FAQ for Testing Center

What is the purpose of placement testing?

  • The purpose of the placement test is to determine a proficiency level in math, reading, and writing that indicates where to place a student to begin their academic program at the college. All future students who plan to complete any degree program or accumulate nine semester hours of college credit must complete a placement test or provide alternate documentation. Future students will be tested on reading, writing, and mathematics proficiency skills.

Alternate Testing Sources and Questions

Is placement testing necessary for everyone desiring to apply to PDC?

  • No. Several forms of documentation can be alternate sources of registering students for classes: high school transcripts with eligible GPA, GED, SAT, and ACT scores. All of these sources of documentation must be dated within the past five years.

What is the eligible GPA for a high school transcript to be accepted in lieu of placement testing?

  • A GPA of 2.7 will allow the applicant to avoid some or all testing depending on math classes taken.

What are the eligible scores for SAT test results?

  • For the SAT test taken within the past five years, the Writing/Reading score must be 460 or above and the mathematics score must be 510 or above.

What are the eligible scores for ACT test results?

  • For the ACT test taken within the past five years, the English/Writing score must be 15 or above, the Reading score must be 15 or above and the mathematics score must be 19 or above.

What are the eligible scores for the GED test results?

  • For the GED an English score of 165 or above and the mathematics score of 155 or above.

If I have attended another community college will I have to retest or retake certain classes?

  • No, all testing scores and classes in the 23 community colleges within the VCCS are visible in our Student Information System among the colleges.
  • If a future student has been enrolled in another community college outside of Virginia or has been enrolled at a four-year college or university, the students’ transcripts should be reviewed by a counselor or advisor to determine if testing is necessary.

Placement Test Questions

Is the placement test all multiple choice?

  • There are multiple choice and open answer questions.

If I have to take the placement test where do I go and how long is the test?

  • The placement tests are administered at all three PDC sites: Franklin campus, Suffolk campus, and the Smithfield Center.
  • The test is untimed, but a tester should plan on at least three hours.
  • Franklin Campus – Room 117
  • Suffolk Campus – Room 103
  • Smithfield Center – Room 208

Who administers the placement test?

  • Franklin campus –
    Ms. Mary Ellen Gleason
    Test Administrator
  • Suffolk campus –
    Mrs. Carol Badeaux
    Testing Specialist
  • Smithfield Center –
    Mrs. Carol Badeaux
    Testing Specialist

Does the tester have to finish the test in one sitting?

  • Many people do prefer to finish the test in one sitting. However, the test can be closed and opened at that same point when the tester returns.
  • Open tests are maintained for only three months.

Is placement testing on a scheduled basis or a walk-in basis?

  • Placement testing has scheduled times. However, we accommodate walk-ins on all three sites.

What can I do to prepare for the test?

  • There are several materials on the Testing Center webpage that provide preparation for the tests. There is also a practice test and some sample tests.

Am I required to prepare for the test?

  • While we certainly encourage preparation before the test, the decision to prepare or not prepare is up to the individual.

Is there anything I need to bring to the test?

  • Each future student who comes to test must bring a government issued picture ID and his/her student ID that was issued when he/she submitted an application. It will be a seven-digit number.

What forms of government picture IDs are acceptable”

  • A driver’s license from any state
  • A passport
  • Department of Defense ID.
  • Military ID.
  • High school picture ID
  • Native American tribal ID

Is there anything I cannot bring to the test?

  • Testers should not bring food into the Testing Center. Cell phones must be either turned off or put on vibrate.