Avant PLACE Test Taker and Technology Guide

Avant PLACE Docs


The Avant PLACE test is a web-based assessment that provides schools with the data to place students into appropriate classes. With results that accurately represent your abilities you will have a better chance of being placed in a class level where you will be successful.

  • The Avant PLACE test can be taken online anywhere, anytime
  • Test items are based on real-world, every-day situations
  • The Avant PLACE test measures a test taker’s language ability according to Benchmark Levels that are based on national standards

Test Taker Steps:

  1. Off-Site Technology Preparation

    If taking the test off-site, you are responsible for ensuring the readiness of the computer you will be using for the test. Read the Technology Requirements listed on the last pages of this guide and please make sure that the following requirements are met:

    • USB headset with microphone
    • All computers must be set to accept cookies
    • If testing in Arabic, Mandarin or Japanese, ensure that the necessary writing input system has been activated. For more information, see the Writing Input Guide
  2. Logging Into the Avant PLACE Assessment
    • Go to https://placement.avantassessment.com/placement/do/login
    • Enter the Username and Password provided by the organization that is sponsoring your test
    • Unless directed otherwise, for Full Name, enter your First Name followed by one space, then your Middle Name followed by one space, then your Last Name
    • Hint: Remember how you entered your name – if you lose connection or stop the test and need to resume, you will have to reenter your name exactly as you did the first time.
  3. Taking the Avant PLACE Assessment

    The test is not timed, and can be paused and resumed at a later time, if needed. On average, test takers can plan to spend 35-50 minutes taking the test. Do not use outside resources during the test – no pen, paper, other software applications, or support materials.

Your test will include two, three or four skills -depending on the language selected, as follows:

  • French, German, Spanish, Japanese - Four skills: Reading, Contextualized Grammar, Writing and Speaking
  • Italian, Mandarin Simplified, Mandarin Traditional - Three skills: Reading, Writing and Speaking
  • Arabic - Two skills: Writing and Speaking

The test starts with a Student Profile page and then a self-evaluation. The test will flow in the following order: Reading/grammar section, Writing section, and Speaking section (minus any sections not included for a specific language).

Reading/Grammar Section

  • 20 – 30 questions that are computer-scored
  • Typically takes 25 – 30 minutes to complete
  • Read the question and answers before you attempt to read the passage (this will help guide your reading and help you move through the test more quickly)
  • For tests that include a Grammar component, the Grammar items are included in this section of the test.

Writing Section

  • One question that is human-scored
  • Typically takes 5 – 10 minutes to complete
  • Provide your response using the target language – do not use English!
  • Provide all of the information requested in the prompt and stay on-topic
  • For some languages, a “floating keyboard” appears for use in selecting any special letters or characters associated with the language
  • For writing in Chinese, Japanese or Arabic, select the correct language for input from your computer’s task bar or desktop
  • Click NEXT when you are finished with the Writing section response

Hint: After 5 minutes on the same test item, the system will display the following message: “The system will log you out in 5 minutes. If you need additional time, please click here.” Clicking the button will give you an additional five minutes before the message appears again.

Speaking Section

  • One question that is human-scored
  • Typically takes 5 – 10 minutes to complete
  • To record a response, click RECORD; click STOP when done recording
  • After recording, click PLAY to listen to your recording then do one of the following:
    1. If you want to add to the recording, click Record/Add to Recording
    2. If you want to delete the recording and start over, click START OVER
    3. When the recording is complete, click NEXT


For the Speaking Section, click PLAY after recording to verify that the response was recorded properly.

  • If the response is inaudible or of poor quality, DO NOT CLICK NEXT.
  • You can try recording again, but should contact the test proctor or teacher if there are headset issues, or if a problem persists
  • Never click NEXT to bypass the test item –if the problem cannot be resolved during the current testing session, click STOP TEST (and resume the test after the problem is resolved)

Following these procedures will prevent having a speaking response that cannot be graded. Keep in mind that Avant graders hear exactly what you are able to hear.

You are done with the test when you see the message that says "Test Complete. Please click the Stop Test link to logout." All testing results will be delivered directly to your testing administrator within 3-5 business days of test completion.

Additional Help

For help, contact the organization that is sponsoring your test. Typical issues they can help with include:

  • Computer setup and troubleshooting
  • Provide test Logins and passwords
  • Basic test-taking questions

Technology Requirements

The Avant PLACE test does not need to be delivered in a proctored environment. Avant PLACE test takers take the test “on their own” and are responsible for ensuring the readiness of the computers they will be using, with the support of the school/organization that is sponsoring the test.

Due to the large number of possible combinations of different hardware, software, operating systems, browsers, security systems and settings, it is difficult to provide computer configuration support from afar. This document provides information to help you prepare your computer and troubleshoot any problems that you may encounter.

Technology Requirements

Technology Requirements

Possible error messages that you may see while viewing the Avant STAMP 4S Sample Test for Speaking or during the Speaking section of the actual Avant PLACE test include:

  • Low microphone level
  • Netstream error
  • Error in controller initialization

In nearly all cases, these messages are due to an issue with the computer or network setup. Some suggestions are:

  • Be sure to use a supported browser
  • Make sure that you have the most recent version of Flash Player
  • Make sure that pop-ups are not blocked
  • Check the operating system’s sound configuration
  • For error messages that are different than the ones listed above, Google the message to see if you can find an explanation and online help in a tech forum
  • Make sure that security settings and configurations are not blocking access to Avant’s Flash Player servers

Security settings and configurations are probably the most difficult setup issues to troubleshoot. Your network, hardware and software may have come with presets that you are unaware of and have no experience with. If that is the case, and you don’t have someone locally who can help you, we recommend that, if possible, you complete the Reading and Writing sections of the test on your computer and network, then use a different setup for the Speaking section of the test.

For example, you can try:

  • A different computer
  • Your computer on a different network
  • A different computer on a different network

Updated July 2016

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