Standards-Based Measurement of Proficiency Test

What is the STAMP 4S?

  • An online test designed to find out what you can DO with a language (reading, writing, speaking).
  • A series of test items based on real-world, every-day situations and written by native speakers.
  • A Standards-based Measurement of Proficiency using levels of proficiency defined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).
  • Avant STAMP was originally developed by the Center for Applied Second Language Studies, a National Foreign Language Resource Center at the University of Oregon and funded by the US Department of Education. Avant STAMP 4S has been validated by field testing and expert panels

What does STAMP assess?

  • Your reading ability: it measures how well you comprehend texts written by native speakers
  • Your writing ability: it measures how well you can write in real world situations
  • Your listening ability: it measures how well you can speak about everyday situations
  • Your speaking ability: it measures how well you can comprehend native speakers and/or recognized vocabulary

What do I accomplish by taking the STAMP test at Bellarmine?

By successfully completing the STAMP test at the 201 level or above you will satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement for BA degree candidates in Bellarmine College. If you have language background and place at a higher level, you should seriously consider either a minor in the language and/or becoming a double major since this can enhance your degree.

How do I sign up to take the STAMP test?

Establishing proficiency with the STAMP is a two-step process. The first step is to take the WebCAPE placement test. As of fall 2010 all entering undergraduate students are required to take the WebCAPE placement test to complete their new student registration.  Your score on that test will determine your eligibility to take the STAMP, which is the second step in this process.

If you score above the 102 level on the WebCAPE and wish to take the STAMP test to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language, you must contact the Chair of the department of Global Languages and Cultures and make an appointment to take the test on campus. Notice: You need to request the exam testing two weeks in advanced.    

If you are a transfer student or unable to attend an Orientation session, please contact the Department of Global Languages and Cultures at 502.272.8237.

Preparing for the STAMP

Come well rested and nourished — and as calm as possible! You shouldn't have to do much studying beforehand, but we do advise taking a practice test to get an idea of the format and content of the questions. Download the STAMP Student Guide for a practice test, a scoring guide, and other details about the testing process. Take an Avant STAMP sample test to familiarize yourself with the layout of the test and the types of prompts that you can expect. It is also advisable to read the Avant STAMP 4S Benchmarks and Rubric Guide if you want information about the skills you need to demonstrate to achieve a certain test level.

STAMP Scores

Your reading score will be available immediately after you take the test. Your writing, listening, and speaking scores will take longer to process. The Department of Global Languages and Cultures will contact you with your final scores. Your final scores will determine whether you 1) have established proficiency at the 201 level, or 2) will need to be placed in a 101 or 102 level course.