A method is presented for calculating energy levels of atom-rigid-diatom systems for various values of the total angular momentum (J) of the complex. The technique is based upon the collocation method for the vibrational motions of the system and the Galerkin approach for the total rotation. Unlike the Rayleigh-Ritz variational principle, the method does not require the evaluation of integrals over the Hamiltonian and so is very simple to implement. An important feature of the method is that the wave function is obtained in an analytic form and so it is a simple matter to calculate many quantities of spectroscopic interest such as rotational constants and spectral intensities. It is also shown that contracted basis sets can be used in conjunction with the collocation method to enhance the efficiency of the calculation. The method is demonstrated by calculating rovibrational levels of the van der Waals complex ArHCl for J up to 10. © 1989 American Institute of Physics.