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Placement Tests - Central Virginia Community College

Placement Tests

The Virginia Placement Test

The Virginia Community College System is using the Virginia Placement Test (VPT) to place students into English and Math classes. The VPT is not a pass/fail test but will determine the English or Math classes in which students can begin. There are two sections of the VPT, English and Math, both are untimed. Those taking the test should allow two hours for each portion of the test.

The VPT English assessment consists of an essay question and 40 multiple choice questions. The essay must be a multi-paragraph essay. There will be two topics to choose from and you must choose one to write about. Once you start the essay, you cannot go back and change the topic. Please see below for tips on successful essay writing. Upon completion of the essay, you will be given 40 multiple choice questions. It is advised that you read the questions before reading the passages.
  • The essay should follow the proper structure of an essay. There should be an introduction paragraph, supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph.
  • Do not write the title of the essay, your name, the date, or any other piece of information that is not part of the body of the essay. Only the body of the essay should be typed into the text box.
  • Make sure to distinguish between paragraphs by pressing enter one time.
  • Make sure to read over your essay, looking for spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors before submitting the essay. Once you submit the essay, you cannot go back and edit it.
  • You may not use any additional help, for example, a dictionary, asking neighbors for assistance, any type of online help, notes brought in to the testing lab, or any other type of help.
  • You may use scratch paper and pencil or pen. Any notes, pre-written essays, or written brainstorming ideas MUST be 1) Done in the lab, not brought into the lab and 2) be discarded before leaving the testing lab. It is against VCCS policy to take any notes or written essays out of the testing lab.
The VPT Math assessment consists of an initial 30 questions assessing your Algebra I skills. You may NOT use your own calculator, there will be one supplied on the test. You may NOT bring math notes, practice questions, formula sheets, or any other type of assistance. You may use scratch paper. Upon completion of the initial 30 questions, one of the following will occur:
  • If you score out of Algebra I, you will be given another 30 questions assessing your Algebra II skills.
  • If you do not score out of Algebra I, you will be given either Algebra I diagnostics (diagnostic 1 through 5) or you will be given a basic math test.
  • If you score out of Algebra II, you will be taken into a Calculus assessment or be finished, depending on how well you did on the Algebra II part.
  • If you do not score out of Algebra II, you will be given a series of five diagnostic tests to determine which areas of Algebra II you need help in.

There are a few ways to prepare for the VPT. You can watch this video explaining the test and there are practice tests available for students to become familiar with the test set-up and types of questions on the test. Instructions for the practice tests are available here - Virginia Practice Test Directions. The English practice test only covers the multiple choice portion of the English test. For the Math test, Practice Test 1 covers the content of Units 1 5; Practice Test 2 covers the content of Units 6 9. There are also practice tests available for the Calculus portions of the Math Placement Test. Visit vpt-math.vccs.edu/ for more information.

The topics of the Math Units are:

Unit 0 Operations with Whole Numbers
Unit 1 Operations with Positive Fractions
Unit 2 Operations with Positive Decimals and Percents
Unit 3 Algebra Basics
Unit 4 First Degree Equations and Inequalities in One Variable
Unit 5 Linear Equations, Inequalities and Systems of Linear Equations in Two Variables
Unit 6 Exponents, Factoring and Polynomial Equations
Unit 7 Rational Exponents and Equations
Unit 8 Rational Exponents and Radicals
Unit 9 Functions, Quadratic Equations and Parabolas

English Practice Math Practice
VPT English Placement Practice Test Instructions (PDF format)
Note: The VPT English Practice Test is only available in an online format.
Practice Test (printable version)
VPT ENG Practice Test Resources - Additional Practice Virginia Math Placement Practice Test (Online) Note: please download the instructions for the online practice test.
Essay Writing Tips from Essay-Writing-Tips.com VPT Math Site - VCCS Math Practice Site
Writing Skills Tips from InfoPlease.com MathTV.com - Video Lessons
Reading Comprehension and Practice Khan Academy - Math Tutorial Web Site

To take the VPT, a student must have applied to CVCC and have a student ID number (also known as an Empl ID or Customer ID number) and bring a valid photo ID when they come to test. Pencil and paper are provided for students to use on the test as well as an on-screen calculator (with some questions on the test, the on-screen calculator is not displayed). Outside calculators or cell phones are not allowed during the test and will cause a student to be dismissed from the test. Once a student has taken the test, they will need to see a Counselor to go over their scores and enroll in classes.

To be exempt from The Virginia Placement Test, see Testing Policy.

CVCC complies with the requirements of the American Disabilities Act.
CVCC is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Institution.


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Contact the Student Advising Center:
Central Virginia
Community College

3506 Wards Road
Lynchburg VA 24502-2498

Phone: 434.832.7800
FAX: 434.386.4681

Located in Amherst Hall, Room 2100