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Remote Placement Guidance for Students

Placement Guidance for Students, Summer and Fall 2020 Registration

Because NOVA testing centers are unable to conduct routine placement testing at this time, new students are provided with a variety of options to determine placement for English and mathematics. Students will need to complete any prerequisite coursework required as a condition of enrollment and should use one of the methods listed below to assess their readiness for entry-level courses such as College Composition and Quantitative Reasoning.

Starting with classes for which you are well prepared helps position you for a better college experience. If you are a first-year student who is a recent high school graduate (ages 17-24) and has never attended another college, you will be advised on academic placement and appropriate course selection as part of the virtual registration lab. You should be prepared to provide appropriate transcripts or standardized test scores as documentation to demonstrate academic preparedness for multiple measures and/or direct placement. If you are an incoming Pathway to the Baccalaureate student, please contact the NOVA Pathway Counselor in your high school for placement and advising assistance and for information about the Pathway orientation sessions.

Please carefully read the information below because you are responsible for making an informed decision about your placement. Counselors, advisors and faculty members are available to assist you with placement recommendations based on the assessment options listed below. In addition, diagnostic pre-tests will be given on the first day of many classes and you will have an opportunity to change to a different level of class before the Census Date (the date when a course may be dropped for a refund). After the Census Date, a refund will not be approved for students who believe they are not in the correct courses.

Please keep in mind for any self-assessments we expect that you adhere to the rules and principles outlined in our NVCC Student Handbook: Academic Integrity. NOVA expects you to complete the work on your own, and that you will not utilize any resources outside of the test itself. Following these guidelines will provide the best results to reflect your actual abilities in college-level coursework.


Recent High School Graduates Within the Past Five Years

First-year students who are recent high school graduates (ages 17-24) and have never attended another college before will be advised on academic placement and appropriate course selection as part of their virtual registration lab. Students should be prepared to provide appropriate transcripts or standardized test scores as documentation to demonstrate academic preparedness for multiple measures and/or direct placement. Incoming Pathway to the Baccalaureate students should contact the NOVA Pathway Counselor in their high school for placement and advising assistance and for information about Pathway orientation sessions. Your placement guidance will be informed by the following:

NOVA staff are available to help you interpret your self-assessment results and advise you on the best course selections.


First Time in College Students Who Graduated High School Prior to 2015

If you graduated from high school prior to Summer 2015 and have NOT previously attended colleges other than NOVA, your placement can be determined by the following:

NOVA staff are available to help you interpret your practice tests and self-assessments and advise you on the best course selections. Have an unofficial copy of any test or practice test scores available during your academic counseling appointment:


Transfer Students and Students With Previous College Coursework

If you have attended colleges other than NOVA in the past, your placement recommendations may be guided by the following:

New NOVA students who have attended another college or university should meet with a counselor or advisor and have their transcripts sent for evaluation

Have an unofficial copy of any college transcripts and other documents available for your advising appointment:


International Students

Who needs to take the English as a Second Language (ESL) Placement Assessment?

  1. Students who did not complete high school in the United States, whose primary language is not English, and who do not have TOEFL/IELTS/ACT/SAT test scores.
  2. International students (F/M/J) whose primary language is not English and who do not have TOEFL iBT or IELTS-Academic test scores from 2015 or later.
    • TOEFL iBT score of below 19 in each of the four sections: Writing, Reading, Listening, and Speaking.
    • IELTS-Academic score below 6.5 in each of the four sections: Writing, Reading, Listening, and Speaking.
  3. Students who completed high school in the United States for whom English is not a primary language, and who did not meet the criteria for placing into ENG 111/ENF 3. You may email ESL@nvcc.eduto speak with an ESL advisor about placement options.
  4. International students should work with their International Student Advisor. For more details on the English placement requirements for International students check the International Admissions page.

What is the ESL Placement Assessment?

The assessment has 2 parts:

  1. Reading Comprehension section. 40 multiple-choice questions. 45 minutes.
  2. Writing section. It includes:
    • A short reading to which you will write a response. 30 minutes
    • An open question that you will write a response to. 60 minutes

How do I take the ESL Placement Assessment?

  • After you submit your NOVA application, you will receive an email from the International Students Office with specific instructions on how to take the assessment.
  • Check the email that you put on your application form. 

How do I get my results for the ESL Placement Assessment?

  • You will receive your assessment result by email.
  • Contact ESL@nvcc.edu for questions about your placement and class registration information or any other follow up questions.
  • Each ESL class will have a diagnostic (pre-test) on the first day of class. You might be recommended to move up or down based on your results.

How can I prepare for the ESL Placement Assessment?

You may use any online resources to review or you may check out these links.

Please Note

  • Students must have completed a NOVA college application for the credit program prior to taking the placement 
  • If you need academic accommodations for a placement assessment at NOVA, please contact disabilityservices@nvcc.edu
  • Students with current Accuplacer, TOEFL iBT, or IELTS should use those scores for placement during the remote instruction period.
  • Each ESL class will have a diagnostic (pre-test) on the first day of class, so students have a second opportunity to be assessed then and have their placement adjusted before the Census Date.

Visiting Students From Other Colleges and Universities

If you are a visiting student from another college or university and plan to attend NOVA for one summer session or semester, you are exempt from placement testing, but not course prerequisites. A copy of the college or university transcript or letter of acceptance needs to be submitted to Virtual Advising.

Visiting students should view this website:

Visiting students may send their unofficial university transcript and specific course requests to Virtual Advising.


High School and Home School Students

If you are a high school or home school student interested in taking courses at NOVA (not at your high school), click below for information on admission, placement and course selection:

High School or Home School students interested in taking courses should be rising juniors or current juniors or seniors. After completing the steps listed on the website, including having the required form signed, contact the Counseling Office at the campus where you plan to take courses for a counseling appointment:


AP, IB and Other Placement Credit

If you have taken exams for college credit or have earned college credit at another institution, you may be eligible to receive credit at NOVA for that work through prior college coursework or testing. Test scores and prior college coursework may also be used for making placement recommendations.

Test scores from exams that offer college credit including Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), SAT II, and Cambridge exams may be used for placement purposes or to earn credit at NOVA. See the full list here:

Have the transcripts from other colleges or universities you have attended sent to NOVA for evaluation:

  • Transfer Credit Evaluation
  • If possible, have unofficial copies of transcripts and test scores with you when you meet with an advisor or counselor.

English Placement Guidelines

Are you ready for ENG 111 - College Composition?

NOVA offers a wide range of classes for students who need more time and practice to develop their skills in reading, writing, and critical thinking. English Fundamentals (ENF) classes are designed to meet the needs of students whose primary language is English, and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are designed to support multilingual learners. Both get students ready for ENG 111!

To determine if you are ready to enroll in ENG 111, you can:

A. Demonstrate readiness for English 111 College Composition with standardized test scores or your high school GPA:

Students who have taken the SAT, ACT, GED, or TOEFL iBT within the last five years may be considered eligible for ENG 111; or, ENG 111 co-enrolled with ENF 3 depending on their scores:

  • Students with a minimum score of 480 on the English Evidence-Based Reading/Writing SAT are eligible for ENG 111 (applies only to SATs taken after March 2016).
  • Students with a score between 460 and 479 on the English Evidence-Based Reading/Writing SAT are eligible for ENG 111 co-enrolled with ENF 3 (applies only to SATs taken before March 2016).
  • Students with a minimum score of 500 on both the Critical Reading and Writing portions of the SAT taken before March 2016 are eligible for ENG 111.
  • Students with a minimum score of 18 on both the English and Reading ACT are eligible for ENG 111.
  • Students with a score between 15 and 17 on both the English and Reading ACT are eligible for ENG 111 co-enrolled with ENF 3.
  • Students with a GED English score of 165 or above are eligible for ENG 111.
  • Students with a minimum score of 7 in each of the four categories (Writing, Reading, Listening, and Speaking) on the IELTS-Academic are eligible for ENG 111.
  • Students with a minimum score of at least 6.5 in each of the four categories (Writing, Reading, Listening, and Speaking) on the IELTS-Academic are eligible for ENG 111 co-enrolled with ENF 3.
  • Students with a minimum score of 24 or higher in Writing, Reading, and Speaking, and a 20 in Listening (92+ total) on the TOEFL iBT are eligible for ENG 111.
  • Students with a minimum score of 19 or higher in Writing, Reading, and Speaking, and in Listening (76 total) are eligible for ENG 111 co-enrolled with ENF 3.

Under certain circumstances, new students (starting in Summer or Fall 2018) who have graduated from high school within the last 5 years may be considered eligible for ENG 111 or ENG 111 co-enrolled with ENF 3:

  • With a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher, these students may be eligible for ENG 111.
  • With a high school GPA of 2.7-2.9, these students are eligible for ENG 111 co-enrolled with ENF 3.

In addition, the following students may be eligible for credit for ENG 111 and may not need to take ENG 111 at NOVA:

  • Students with a satisfactory score on AP, IB, Cambridge Advanced Level, or CLEP exams:
  • Students who completed with a C or higher the equivalent of ENG 111 at another regionally-accredited U.S. college or university.
B. Request assessment and advising guidance:
  • If your primary language is English and you do not have one of the methods listed above that demonstrates your readiness, you may complete this English Placement Advising Survey to request an assessment. An English advisor will get back to you with a recommendation by email.
  • If you are an international student or if English is not your primary language, please see the ESL section below for more information. You may request a remote assessment by contacting your campus Testing Center. You may also contact esl@nvcc.edu or the Office of International Students.
C. Assess your own readiness by taking the VPT-English Practice Test and answering the questions below:

Take the VPT-English Practice Test. Be sure to download your score.

Please answer the following questions honestly and carefully, so you select the class that helps you start strong and complete your courses successfully!

  1. Are you able to write focused, organized 2-3 page essays and edit them so they are nearly free of errors?
  2. Are you able to read and analyze college-level texts? You may review some samples.
  3. Review the following sample assignment: Would you feel comfortable completing this assignment on your own with minimal support?

    Research Paper: Defining and Analyzing a Problem

    You will write a 4-5 page paper that clearly defines a particular local, state or global problem or challenge and provides related background information to increase our understanding as to the nature of the problem. You are encouraged to choose a local, state or global issue in which you have a strong interest. First, you will define why and how it is a problem. The purpose here is not to solve the problem, but rather (1) to be objective in defining its origins and (2) to analyze its constituent parts in order to further our understanding of it.

    Description:

    Our starting point for this assignment is the inventor and researcher Charles Kettering’s famous quote: “A problem well-stated is a problem half-solved.” During class, we have been discussing different types of issues and their effects on society, persons, education, medical care, and so on. You will now choose an issue and proceed with finding and discussing related research. The result of your work will be a deeper understanding of the problem. You will define the issue by researching and analyzing its impacts and background.

    Throughout your paper, you will introduce and discuss quoted, paraphrased, and/or summarized passages. You will make sure to write in complete paragraphs, including (where appropriate) a thesis, introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion, and Works Cited or Reference page (depending upon whether you are using MLA or APA documentation).

Course Placement Recommendations based on above self-assessments:

  • If you answered yes to all of the questions and scored at least 60% on the practice VPT for English, you should consider enrolling in ENG 111.
  • If you answered yes to one or two of the questions and scored at least 60% on the practice VPT for English, you should consider enrolling in ENG 111 with ENF 3. ENF 3 is a 2 credit co-requisite class. It is a writing lab with 2 hours of direct, weekly instruction and support that runs in conjunction with ENG 111.
  • If you answered no (or “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure”) to all three questions or scored below 60% on the practice VPT for English, then ENF 1 or 2 may be right for you. Please complete this English Placement Advising Survey, so we can help you understand your options.
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ESL Placement Guidelines

Who needs to take the ESL Placement Assessment?

  1. Students who did not complete high school in the United States, whose primary language is not English, and who do not have TOEFL/IELTS/ACT/SAT test scores.
  2. International students (F/M/J) whose primary language is not English and who do not haveTOEFL iBT or IELTS-Academic test scores from 2015 or later. International students should work with their International Student Advisor.
    • TOEFL iBT score of below 19 in each of the four sections: Writing, Reading, Listening, and Speaking.
    • IELTS-Academic score below 6.5 in each of the four sections: Writing, Reading, Listening, and Speaking.
  3. Students who completed high school in the United States, for whom English is not a primary language, and who did not meet the criteria for placing into ENG 111/ENF 3, may email ESL@nvcc.edu to speak with an ESL advisor about placement options. 

What is the ESL Placement Assessment?

This assessment has two parts and should take less than two hours to complete:

  1. Reading Comprehension section with 40 multiple-choice questions.
  2. Writing section, which includes a short reading to which you will write a response and an open question to which you will write a response.

How do I take the ESL Placement Assessment?

  • Contact the Testing Center at NOVATesting@nvcc.edu to take the assessment.
  • You can take this assessment only once, so be sure you take it at a time you can do your best.

How do I get my results for the ESL Placement Assessment?

  • You will receive your assessment result by email.
  • Contact ESL@nvcc.edu for questions about your placement and class registration information or any other follow up questions.
  • Each ESL class will have a diagnostic (pre-test) on the first day of class. Your placement may need to be adjusted based on the results.

How can I prepare for the ESL Placement Assessment?

You may use any online resources to review or check out these links below.


Mathematics Placement Guidelines

Since the credit-level math course you take depends on your program of study (“major”), you should consult the College Catalog or your advisement report.

The Math Placement Guidance for Students will help you determine which mathematics course you should take. You should review the material below and follow the steps.

If you need assistance determining which math course to take, contact MATHplacement@nvcc.edu.

Here are some common math pathways (depending on your “major”):

Math Pathways

 


World Languages Placement Guidelines

Knowing your proficiency level before registering for a world language course is important. We want you to be successful in your courses and to be prepared to move on to the next level so you can complete the world languages requirement of your degree program. There are several ways to place into a world language level depending on the language you choose to study.

If you have taken language tests outside of NOVA (CLEP, AP, IB, SAT, NYU Proficiency Test) or are interested in the possibility of taking these tests and receiving credit for your scores, consult the Credit for Prior Learning Manual for more information:

If you have previous experience with and/or have learned a language in high school and wish to know what level to register for at NOVA, we have developed a set of World Languages Guidelines by Language to help you determine your proficiency (see below). In addition to these guidelines, you will also be given a diagnostic assessment on the first day of class to further confirm that you are accurately placed. For more assistance with placement levels, you may contact: worldlanguages@nvcc.edu.

World Language Guidelines by Language

Spanish

Students interested in registering for Spanish Courses (SPA 102, SPA 201, and SPA 202) should contact one of the Campus Testing Centers and ask to take the online Canvas placement test. Students with less than 2 years of experience with Spanish or are starting new with the language do not need to take the placement test and can register for SPA 101.

Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Latin or Russian

Students interested in registering for ARA, CHI, FRE, GER, JPN, KOR, LAT or RUS courses (101, 102, 201, and 202) should consult the following guidelines in order to self-place in the appropriate level:

Arabic

If you took one to two years of Arabic in high school or are starting new with the language, register for ARA 101.

If you took three to four years of Arabic in high school and can read and handwrite with ease in Arabic, and can carry on a conversation in Arabic in the present tense about yourself, family, and daily activities, register for ARA 102.

If you are comfortable speaking and writing in Arabic in the present and past tenses and future form, and know the plural and the gerund, register for ARA 201.

If you are comfortable carrying on a conversation about the weather, dining, asking directions, celebrations, and biographies in Arabic as well as write on those topics with ease; also, if you are able to read authentic texts, know how to use roots and patterns, and how to use the Arabic dictionary, register for ARA 202.

Chinese

If you took one year or less of Chinese in high school or are starting new with the language, register for CHI 101.

If you took two to three years of Chinese in high school and/or can carry on a conversation about yourself, family, profession, daily activities, hobbies, and can read Chinese characters in those topics, register for CHI 102.

If you took four years of Chinese in high school and/or are comfortable carrying on a conversation in Chinese about asking for help, making appointments, studying Chinese, school life, shopping and transportation, and can read Chinese characters in those topics, register for CHI 201.

If you are comfortable carrying on a conversation in Chinese about the weather, dining, asking directions, birthday celebrations and seeing a doctor and can read Chinese characters as well as write on those topics with ease, register for CHI 202.

French and German

If you took less than two years of French or German in high school or are starting new with the language, register for FRE or GER 101.

If you took two to three years of French or German in high school and/or can carry on a conversation in the language in the present tense about yourself, family, and daily activities, and are familiar with the past tense, register for FRE or GER 102.

If you took four years of French or German in high school and/or are comfortable speaking and writing in the language in the present and past tenses, register for FRE or GER 201.

If you are comfortable speaking and writing in more complicated French or German sentences in the present and past tenses and can use commands and the subjunctive with ease, register for FRE or GER 202.

Japanese

If you took one year or less of Japanese in high school or are starting new with the language, register for JPN 101.

If you took one year of Japanese in high school and/or can carry on a conversation in the present tense about yourself, and daily activities, and are familiar with the past tense of adjectives and verbs in polite form, register for JPN 102.

If you are comfortable speaking and writing in Japanese in the present tense in plain and polite form, past tense in polite form, and are able to conjugate Te-form of adjectives and verbs, register for JPN 201.

If you are comfortable speaking and writing in more complex Japanese sentences in the present and past tenses in both polite and plain forms of adjectives and verbs and can use Te-form with ease, register for JPN 202.

Korean

If you took one year or less of Korean in high school or are starting new with the language, register for KOR 101.

If you learned the Korean alphabets and know how to read and write in Korean, and can carry on a basic conversation about yourself, family, and daily activities, and likes and dislikes using the present tense polite form, register for KOR 102.

If you learned both the Korean polite and the honorification sentence forms, are  comfortable carrying out a short conversation about past or future events, and know how to give directions and talk about the weather or daily schedules, register for KOR 295 (equivalent to KOR 201 and offered in the fall).

Latin

If you had less than a year of Latin or are new to the language, register for LAT 101.

If you successfully completed one year of Latin in high school and/or are able to read basic grammar, vocabulary, and sentences in the language, register for LAT 102.

If you successfully completed two years of Latin in high school and/or are able to read intermediate grammar, vocabulary, and sentences in the language, register for LAT 201.

If you successfully completed three years of Latin in high school and/or are able to read more complex intermediate grammar, vocabulary, and sentences in the language, register for LAT 202.

Russian

If you took one year or less of Russian or have no prior knowledge of the language, register for RUS 101.

If you can communicate minimally in Russian by using a number of isolated words and memorized phrases limited by the context and you are able to read the Russian letters, register for RUS 102.

If you are able to manage a number of uncomplicated communicative tasks in straightforward social situations in Russian, such as basic personal information, basic objects, and a limited number of activities, preferences, and immediate needs, register for RUS 201.

If you are able to handle a variety of uncomplicated communicative tasks in Russian about straightforward social situations, such as personal information related to self, family, home, daily activities, interests and personal preferences, as well as physical and social needs, such as food, shopping, travel, and lodging, register for RUS 202.

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