same language is permitted
only once per semester. Before registering a third time, students should
consult the appropriate language department about alternative methods of
fulfilling the reading proficiency requirement.

The GSFLE is a one hour, multiple choice exam. There are no listening sections.
The exam covers grammar and/or reading comprehension as follows:


  • 32 Grammar questions
  • 32 Reading comprehension questions
  • 64 Total questions



  • 35 Reading comprehension questions
  • 35 Total questions


  • 20 Reading comprehension questions
  • 20 Total questions


  • 38 Grammar questions
  • 39 Reading comprehension questions
  • 77 Total questions

Test aids are not permitted for the French and Spanish tests. German examinees
may use a German/English – English/German dictionary during the exam; however,
dictionaries may not be shared among examinees.

Sample Tests

* French
* Spanish

Exam Dates

Please call to schedule an appointment. (855-1595)
Students may register at the BEST Testing Center in Eigenmann Hall Suite 324. Be prepared to provide your 10-digit University identification number and pay applicable test fees:

  • Standard Test Fee: $15.00
  • Mail Registration: $18.00
  • Special Appointment: $50.00

GSFLE Registration

Reserved registration is available either by (1) visiting BEST, Eigenmann Hall Suite 324 or (2) completing and mailing the GSFLE  Mail Registration Form. Telephone/e-mail registration is no longer offered. There is a fee of $15.00 for in-person registration and $18.00 for mail registration. Payment by cash, check (made payable to Indiana University), or bursar billing to the student account is due at the time of registration. Examinees registering in person will complete a score report card, and both in-person and mail registrants will be provided an admission ticket which confirms their exam date, time, and location.

All examinees must be pre-registered at least ONE DAY PRIOR to the exam
date. There is a limit of eight examinees per test session. Since registration
is offered on a first-come, first-served basis, interested students are
strongly encouraged to register as early as possible. Walk-in registration
on exam day and telephone registration are not available.

Cancellations / No-Shows

If a student does not appear for the GSFLE on the day and time for which
he/she is registered, all exam fees previously paid are forfeited, and the
registration will be canceled. No refunds will be given. Failure to appear
does not count as an “attempt” toward passing the exam.

Taking the Exam

On exam day, examinees should bring their admission ticket along with photo
identification and two sharpened No. 2 pencils. Anyone arriving without
photo identification will not be tested.
Examinees should report to BEST,
Eigenmann Hall Suite 324, at least ten minutes before the indicated start time
of the test to complete the check-in procedures. Testing starts promptly
at the time indicated on the admission ticket.

GSFLE Score Reports

Examinees should pick up their scores in person from the Graduate Secretary
in the academic department of the respective foreign language. Scores are
generally available for pickup in person the Monday after testing. Scores
are released to examinees and their academic departments as appropriate
by the language department only.
Due to federal disclosure laws,
scores cannot be released over the phone. Please note that BEST does
report scores to students or to their academic departments.

Scores are reported as raw scores and are based on the number of questions
answered correctly. There is no penalty for guessing.

Additional Information

General questions regarding the GSFLE registration process and exam administration
should be addressed to,
855-1595. Questions of a more specific nature regarding academic policies,
proficiency requirements, and score reports should be addressed to the appropriate
foreign language department listed below:

FRENCH French & Italian Ballantine 642 855-1088
GERMAN Germanic Studies Ballantine 644 855-7947
SPANISH Spanish & Portuguese Ballantine 850 855-9194