Placement testing is required of most students before beginning classes at Virginia Western. All students who are entering a program of study or enrolling in any courses requiring a mathematics or English prerequisite (Description of Courses) (includes transfer students who do not have credit in mathematics or English) must take the Virginia Placement Test (VPT).
Students must submit their applications for admission to Virginia Western before taking the placement tests. Placement testing must be completed prior to meeting with an academic adviser to establish a course schedule.
Students can retake the placement test one time within 12 months of the initial attempt of the VPT.
New students are exempt from taking the placement tests if they have taken the SAT and received a score of 500 or above on critical reading and writing and/or 520 or above on math, or if they have taken the ACT and received a combined score of 21 or higher in the English and writing and/or a score of 22 or higher in math. Students must bring a copy of their scores with them to their counseling/advising appointment. Scores are valid for two (2) years from the testing date.
The VPT is a computerized test composed of two separate assessments, English and math. Each test will take between 2 and 3 hours to complete. Students needing to complete both tests should consider taking them on separate days to avoid fatigue. Individual testing times depend on how long it takes the test taker to answer the questions and how consistently he or she answers the questions.
Placement tests are not graded per se; they are simply used to place students into appropriate courses. However, students should put their best effort into these tests to demonstrate a readiness to take college level courses and to avoid being placed into courses that may not be needed.
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When students prepare to take the placement tests, the importance of reviewing material that has previously been studied cannot be over emphasized. The placement test is not an admissions test or an aptitude test. The test measures how well students demonstrate skills and proficiencies which will indicate the courses they are prepared to take. Not reviewing before taking the placement test could place students into courses that are below their actual skill level. This can delay a student's progress by one or more semesters, causing disruption in course sequencing and costing extra time and money.
Students are highly encouraged to start the review process early to provide enough time to practice and to build confidence in taking the placement test. This will ensure the most accurate course placement for each student.
Students looking for further assistance in preparing to take the VPT can sign up for individual tutoring support in the Testing Center.
This document is intended to help students review for the VPT-English Test. It should prove useful whether students use these resources before or after taking the VPT-English Practice Test. The document is arranged according to six broad categories. Each category includes links to specific online resources as well as bulleted lists of activities that students will find at the online sites.
Online Resources for VPT English Review (pdf)
(All links were verified on December 7th 2012.)
This site is designed to help students prepare for the Mathematics placement test by strengthening existing skills and brushing up on the skills that need improvement. This interactive site asks sample questions and checks the answers before allowing students to move on. If the student gets an incorrect answer, links to outside resources on that specific topic are suggested for further review.
Note: At this point, Math Site is a pilot, containing only resources for the first three units of the VPT Math.
Students can take a diagnostic practice test in VPT English, math, or both. Following the practice test, students are able to view their scores and receive feedback on which areas they can benefit from further review.
You can download a printable set of practice questions for the VPT here.
Placement tests are given in the Testing Center located on the ground floor of Brown Library.
The Testing Center is open Monday - Thursday 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM, Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, and Saturday 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM. Placement tests are not timed but generally will take between 3 and 4 hours to take both tests.
No appointment is necessary to take a placement test. Students will need a picture ID and their student identification number (A student ID number will be generated after completing the VWCC online application process). There is no fee for placement testing. Any student who is retesting will need to present a testing slip from Advising. Please do not bring children with you to the Testing Center.
Please feel free to call the Testing Center with questions: 540-857-7250
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