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Course Placement

Students entering a program of study which requires math or English courses must meet placement requirements for these courses. Many students are eligible to complete an enrollment form to assist with determining course placement, while others may submit multiple measures (SAT, ACT, or GED test scores) for placement purposes. The enrollment form is available for the following students:

  • Current high school and home school seniors who will be receiving a standard or advanced studies diploma (enrollment form should be submitted during the last semester of high school/home school coursework).
  • Students who graduated from high school or home school with a standard or advanced studies diploma within the past five years.
  • Students who have graduated from high school or home school or received a GED six or more years ago.

Enrollment Form

The Enrollment Form is designed to assist with determining course placement. Students must submit their application for admission to New River before completing the form as their VCCS username and password is required. Students are encouraged to save or print their form results and share these with a student services advisor who can assist them with course enrollment.

Placement Guidelines

Course placement is determined using one or a combination of the multiple measures outlined in the following tables. The measures shown represent the minimum GPA and/or test scores needed for placement. Test scores are valid for five years.

English Placement

Course High School/Home School GPA* Test Scores
ENG 111 3.0 or above SAT (EWR): 480 or above
ACT (English & Reading): 18 or above
GED: 165 or above
ENG 111 + EDE 11** 2.0-2.99 SAT (EWR): 400-470
ACT (English & Reading): 15-17
ENG 115 2.0 or above SAT (EWR): 400 or above
ACT (English & Reading): 15 or above
GED: 165 or above
ENG 108 2.0 or above SAT (EWR): 400 or above
ACT (English & Reading): 15 or above
GED: 165 or above
EDE 10** Less than 2.0 SAT: below 400
ACT: 14 or below
GED: below 165

Math Placement

Course High School/Home School GPA* & Math Course(s) Test Scores
MTH 131
MTH 161
MTH 167
3.0 or above + Algebra 2 SAT: 470 or above
ACT: 17 or above
GED: 165 or above
MTH 154
MTH 155
3.0 or above + Algebra 1 SAT: 470 or above
ACT: 17 or above
GED: 165 or above
MTH 131 + MCR 3** 3.2 or above + Algebra 1
-OR-
2.5-2.99 + Algebra 2
SAT: 470-490
ACT: 17
MTH 161 + MDE 61** 2.0-2.99 + Algebra 2 SAT: 470-490
ACT: 17
GED: 165 or above
MTH 154 + MDE 54**
MTH 155 + MDE 55**
MDE 60**
2.0-2.99 GED: 155-164
MTH 111
MTH 132
2.0 or above SAT: 470 or above
ACT: 17 or above
GED: 155 or above
MDE 10** Less than 2.0 GED: below 155

* High school/home school GPA may only be used for students who received a standard or advanced studies diploma and current high school/home school seniors in their last semester of coursework and who will receive a standard or advanced studies diploma.

** These are developmental education courses and enrollment is not allowed for high school or home school students.

GED Completers

Students who have completed a GED within the past five years may submit copies of their GED test scores to determine course placement.

Students Currently Attending Another College/University

Students who are currently attending another college or university may contact the Advising Center (advising@nr.edu or 540-674-3609) for assistance with course placement.

Current High School and Home School Students

Current high school and home school students at the junior or senior levels who wish to enroll in online or in-person courses with NRCC must contact the Admissions and Records Office for enrollment eligibility and course placement determination (admissions@nr.edu or 540-674-3603).

Submitting Test Scores

Students may provide unofficial copies of test scores for course placement when meeting with a student services advisor or by email to advising@nr.edu.

Course Enrollment

Student services advisors are available to discuss course placement, assist with enrollment, answer questions, and connect students to additional college resources or offices, as needed.

Placement Testing

Students who do not meet the placement guidelines may take the Virginia Placement Test (VPT). Additionally, the VPT is available for any students who wish to attempt to improve their course placement. Students must submit their application for admission to New River before taking the VPT. Students can retake the VPT one time within 12 months of their initial attempt. Placement test scores are valid for five years.

About the Virginia Placement Test

The VPT is a computerized test composed of two separate assessments: English and math. Each test may take between 2 and 3 hours to complete. Students needing to complete both tests should consider taking them on separate days to avoid fatigue. Individual testing times depend on how long it takes students to answer the questions and how consistently they answer the questions.

The VPT is not graded per se; the tests are simply used to place students into appropriate courses. However, students should put their best effort into these tests to demonstrate a readiness to take college level courses and to avoid being placed into courses that may not be needed.

VPT English

VPT Math

Preparing to take the VPT

When students prepare to take the placement tests, the importance of reviewing material that has previously been studied cannot be over emphasized. The placement test is not an admissions test or an aptitude test. The test measures how well students demonstrate skills and proficiencies which will indicate the

courses they are prepared to take. Not reviewing before taking the placement test could place students

into courses that are below their actual skill level. This can delay a student's progress by one or more semesters, causing disruption in course sequencing and costing extra time and money.

Students are highly encouraged to start the review process early to provide enough time to practice and to build confidence in taking the placement test. This will ensure the most accurate course placement for each student.

Students looking for further assistance in preparing to take the VPT can sign up for individual tutoring support through the college’s Academic Success Center.

VPT English Prep

NRCC’s VPT English MOOC (massive open online course) will help students prepare for the English portion of the placement test. The MOOC provides modules with drills on writing, analyzing, reading comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, and using sources. More Information about the FREE VPT English MOOC can be found here: http://www.nr.edu/students/vpteng.php.

VPT Math Prep

NRCC offers a free online prep course for the VPT Math to help students prepare to do as well as they can on this test. The better students perform on the test, the less math they will have to take!

Additional math preparation materials:

The VPT MathSite provides sample math problems and links to online resources that correspond to Units 0-3 of the VPT-Math. Details about the individual units can be found on the NRCC math department webpage.

Where to Take the VPT

The VPT is administered on the main campus in Dublin and the Christiansburg site. Placement tests are not timed but generally will take between 2 and 3 hours. Students will need a picture ID and their student identification number (a student ID number will be generated after completing the NRCC online admissions application). There is no fee for placement testing.

NOTE: Placement tests must be started at least 3 hours prior to the college closing.

Testing Locations and Hours

Dublin campus: Advising Center (Rooker Hall)
Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
540-674-3609

Christiansburg site: Please check-in at main lobby
Effective August 4, 2021: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
540-674-3610

Testing Policies

You may not have any personal belongings with you while you are testing. No outside resources, paper, books, or electronic devices will be allowed in the testing rooms. A "Lock Down" browser that will not allow you to access anything other than the test will be used. Children are not permitted on campus while students are testing.

VPT Results

After completing the VPT, students will be given a copy of their score reports to review with a student services advisor for further discussion and course placement. Once a student has enrolled in a developmental course in English or math, retaking the VPT in that subject is not permitted. The result of the developmental course will determine the student's future course sequence.

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NRCC IN DUBLIN:

  •  5251 College Drive
  •  Dublin, VA 24084
  •  (540) 674-3600
  •  Toll Free: 866-462-6722
  •  Fax: (540) 674-3642
  •  Directions

CHRISTIANSBURG SITE:

  •  782 New River Road NW, Suite 400
  •  Christiansburg, VA 24073
  •  (540) 674-3610
  •  Fax: (540) 381-7128
  •  Directions
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Send comments about this web site to web@nr.edu and general questions about the college to info@nr.edu