Placement testing is required of most students before beginning classes at New River. All students who are entering a program of study or enrolling in any courses requiring a mathematics or English prerequisite (includes transfer students who do not have credit in mathematics or English) must take the Virginia Placement Test (VPT).
Students must submit their applications for admission to New River before taking the placement tests. Placement testing must be completed prior to meeting with an academic adviser to establish a course schedule.
Students can retake the placement test one time within 12 months of the initial attempt of the VPT.
New students are exempt from taking the placement tests if they have taken the SAT and received a score of 500 or above on critical reading and writing and/or 520 or above on math, or if they have taken the ACT and received a combined score of 21 or higher in the English and writing and/or a score of 22 or higher in math. Students must bring a copy of their scores with them to their counseling/advising appointment. Scores are valid for two (2) years from the testing date.
The VPT is a computerized test composed of two separate assessments, English and math. Each test will take between 2 and 3 hours to complete. Students needing to complete both tests should consider taking them on separate days to avoid fatigue. Individual testing times depend on how long it takes the test taker to answer the questions and how consistently he or she answers the questions.
Placement tests are not graded per se; they are simply used to place students into appropriate courses. However, students should put their best effort into these tests to demonstrate a readiness to take college level courses and to avoid being placed into courses that may not be needed.
When students prepare to take the placement tests, the importance of reviewing material that has previously been studied cannot be over emphasized. The placement test is not an admissions test or an aptitude test. The test measures how well students demonstrate skills and proficiencies which will indicate the courses they are prepared to take. Not reviewing before taking the placement test could place students into courses that are below their actual skill level. This can delay a student's progress by one or more semesters, causing disruption in course sequencing and costing extra time and money.
Students are highly encouraged to start the review process early to provide enough time to practice and to build confidence in taking the placement test. This will ensure the most accurate course placement for each student.
Students looking for further assistance in preparing to take the VPT can sign up for individual tutoring support in the Learning Technology Center.
Students can take a diagnostic practice test in VPT English, math, or both. Following the practice test, students are able to view their scores and receive feedback on which areas they can benefit from further review.
Click here for further instructions on taking the VPT practice test.
You can also download a printable set of practice questions for the VPT Mathematics Test (PDF) here.
Details about the individual units can be found on the math department webpage.
Placement tests are given at our testing centers.
*Note: Please call ahead and check as normal testing hours may change when classes are not in regular session.
Placement tests are not timed but generally will take between 2 and 3 hours. Please NOTE: You must start a placement test at least 2 hours prior to closing.
No appointment is necessary to take a placement test. Students will need a picture ID and their student identification number (A student ID number will be generated after completing the NRCC online application process). There is no fee for placement testing.