Placement Tests

Testing Center

The Testing Center, Room 607 Main Building, proctors placement tests, makeup tests, and tests for online courses. Click here for hours.

What is the Virginia Placement Test?
The Virginia Community College System (VCCS), including Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC), administers to the Virginia Placement Test (VPT). It is not an admission test. It evaluates readiness for college-level English and math courses, and it ensures that students are placed into the right course(s) for their program of study.

Do I need to take the VPT?
Most students are required to take the VPT. However, ACT/SAT, AP exam, and GED test scores as well as high school coursework and cumulative HS GPA may exempt students from taking it. Click measures for English and math placement or speak to an academic advisor to find out if you need to take the VPT.

What should I expect when taking the VPT?
The VPT for English and the VPT for Math are computerized, not paper and pencil. Both tests are untimed, yet students should allow two hours to complete each test. At the end of the VPT, students will receive a printout which lists the course(s) they may take, not a passing score. Students may retake the VPT for English, VPT for Math, or both once in a 12-month period; however students may not retake the VPT once enrolled in a corresponding developmental course. Click VPT brochure and watch the video for more information.

How should I prepare for the VPT?
Students are strongly encouraged to take a practice test prior to taking the VPT. If students need additional hep prior to taking the the test, online resources and tutoring are available at no cost in The First Quadrant Math Center (VPT for math) and The Writing Center (VPT for English). Tutors are available on a first-come, first-serve basis or by appointment. Click VPT brochure and see the following checklists for more information.

VPT for Math Checklist

  • Take an online practice test. Additonal practice problems are available, too. Click here to access additional math practice.
  • If needed, use computer-based tutorial in The First Quadrant Math Center, Room M253 in the Main Building.
  • If desired, meet with a math tutor to review previously learned material, not new concepts.
  • Take the placement test in the Testing Center, Room M607 in the Main Building.

VPT for English Checklist

Online Practice Test
Click to complete an online practice test.

  1. Select Student Self-Registration.
  2. Under institution, choose VCCS Practice Test Institution.
  3. Under site, select VCCS Practice Test.
  4. In the password field, enter Virginiapt.
  5. Complete the required fields (denoted by a red asterisk) and click submit.
  6. Select a practice test to complete.
  7. Once registered on the VPT practice site, users will receive a user ID and password.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Do I need a photo ID to take the VPT?

Yes, you must present a photo ID to the Testing Center prior to taking the VPT.

How much does it cost to take the VPT?

There is no fee to take the VPT.


How long are my placement test scores valid?

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

If English is not my native language, do I take the VPT for English?

No, non-native speakers take the Accuplacer test, not the VPT for English.


Am I exempt from taking the VPT for English, VPT for Math, or both?

Students who have completed college-level English, college-level math, or have taken the ACT/SAT may be exempt. Contact Admissions & Advising for assistance.


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 much should I study for the VPT?

You should brush up on previously learned material but do not attempt to learn new material.


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.
If I am not pleased with my placement results, may I retake the VPT?

Yes, you may retake the VPT once in a 12-month period, but you may not retake it once you start a corresponding developmental course.


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 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 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.