Take the Virginia Placement Test | Thomas Nelson Community College

Take the Virginia Placement Test

Placement tests are free, and you can take them at both Thomas Nelson campuses and Southeast Higher Education Center. Bring a photo ID and your Student ID number. Students get better results if they take reading and writing on one day and math on another. The test is untimed and can take up to four hours.

Do not bring:

  • electronic devices (including calculators)
  • purses, backpacks or other bags
  • food and drink
  • children

What's on the tests?

The English test has a 40-question multiple choice reading comprehension section and a written essay. The essay is more heavily weighted in the total English score. The essay will be a response to one of two writing prompts. The essay will be scored on a combination of quality of content, paragraph and sentence organization and structure, coherence of ideas, thesis statement, topic sentences, spelling and grammar. Students should write at least five paragraphs.

The mathematics test, which includes algebra basics, is adaptive and will progress in difficulty. An electronic four-function calculator will be provided in a pop-up window to assist you. Personal calculators may not be used. If you need an accommodation because you have an identified disability, contact our Disability Support Services office.

After you've taken the placement tests

Your test scores are valid for five years after the date of the test, meaning you and your advisor can use them to choose your courses. After five years, the scores are no longer valid.

Students who take the placement tests but do not enroll in a developmental math or English course are allowed to take 1 retest within 12 months. Students who attempt developmental course work are ineligible for a retest.

Testing Center

Walk-In Testing Hours

Hampton campus

M 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
T 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
W 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
TH 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

S 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

(1st & 3rd Sat. only)


Historic Triangle campus

M 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
T 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
W 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
TH 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
F 8 a.m. –  5 p.m.