Virginia Commonwealth University uses a variety of guidelines to determine your entry-level math, chemistry and foreign language courses according to your abilities and background. Your academic advisor will discuss your placement during your advising session at orientation. If you have any questions about these guidelines, please contact Dr. Seth Sykes, Assistant Dean of University College, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On this page:
- Mathematics Placement Test
- Chemistry Placement
- Foreign Language Placement
- AP, IB or Dual-Enrollment Credit
- If you are unhappy with your class placement
This test matches your abilities with the level of content in the courses at VCU to help you determine which math course to select for the upcoming semester.
Do I have to take the Math Placement test?
All entering first-year students are required to complete the math placement test prior to attending New Student Orientation. Your academic advisor will need the result of your test to help you register for classes. If you do not take the Math Placement Test prior to orientation, your advising session and course registration will be delayed.
If you are a transfer student and have completed and successfully transferred math credit from your previous institution, you do not need to complete the online math placement test.
Is assistance with the online Math Placement Test permitted?
No. Do not obtain any assistance while taking the placement test. This includes consulting with a teacher, parent or friend regarding content of the test. It would be to your disadvantage if you were to receive a score higher than your actual abilities. An artificially high score would place you in a course in which you would have a limited probability of success.
What if I have technical problems while taking the test?
There is a sample test for you to explore before you take the actual test. If you have technical trouble with the sample test, do not take the actual test until you have resolved your problem. You may take the Online Placement Test only once. The test may not be re-taken for any reason. If you start the test and are unable to complete it, you may fulfill the requirement by taking the Compass Placement Test on campus. Information about the Compass Test is available at the Online Placement Test site.
If you have computer-related problems with the online test web site, please email email@example.com. The technical helpline will be staffed Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The test web site technician cannot provide academic advising or help with the content of the test.
How do I take the test?
The test is administrated online. Your test will be automatically scored when you complete it, and you will be shown your score and class placement.
All students majoring in any science-related area, engineering and most pre-health programs require general chemistry. Your chemistry placement is determined by your SAT-math score, high school grade point average and previous chemistry background. VCU will have your SAT math score and high school GPA available during your advising appointment at New Student Orientation. You must bring your final high school chemistry grade with you to orientation.
Some majors include a foreign language requirement. Be sure to write down the foreign language courses along with grades that you completed in high school or at another college and bring them with you to orientation.
Your foreign language placement is determined by high school coursework, the strength of your high school foreign language program and your motivation level.
If you want an exemption from a foreign language requirement, you must take the optional placement test. You are encouraged to challenge yourself and take a more advanced class than what is suggested by the guidelines if you feel you are prepared and motivated to do so.
For more information, visit www.has.vcu.edu/wld/resources/placement.html
If you took AP or IB classes and you attend orientation before your scores are available, your advisor will ask you for your best estimate of how you believe you scored on the test. If your educated guess is inaccurate, adjustments to your classes will be made as scores become available. Generally, VCU requires scores of 3 or higher to be awarded AP credit. Scores range from 4 to 6 to receive IB credit. You may also have taken classes through the dual enrollment program. VCU may or may not have the final transcripts from the community college by the time you attend New Student Orientation. Therefore, you will want to inform your academic advisor about the dual enrollment classes you completed and the grades you earned in those classes.
You may challenge your initial placement by taking a placement test during Welcome Week (the week before classes begin). Please inform your advisor during orientation if you wish to explore this option.
- You must take the online math placement test before orientation.
- Write down your final grade in high school chemistry and bring this with you to orientation.
- Write down all of the final grades in foreign language courses you completed and bring them with you to orientation.
- Write down all of the AP and IB tests that you took and give your best estimate on how you scored on each test. Bring this with you to orientation.
- Write down dual enrollment courses you completed and bring them with you to orientation.