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Placement Testing

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Like other institutions of higher learning, Virginia Highlands Community College requires students applying to enroll in associate degree, diploma, and certificate programs and in courses that require a reading, writing, or math prerequisite to meet placement requirements for English and mathematics.

Students enrolling in Career Studies Certificate programs may be waived from placement testing, unless a course in the program requires a reading, writing, or math prerequisite.

In determining students’ readiness for college-level English and math courses, colleges will use the following criteria:

  1. Any student who has earned an associate degree or higher or 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, in the past five (5) years, at a non-VCCS institution will have their coursework evaluated for placement.

  3. A student may submit a high school/home school transcript or an approved test score for placement evaluation. High school GPA (HSGPA) is valid for five (5) years after the date of high school graduation. SAT, ACT and GED Test scores are valid for five (5) years after the date of the test. Seniors who have not yet graduated may submit a transcript as of the completion of the first semester of the senior year to determine readiness for placement into college-level courses for the purpose of early admission.

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

Math Placement Measures HSGPA or Score Range   Placement  
HSGPA and Algebra II and One Algebra Intensive Course
*Algebra Intensive Courses above Algebra II:
Trigonometry, Math Analysis, Pre-Calculus,
Calculus, Algebra III.
3.0 or higher   MTE 1-9 Satisfied
2.7-2.9 MTE 1-9 Co-Requisite Eligible
HSGPA and Algebra II 3.0 or higher MTE 1-5 Satisfied
2.7-2.9 MTE 1-5 Co-Requisite Eligible
HSGPA and Algebra I 3.0 or higher MTE 1-3 Satisfied
2.7-2.9  MTE 1-3 Co-Requisite Eligible  
SAT – Math 530 or above MTE 1-9 Satisfied
  510-520 range MTE 1-5 Satisfied
ACT – Subject Area Test Math 22 or above MTE 1-9 Satisfied
  19-21 range MTE 1-5 Satisfied
GED – Math 165 or above MTE 1-5 Satisfied
  155-165 range MTE 1-3 Satisfied


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

English Placement Measures HSGPA or Score Range   Placement  
3.0 or higher ENG 111
2.7-2.9 ENF3 / ENG 111
(Evidence-Based Reading and Writing)
480 or above ENG 111
460-470 range ENF3 / ENG 111
ACT - Subject Area Tests English and Reading 18 or above ENG 111
15-17 range ENF3 / ENG 111
GED-English 165 or above ENG 111


Any student who is not placed by the criteria listed above will be required to take the Virginia Placement Test (VPT). Students have the option to take the VPT 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 a lower placement. Students who take the VPT and who do not enroll in developmental English/Math are allowed to take one (1) retest within twelve (12) months.

Students who attempt a developmental English/Math course will be ineligible for a retest. Exceptions to this retest policy may be made on a case-by-case basis in accordance with established college procedures. VPT scores are valid for five (5) years after the date of the test. Previously taken developmental courses will be valid for five (5) years after term taken.

Official SAT or ACT scores should be submitted to the Student Services Division. An official report can be requested at

The counselors or English and mathematics faculty will document all mitigating circumstances that suggest an exception to the above placement rules.

Purpose of Placement Test
The purpose of these tests is to assure that students are academically prepared for college level work, regardless of prior grades, work experience, or academic history.

When to Schedule Testing
It is recommended that students schedule testing prior to enrollment period and not wait until enrollment days. For example, if a student plans to enroll during fall semester, testing should occur during the summer prior to fall registration. All students must complete the VHCC Application for Admissions before placement testing. The Testing Center administers all placement tests (LRC 121A).

Refer to the Placement Testing Guide for more information. If you have questions, contact the Student Services at (276)739-2438.

Math Resources

English Resources

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