If I receive an "R"
in an ESL class, can I re-take the placement test to get into
a higher level?
weeks of evaluation by an instructor is a better measure of
student skills than a two-hour test. Therefore, course grades
take precedence over placement test results, and the placement
test may not be used to get around R course grades.
I can only afford
to take one ESL class. Which should it be--reading or writing?
Reading. Lack of success in writing courses is often related
to problems with reading.
I completed the
entire ESL program at another college, and was ready to take
ENG 111 before I transferred. Why am I back in ESL here?
Different colleges have different standards. NVCC's English
skills standards are certainly higher than some colleges and
lower than others. Your placement into ESL classes means that
you are not yet ready for success in ENG 111 here at NVCC.
When can I begin
taking courses outside the ESL program?
With very few exceptions, you must have qualified for ESL
Level 4 (ESL 006, ESL 012) or higher to be eligible to enroll
in non-ESL courses. However, some NVCC courses require even
higher English placement, so if you are interested in taking
courses in a particular department, you are strongly urged to
contact that department for guidance on their English
requirements for particular courses.
Who needs to take
the English placement test?
All students whose native language is not English are required
to take the English placement test in order to determine if
their skills are sufficient to allow them to perform in a
How is my placement
Placement up to ESL Level 3 (ESL 005, 007, 011) is determined
by the ACCUPLACER LOEP score alone. If you are asked to write
an essay, your placement may be Level 3 or higher. Note: All
essays are evaluated by a full-time ESL faculty member.
What does the score
R.C.E. stands for "Recommended for Community Education".
What can I do if I
get a score of R.C.E.?
NVCC has other ESL courses in its Community Education
division. Additionally, ESL classes are offered by various
cities and counties around Northern Virginia. Many students
with RCE scores can find suitable instruction in one of these
programs to prepare them for entry into the NVCC credit ESL
program at a later date.
Why doesn't the
college use the TOEFL test for ESL placement?
TOEFL provides an overall assessment of English proficiency,
not placement into a particular ESL program. The NVCC ESL
placement test compares your skills to those of other students
in the NVCC program, and thus shows where in this program you
Second, students must schedule their own TOEFL tests months in
advance, and pay a fee. The NVCC placement test does not
require an appointment, and there is no fee.
kind of test is the ACCUPLACER?
The ACCUPLACER is a computer test of 60 multiple-choice
questions in reading skills, sentence meaning and
language usage which usually lasts approximately two (2)
hours to complete. The ACCUPLACER is an untimed test.
Students who score 300 points or higher on the
multiple-choice test are required to write a one (1)
hour essay for more accurate placement in the ESL
and where do I take the ACCUPLACER?
The ACCUPLACER test is administered in the
LR 251. No appointment is required, but students must
arrive at least three (3) hours prior to closing in
order to take this exam. A valid photo ID and the
student EmplID# are required to take the test.
often can I take the ACCUPLACER?
If you take the ACCUPLACER and score below 225, you can
retake the test at the end of 6 months. If you take the
ACCUPLACER and score 225 and above but do not take any
ESL classes at NVCC, you may retake the test at the end
of one (1) year. If you take the ACCUPLACER, score 225
and above and enroll in ESL classes in the credit
program at NVCC, you may only retake the test one full
year after the end of the last ESL class.
can’t I take the ACCUPLACER more often?
Student results do not vary much when the test is
retaken in a short period. Allowing students to retake
the ACCUPLACER encourages focus on the test instead of
the more important English skills that it measures.
can I go if I have other questions?
Evelyn Ward, Riley Holzberlein, and Lisa Stelle are the
ESL faculty members on campus. You can reach Evelyn
Ward by calling 450-2550, Riley Holzberlein by calling
450-2626, or Lisa Stelle by calling 450-2529.