The purpose of this article is to briefly describe the design and piloting of a branched, online placement and credit examination that measures receptive as well as productive and creative language abilities in the heritage language of college students entering the Spanish for Heritage Learners Program at the University of Houston, a major metropolitan university in the Southwestern United States. Special emphasis is given to the linguistics tasks included in the examination's blueprint and the results obtained in its pilot implementation. The analysis of the results from each section of the test not only helps distinguish among different ability levels (and consequently achieve a more accurate class placement), but it also contributes to the consolidation of a typology of Hispanic heritage students, thus generating a better understanding of their learning needs.