Placement Testing :: Northern Virginia Community College

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Placement Testing

Policy Number: 605

Categorized: Student Services

Responsible Office: AVP for Academic Services

Subject: Math and English Placement Testing for New Students

Related Policies:


Additional Information: Placement Tests, Testing Procedures, Dual Enrollment Testing

Effective Date:

Last Reviewed Date: 08/25/2017

1.0 Scope

This policy applies to all new curricular students, dual enrollment students and to non-curricular students who wish to take English or math courses. This policy does not apply to visiting/transient students.

2.0 Policy Statement

New students at NOVA are required to take the English and math placement tests or provide other appropriate documentation to assess their college readiness and to determine placement in certain courses. These tests are intended to assist students in selecting courses and designing an academic program in which they will most likely be successful. Students are encouraged to take placement tests in English and mathematics before enrolling in classes. The English placement test must be taken prior to registering for the sixteenth credit. The math placement test is required to enroll in college-level math classes. Students who meet criteria listed in the current Catalog may be exempt from the placement test requirement.

3.0 Definitions

Curricular student: A student shall be classified as a curricular student if the following three conditions are satisfied: (1) the student holds a high school diploma, a GED or its equivalent, or is otherwise determined qualified for admission; (2) the required documents for general admission to a curricular program are received by the Office of Admissions; and (3) the student has been admitted to one of the college's curricula including international students requiring issuance of an I-20.

Non-curricular student: Students who are not formally admitted to one of the regular curricula but who are classified according to the following student goals or conditions are considered non-curricular students. (International students requiring issuance of an I-20 or students receiving Federal or State aid are not eligible for these categories):

(a)  Upgrading Employment Skills for Present Job
(b)  Developing Skills for New Job
(c)  Career Exploration
(d)  Personal Satisfaction and General Knowledge
(e)  Transient Student -Student who maintains primary enrollment with another postsecondary institution and elects to enroll in the VCCS.
(f)  High School Student dual enrollment or dual credit
(g)  Auditing a course

Dual enrollment student: A high school or home schooled student earning college credits for courses taken through NOVA while still being enrolled in high school.

Visiting/transient student: A student who maintains primary enrollment with another postsecondary institution and elects to enroll at NOVA.

4.0 Procedures

  • Prior to testing, students must have submitted an Application for Admission to the College.
  • Placement tests are administered through the Testing Center at each campus. Extended Learning Institute students may use any of the NOVA campus Testing Centers. Some placement testing for ELI students may be arranged to be administered outside the Northern Virginia region.
  • Placement tests may be administered at local high schools for dual enrollment and Pathway to the Baccalaureate students.
  • Students with disabilities who require accommodations for testing should follow the procedures for requesting accommodations described in the College‚Äôs Disability Support Services web page. Placement tests are untimed.
  • Detailed testing procedures are available on the College website.

5.0 Authority

VCCS Policies, Placement

VCCS Policy Dual Enrollment Student Admissions