Placement Tests

Placement tests

Testing Center

Located in room M607 in the Main Building, the Testing Center offers students placement testing, makeup testing and testing for online courses. Click here for hours.

Placement Tests

Most students who want to take a credit class at PVCC need to start with a placement test so that we match your knowledge with the appropriate classes to take. We use the Virginia Placement Test (VPT) for placement in English and math. Each placement test usually takes one to two hours, and there is no fee involved.

Pointers to help you achieve your highest scores on placement tests:

  • Take practice tests.  falsefalse
  • Take math and English placement tests on different days to minimize test fatigue.
  • Give yourself the time you need. The test is not timed! If you are about to start the test and will be crunched for time (personal deadline, center closing, etc.), you can stop at any point and return to the test later, even on another day.
  • Take the placement test seriously. The test determines your starting level in both math and English. Students who take the math or English placement test and do not enroll in a math or English course are allowed to take one retest within 12 months. Students who enroll in any math or English course are ineligible for a retest.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What can I do to prepare for the English placement test?
  • The first part of the test requires you to write an essay. Once you choose between the two given topics, take some time to plan your essay. Scratch paper is available for brainstorming, freewriting, or outlining.
  • Think in terms of a traditional five paragraph essay, with an introduction stating the main idea, three supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion restating the main idea.
  • It is very important for you to take time to carefully proofread your essay as it is 60 percent of your overall score.
  • The second part of the test is 40 multiple choice questions about passages that you will read. Please take your time!
  • For additional online resources to review for the VPT English, go to Online Resources for the VPT English Placement Test.
How long are my placement test scores valid?

Math and English placement results are good for two years from the date taken.

Can I take a makeup test for a PVCC class?

Your instructors will tell you if they allow makeup tests. You can only take a makeup test in PVCC’s Testing Center by special arrangement with your instructor.

Where do I take tests for PVCC online courses?

When you take an online course, you will be required to take some of your tests in a proctored or supervised setting in PVCC’s Testing Center, or at another site if special arrangements are made.

If you are enrolled in a course through PVCC and want to take your tests at another testing site, read the instructions and fill out the forms here.

Can I take other schools’ tests in the PVCC Testing Center?

If you are enrolled in a distance learning class through another college or university and you would like to take your tests at the PVCC Testing Center, you will need to make arrangements with your school and with PVCC. You can come into the Testing Center to make arrangements or read the instructions and fill out the form here. There is a $25.00 proctoring fee for each test for schools that are not part of the Virginia Community College System. Some schools pay this fee and others require the student to do so. You may wish to check your school's policy before paying the fees to PVCC.

Can I take a PVCC test at another location?

If you are enrolled in a course through PVCC and want to take your tests at another testing site, read the instructions and fill out the forms here.

Can I Use a Calculator for the Math VPT?
  • An electronic basic four function calculator is provided as a pop-up window to assist with the Math test.
  • Students who wish to test into Calculus are encouraged to practice with a four function calculator instead of a graphing calculator.
  • Personal calculators of any kind cannot be used.