Assessment & Testing

Virginia Placement Test Help

Which English and Math courses do you need to take first?

Virginia Placement TestAfter you have submitted an application to the College you are required to take the Virginia Placement Test (VPT) in English (reading & writing) and math before beginning classes.

The VPT is a comprehensive, computer-adaptive, un-timed test designed to help place students into appropriate courses needed to ensure student success.

  • Allow approximately two to three hours for the tests. An SWCC EmplId (student id number), Photo ID, and email address are required to access the VPT test.
  • Students may contact the Learning Assistance Center to schedule an appointment for testing at 276.964.7706.
  • Placement testing hours are between 8am to 12:30 pm, Monday through Friday.
  • The testing center is located in the Learning Assistance Center in Dellinger Hall – room DE 215 (inside Library).

(See Test Preparation Material below)

If you qualify for any of the following exceptions, you may not have to take the VPT:

  • Alternative Assessment Exception: Students may submit alternative assessment grades in order to be exempted from the VPT.  Those alternatives are as follows:
    • SAT scores equal to or higher than: 480/Reading & Writing; 530/Math
    • ACT scores equal to or higher than: 18/Reading & Writing; 22+ Math
    • GED scores equal to or higher than: 165/English; 155/Math
      Students who do not have a high school diploma or GED may have additional ‘Ability to Benefit’ options depending on the program of interest. For more information, contact the Learning Assistance Center at 276.964.7674.
  • Prior Higher Ed. Exception: Any student who has earned an associate degree or higher or who has earned a C or better in college-level courses in math and/or English at a regionally accredited institution will be exempt from placement testing provided they meet the prerequisites for the respective courses in their chosen program of study. In addition, any student who has successfully completed developmental courses at a VCCS institution will be exempt from placement testing in those areas. *Any student who has successfully completed developmental courses at a non-VCCS institution will have their coursework evaluated for placement. Contact Admissions at 276.964.7238 for more information.
  • Program-Specific Exemption: A limited number of certificates and/or diploma programs may not require English or math. Please check with your advisor or contact the Learning Assistance Center at 276.964.7706 for more information.
  • High School Students Exception: A student may submit a high school/home school transcript or an approved test score for placement evaluation.
  • Informed Self-Placement Exception: Adults who have graduated or gotten their GED more than 5 years ago may opt out of taking the VPT. This requires meeting with an ISP Advisor to discuss risks and benefits to choosing this option. For more information or to schedule an appointment with an ISP Advisor, contact Dionne Cook at 276.964.7301 or Melissa Stiltner at 276.964.7706.

Any student who is not excepted by the above criteria will be required to take the Virginia Placement Test. Students may have the option to take the Virginia Placement Test in order to improve their placement standing after other measures are considered, but will need to contact the Learning Assistance Center at 276.964.7674 to discuss their options.


1. VPT-Practice-Test-Directions

2. Virginia Math Placement Test Practice Questions and Answers

3. Online Resources to Help Students Review for the VPT-English

4. Academic Prep video tutorials.

The Getting Started in Science & Math page also provides information about Math testing and practice materials for VPT Math.


Authorized Certification Testing Center
SWCC also provides facilities for Certiport Authorized testing services, which include the Microsoft Office Specialist Certifications exams and the Internet and Computing Core Certifications (IC3). Pearson VUE Authorized Testing Services are also available for many Information Technology Certifications and Professional Licensures

Check the Distance Learning Website or call 276.964.7279 for more information.