Graduate School Foreign Language Exam

Graduate School Foreign Language Exam (GSFLE)

How to Register

If you are interested in registering for an exam, please use the button below to request registration materials. 

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. We administer 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.

FrenchTotal Number of Allowable Test Attempts:  3 *
GermanTotal Number of Allowable Test Attempts:  2 *
SpanishTotal Number of Allowable Test Attempts:  3 *

* There must be a minimum of 3 to 4 months between test attempts, including testing scheduled and taken through both individual and group appointments. Retesting with less time in between test attempts is not allowed and may result in the cancellation of test scores. If you are absent for the testing appointment for which you have registered, this does not count as a test attempt.

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



There are no sample tests for German.

Exam Dates

To see a list of currently scheduled Graduate School Foreign Language Exam dates, please see the GSFLE Schedule.

GSFLE Registration

Be prepared to provide your 10-digit University identification number and pay applicable test fees. There is a fee of $21.20 for Group Test registration. For Special Administrations (testing on dates which are not Group Test dates) this fee increases to $53.00.

Payment may be made by bursar billing to the student account and is due at the time of registration. Personal checks will not be accepted. Cash and credit/debit cards are also not accepted.

As part of the registration process examinees will complete a score report card and will be provided an admission ticket which confirms their exam date, time, and location.

All examinees must be pre-registered at least 48 HOURS PRIOR to the exam date. 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.

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 the testing site 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.

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. 

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 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 not 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 BEST. 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:

FrenchFrench & ItalianGlobal & International Studies Building (GA) 3169-S(812) 855-1088
GermanGermanic StudiesGA 3103(812) 855-7947
ItalianFrench & ItalianGA 3169-S(812) 855-1088
SpanishSpanish & PortugueseGA 2169(812) 855-9194