Competency Credits for Students

Contact Information

Veronica Trapani-Huebner

Associate Director of Content, World Languages

The World Language Credit Program is a way to earn high school credit for a language you already know.


Students in the Class of 2021 and beyond are required to have 2 credits in the same World Languages or a personalized pathway (See WAC 180-51-068) in order to graduate. For admission to Washington’s public universities, students must meet College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADRs) with 2 years in the same language.

Available Languages for Credit

All languages are able to earn World Language Competency-based Credit (WLCbC), including Classical (Latin, Sanskrit, Ancient Greek), Tribal, Indigenous, and Native languages, and Signed Language.

However, coding and programming languages do not count toward WLCbC.

Proficiency Level

Credit(s) Earned

Seat Time Equivalency

Novice Mid


1 year

Novice High


2 years

Intermediate Low


3 years

Intermediate Mid and above


4 years

Frequently Asked Questions: Credits


How many credits can I earn?

Washington students can earn between one (1) and four (4) competency-based World Language credits depending upon their scored language proficiency. These credits are the same as seat-time credits and qualify students for graduation, scholarships, grants, and any other credit-based opportunities.

When can I test for credit?

Students can test at any time for language proficiency, but most assess between grades 9 and 12, so WLCbC appear on their high school transcript. OSPI suggests students take proficiency exams early in high school, so those credits appear on their transcript. This makes sure the student receives credit if there are any changes, like moving to a new district.

For students coming out of dual language programs, OSPI recommends students test at the end of grade 8. While there is no strict reason that students could not assess in middle school, the parents, counselors, and data coordinators must be careful to make sure the credits are placed onto the student’s high school transcript.

Do competency-based credits meet NCAA and university entrance requirements?

Yes! WLCbC are recognized as credits earned through competency testing, supported by WAC 180-51-050 and WAC 392-410-340.


If you can answer "Yes, I can do this quite easily" to each statement in a language other than English, then you will probably be able to earn at least 1-2 credits. If you can answer "Yes, I can do this very easily" to all of the statements, then you may be able to earn 3-4 credits when you get tested.

Different languages use different tests. Search for your language on the World Language Proficiency Assessment Options page, and contact your school counselor for more information on testing options!

World Languages/Multilingual

  • I can understand ideas on familiar topics expressed through phrases, short sentences, and frequently used expressions.
  • I can understand the main idea and some details in simple texts that contain familiar vocabulary.
  • I can exchange information with another person about familiar tasks, topics and activities.
  • I can use a series of phrases and sentences to provide basic information about familiar topics.
  • I can write simple descriptions and short messages and request or provide information on familiar topics.

American Sign Language

  • I can respond to simple, direct questions or requests for information by showing some communicative exchanges with short phrases on memorized topics about my everyday life.
  • I can handle some simple communicative tasks in straightforward, practical situations using specific exchanges and predictable topics.
  • I can express personal meaning by combining and re-combining what I know and what I receive from the interviewer.
  • I can create short statements and discrete sentences. I can generally be understood by the interviewer who is accustomed to dealing with non-native language users.

Frequently Asked Questions: Testing


Where can I test?

All language proficiency testing is done through your school district. The person in charge of scheduling testing can be different but some people you can ask are:

  • Your teacher
  • Your counselor
  • World Language, Multi/Bilingual, or English Learners Director
  • District Assessment Coordinator
  • Your Principal or Assistant Principal
  • Your Superintendent
How do I prepare for language testing?

What is the best way to prepare for these tests?

  • World Language and Multilingual students: You'll be asked to speak and write about different topics to see whether your proficiency level is at the Novice, Intermediate, or Advanced level. Check the provider’s website for sample tests and tips.
  • ASL Students: You will be asked to sign with a trained rater during an interview. Reference how to prepare for the ASLPI or SLPI:ASL.
If I am not satisfied with my results, can I retest? If so, how soon?

Yes, you can retest. However, if your district financially supported your testing the first time, they may expect you and your family to pay for the retest. Deciding how soon to retest depends on your situation and when the next test dates are available. Speak to your teacher or counselor.