Spanish for Reading Knowledge Exam
Certify that you have met your UW-Madison graduate program requirement for reading knowledge of Spanish. This exam is given 3 times per year, in late November or early December, late April or early May (both times shortly after the end of the Spanish for Reading Knowledge class) and in late August.
Register for the exam by phone at 608-262-2451, in person at the Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St or online. Registration must be completed at least 1 week in advance of the exam date.
Contact Jeff Kirsch at firstname.lastname@example.org for exact exam dates and times. You will take your exam on the 7th floor of the Welcome Center, located at 21 N Park St., Madison.
When you take the exam, you are given two hours and 15 minutes to read and translate approximately one and three-quarters pages of academic Spanish prose or fiction. The text selected will generally be compatible with your graduate degree program. The exam begins with a short grammar section, in which you will translate parts of ten sentences (chosen from 12). This section should not take more than 10 or 15 minutes. Once you have turned in this portion of the exam, you will then receive your translation exam. You are permitted and encouraged to use a Spanish-English bilingual dictionary, and one additional dictionary to aid in writing in English, such as non-native speakers of English may desire to use. You will write your translation in a blue book that will be provided to you.
Your reading ability is measured by the percentage of the text that you translate accurately and coherently. Your translation will normally be rated with one of these three results:
- Advanced Competency (mastery of tense, idiom and vocabulary)
- Adequate Competency (use of language as a research tool)
- Inadequate Competency (cannot translate basic meanings of the text)
For the exact requirements you need to fulfill, please contact your academic department. Each UW-Madison graduate program determines its own standards for reading knowledge requirements. Supply the name of your graduate program assistant (or other person whom you would like to have contacted), and the examiner will notify you and this person of your results. If you must re-take the exam, you will need to register for and pay for a new exam.
Especially if you have not taken the Spanish for Reading Knowledge class, we recommend that you practice the skill of writing timed translations in advance. Memorial Library has a vast collection of Spanish-language scholarly publications and the Web is also a source of such texts.
How to register
If this web page does not answer all of your questions about UW-Madison’s Spanish for Reading Knowledge Exam, please feel free to contact us.