Dual Enrollment Placement Testing

What is the Virginia Placement Test?

The Virginia Placement Test is a free, three‐part assessment of reading, writing, and math skill levels. The placement test is designed to assess new college students for their readiness to be successful in college coursework. All Thomas Nelson students must take a placement test and receive qualifying scores prior to enrolling in college coursework.

Why do I need a placement test?

Thomas Nelson feels an obligation to ensure that you have the academic foundation to be successful in your college classes. The placement test is a required step in TNCC’s enrollment process. Students who have taken the SAT/PSAT or ACT may submit qualifying scores as an alternative placement. Your placement test results and SAT/PSAT/ACT scores are valid for 2 years.

Who needs to take a placement test?

All new Thomas Nelson students—including Dual Enrollment students—must be assessed for their readiness for college coursework. There are only two exceptions: a) students who have already taken the SAT/PSAT or ACT and received qualifying scores for alternative placement, or b) students who have already taken college coursework in Math or English (prerequisite requirements still must be fulfilled).

When and where do I take my placement test?

You must take your placement test (and receive qualifying scores) prior to enrolling in Dual Enrollment courses. On‐Campus locations and hours are listed here: www.tncc.edu/testing. Or, your high school may have testing sessions available at your school; see your high school guidance counselor in order to sign up for a test date. You must bring a valid picture ID on the day of the test. Additionally, you must complete your online TNCC Application for Admission prior to your test date in order to receive your Student ID Number; this Student ID Number is required to start your test.

What Should Students Bring with Them to the Test?

All you will need for the testing session is a picture I.D. for identification purposes and two number 2 pencils. All other materials will be provided. A window calculator is provided. No Handheld or cell calculators are permitted.

What if I do not receive qualifying scores?

If you do not receive a placement test score that qualifies you for Dual Enrollment courses, that’s okay! Remember that the test is a measure of college readiness, and some of the questions may cover information you have not yet studied in your high school curriculum. Use the results of your placement test to identify your academic strengths and weaknesses and work on those areas while you are still in high school. You are allowed one re‐test per calendar year.

How can I prepare for my placement test?

Taking the time to prepare for your placement test will make a difference! There are many resources available for you to use to prepare for your placement test.

Important Tips for the English Placement Test

  • The English Placement test is an untimed test administered on the computer. Please allow at least three hours to take the test. 

  • The English Placement test is divided into two parts. 

  • The VPT‐English contains an essay component that weighs heavily and therefore you must complete the 
essay in addition to the multiple choice sections to receive a placement score. 

  • First you will be asked to write an essay. You will be given a writing prompt, which you are expected to 
use. To do well on the essay section of the test:

    • Write an essay using the writing prompt that you have been provided. Points will be deducted if 
you write on another subject.

    • Please refrain from cutting and pasting the essay prompt into the text box since this action may not 
generate a valid score on the essay component.

    • Do not use the backspace key to erase or edit. You must highlight the section that you wish to 
erase, and click the delete button.

    • During the essay portion, express your ideas in a clear and coherent manner, using more than 50 
words and multiple paragraphs. Write an essay that is more than 250 words long.
    • If you do not follow these instructions, points will be deducted.
  • Second, you will be asked 40 multiple choice questions. Please click on the best response for each item. 


Important Tips for the Mathematics Placement Test 


The Math Placement Test is designed to identify exactly what math skills you possess. It is a long test; please do not begin unless you have at least three hours to complete it. The test is divided into parts. The test will determine how many parts you will need to complete, based on your performance. You may wish to use a calculator, which is available on the computer for your use (it is located at the bottom of your computer screen toward the middle. You may need to scroll down in order to see the calculator icon). During some parts of the test, you are not allowed to use the calculator. If you click on the calculator during these parts, the calculator will appear on the screen and then disappear. Scratch paper will be provided.

Please contact a Dual Enrollment Coordinator once you have completed the VPT if you are taking the test for In-school Dual Enrollment and took the test on‐campus at Thomas Nelson.

For more information about the Virginia Placement Test visit Thomas Nelson's Testing Center website.