Placement Testing Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of placement testing?
Placement tests are used determine whether a student may benefit from developmental coursework prior to enrolling in college-level classes. Placement tests in English (writing and reading) and mathematics are generally required for all entering students seeking admission to degree and certificate programs, as well as some career studies certificate programs.

Developmental courses help students obtain the skills needed for successful performance in college-level courses. Some students need to review English or math, while other students may be taking a particular math course, for example, Algebra, for the first time.

The College administers the Virginia Placement Tests for both English and mathematics placement.

Can I use SAT, ACT or CPT scores for placement purposes?
You may submit SAT, ACT or CPT scores obtained within the past two years for placement purposes. See the Placement Testing Requirements and Exceptions page for more information.

Do I need placement tests if I have attended another college?
Students transferring from an accredited college with a grade of “C” or better in college- level English or mathematics courses are exempt from placement testing.

What is the placement test like?
The placement tests are taken at a computer. You must bring and show your JTCC EMPLID number to the test proctor in the test center. The test is not timed, but most people finish in approximately 2- 2 1/2 hours. You are not allowed to use your own calculator. Calculators are provided on the Virginia Mathematics Placement Test. Certain accommodations may be made for students with documented disabilities.

How do I arrange for placement testing?
Placement tests may be taken without an appointment on a walk-in basis. Please carefully check the Placement Testing Schedules page and determine which day and time best suits your schedule.

How can I prepare for my placement tests?
Students can take practice test for both the math and English placement tests on the Virginia Practice Test (VPT) web site.  The VPT MathSite also provides free, supplemental online resources to help you prepare the Virginia Placement Test in math, and VPT Practice Questions and Answers are available. Remember calculators are not allowed for Module 1. Graphing calculators are not allowed for any part of the test.

Students can also use MyMathTest, a low-cost online review system. MyMathTest provides 16 weeks of access to review content. Learn more about MyMathTest.

If you have questions about your placement test results, please contact the Counseling Center.

What’s the best way to contact the Placement Testing Center for more information?
The Testing Centers' test proctors spend most of their time providing tests to students and will usually be unable to respond immediately to telephone message. They are often able to process requests more quickly that are received via e-mail at

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