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About Virginia Western :: College Policies

I-7: Placement Testing

Policy Number: I-7
Last Reviewed: March 31, 2017
Responsible Dept.: Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs

Policy Document (PDF)

Placement Testing

Each college shall offer VCCS approved placement strategies that provide consistent and reliable assessment results for students applying to enroll in associate degree, diploma, and certificate programs and in courses that require a reading, writing, or math prerequisite. Students enrolling in Career Studies Certificate programs may be waived from placement, unless a course in the program requires a reading, writing, or math prerequisite. Assessment should be offered through placement testing and other approved measures. VCCS policies, guidelines and procedures shall be followed when assessing students.

Dual enrolled high school students who enroll in programs or courses must meet the admissions criteria specified in the General Admissions Policy 1-12 and VCCS Policy 6.0.1.1.

In determining students' readiness for college-level English and math courses, colleges will use the following means and measures:

  1. Any student who has earned an associate degree or higher who has earned a C or better in college-level courses in math and/or English at a regionally accredited institution will be exempt from placement testing provided they meet the prerequisites for the respective courses in their chosen program of study.
  2. Any student who has successfully completed developmental courses at a VCCS institution will be exempt from placement testing in those areas. Previously taken developmental courses will be valid for five years after the term taken.
  3. Any student who has successfully completed developmental courses at a non-VCCS institution within the last five years will have their coursework evaluated for placement.
  4. A student may submit a high school/home school transcript or an approved test score for placement evaluation. Placement will be based on tables found in tables 7.1 and 7.2 of this policy. Seniors who have not yet graduated may submit a transcript at the completion of the first semester of their senior year to determine readiness for placement into college­level courses for the purpose of early admission.
  5. Any student not placed by the above criteria will take the Virginia Placement Test or ESL­specific test, as appropriate. Students have the option to take the Virginia Placement Test in order to improve their placement standing after other measures are considered. Such placement test scores will not be used to place a student in a lower English or math course than indicated by other criteria, unless the student desires the lower placement.

7.1 Measures for Math Placement

Math placement will be determined using one of the following measures.

Mathematics Criteria HS GPA or Score Range Placement
HS GPA & Alg. II & One Alg. Intensive Course * *3.0 or higher MTE 1-9 Satisfied
2.7 - 2.9 MTE 1-9 Co-req. Eligible
HS GPA & Alg. II 3.0 or higher MTE 1-5 Satisfied
2.7 - 2.9 MTE 1-5 Co-req. Eligible
HS GPA & Alg. I 3.0 or higher MTE 1-3 Satisfied
SAT - Mathematics (tested before March 2016) 520 MTE 1-9 Satisfied
SAT - Mathematics (tested in/after March 2016) 530 or above MTE 1-9 Satisfied
510 - 520 MTE 1-5 Satisfied
ACT - Subject Area Math 22 or above MTE 1-9 Satisfied
19 - 21 MTE 1-5 Satisfied
GED - Math 165 or above MTE 1-5 Satisfied
155 - 164 MTE 1-3 Satisfied

* Students may complete the Virginia Placement Test - Calculus for placement into Calculus and 200-level Statistics.

7.2 Measures for English Placement

English placement will be determined using one of the following measures.

English Criteria HS GPA or Score Range Placement
HS GPA 3.0 or higher ENG 111
2.7 - 2.9 ENF 3/ENG 111
SAT - Critical Reading & Writing (tested before March 2016) 500 in both areas ENG 111
SAT - Evidence Based Reading & Writing (tested in/after March 2016) 480 or above ENG 111
460 - 470 ENF 3/ENG 111
ACT - Subject Area Tests English & Reading 18 or above ENG 111
15 - 17 ENF 3/ENG 111
GED - English 165 or above ENG 111

7.3 Validity and Retesting

High school GPA is valid for five years after the date of high school graduation. SAT, ACT, and GED test scores are valid for five years after the date of the test. Virginia Placement Test scores are valid for five years after the date of the test.

Students who take the Virginia Placement Test who do not enroll in developmental education courses are allowed to take one retest within twelve months. Students who attempt developmental education courses are ineligible for a retest.

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