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Placement Testing

Virginia Placement Tests

Please note: Due to COVID-19, placement testing has been suspended until further notice. Please contact the Advising Center to discuss your options for correct placement without taking a placement test. For more information on the Virginia Placement Test procedures and waivers during this time, please go here

The Virginia Placement Tests (VPT) determine which English and mathematics courses you are prepared to take. 

You may be required to take the VPT, if you:

Preparing for the VPT

Whether or not you have studied English and mathematics recently, you will want to prepare for the VPT. Not reviewing before taking the placement tests could possibly place you in a course that is lower than your actual skill level, costing you time and money.

Here are some resources to help:

Taking the Tests

  • Placement tests are free, and no appointment is necessary.  
  • You'll take the VPT on a computer in the Testing Center at Chester or Midlothian. Please have your Student ID number ready.  
  • Students are only allowed to use the online embedded calculator available in the test. Computer's calculator apps or other online calculators are not allowed. 
  • The tests are not timed. Each test generally takes between 3 and 4 hours, so we encourage students to take English and math tests at separate times.
  • Placement tests can be started no later than 5:30 p.m. Monday – Thursday and 2:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. 

Testing Centers Hours and Locations

What’s on the Tests?

The English test has a 40-question multiple-choice reading comprehension section and a written essay. The essay is more heavily weighted in the total English score. The essay will be a response to one of two writing prompts.

The essay will be scored on a combination of quality of content, paragraph and sentence organization, and structure, coherence of ideas, thesis statement, topic sentences, spelling, and grammar.

The mathematics test, which includes algebra basics, will progress in difficulty. An electronic four-function calculator will be provided in a pop-up window to assist you. Personal calculators or any other devices used for calculations are prohibited.

If you need an accommodation because you have an identified disability, contact Disabilities Support Services.

Next Steps

Once you have your scores, meet with an advisor in the Advising Center to determine which math and English courses are best for you.

Students who take the placement tests but do not enroll in a developmental math or English course are allowed to take 1 retest within 12 months. Students who attempt developmental course work are ineligible for a retest.

Test scores are valid for five years after the date of the test. 

Developmental coursework includes MTE and ENF classes. 

Exceptions to this retest policy may be made on a case-by-case basis by the Associate Dean of Advising.


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