Spanish Guide


Credit by Examination

The Spanish Examination administered at The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College may award 3 or 6 hours of credit, depending upon the score obtained, in either Spanish 1373 and 1374, or Spanish 1313 and 1314.

The exam consists of a 200-word composition testing the ability to write expository passages in Spanish and 180 items in six sections, completely in Spanish, covering grammar, spelling, vocabulary in context, lexical relationships, accents, and composition. For the most part, the format is blind multiple choice. In these items the correct word must be produced with virtually no cue except for the context itself, more or less as in actual conversation.


(Part I: 48 items) tests all the fundamental problems from easy to difficult, including verbs in all tenses, pronouns, and cued change in the second sentence; the remaining items are single sentences with one word missing to be completed according to the context.

Instructions: Complete the second sentence of each pair according to the pattern established.

Example: La casa es nueva.
             Las casas son __________.

             A. __ __ __ __ o B. __ __ __ __ a

             C. __ __ __ __ as D. __ __ __ __ os

The correct answer is nuevas, which corresponds to

C. __ __ __ __ as. Therefore you mark the answer “C”.


(Part II: 12 items) is geared to native speakers and bilinguals who may not know the spelling system of Spanish and therefore need remedial work in this area.

Instructions: Complete the sentence with the answer that correctly spells the missing word or words.

Example: Hoy es martes así que ____________ fue

             A. __ __ __ e __ y __ __ B. __ __ __ i __ y __ __

             C. __ __ __ e __ ll __ __ D. __ __ __ i __ ll __ __

Since the correct spelling of the missing word is anteayer, the response is “A”.

Vocabulary in Context

(Part III: 24 items) employs a traditional four-option multiple choice format. Randomly embedded are 10 items based on idiomatic usage normally familiar only to native speakers of Spanish. These “native speaker identifiers” enable instructors to determine which students qualify for “Spanish for Bilinguals” courses.


(Part IV: 56 items) has become the best determiner of overall command of the language. It consists of a list of 56 verbs, ranging from easy to difficult. Students supply the noun related to the verb, on the assumption that if they can do this they not only know the meaning of the verb but can also use the noun correctly. The subscores of this section give an excellent idea of the range of vocabulary, even for native speakers.

Instructions: Supply the noun related to each verb.

Examples: (Verb) (Noun)

             mover = movimiento

             alegrar = alegría

             soltar = soltura

The noun should refer to the action, state, etc., the verb describes, not to the

person who performs the action.

Sample format: salir

A. __ __ __ __ o B. __ __ __ __ a C. __ __ __ a

D. __ __ __ __ o E. __ __ __ __ __ a

Since the correct spelling of the noun is salida, the correct response is “E”.


(Part V: 40 items) consists of a list of words in which the students should determine whether accent is required or not, and when it is required, it should be placed appropriately.

Instructions: Write an accent mark where needed. Not all words require an accent mark.

Examples: 1. facil

              2. raudo

The correct answers are:
               fácil , with an accent mark over the “a”.
               raudo , without accent mark.


(Part VI: 200 word essay) tests the ability to compose expository passages in Spanish on an assigned topic. The composition will be evaluated for extent and appropriateness of vocabulary, grammatical accuracy, and organization. The composition should be at least 200 words length.

Study Guides

In preparing for the Spanish Examination, students may find it helpful to review standard college Spanish textbooks used in the United States.

The following texts are currently used in first and second-semester Spanish courses at The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College, and can be purchased at the university bookstore:

La Lengua que heredamos, by Marqués.

Mundo 21, by Samaniego.

Dos Mundos, by Terrell.

Testing Office - The University of Texas at Brownsville & Texas Southmost College - Tandy Hall, Room 216 - 80 Fort Brown - Brownsville, Texas 78520 - Telephone: (956) 544-8875 - Fax: (956) 544-3889 - Email: