Placement testing

TCC will use multiple measures to determine a student's readiness for college-level English and math courses

You may be exempt from math and/or English placement tests if you meet 1 or more of the following criteria:

  • Graduated high school within the last 5 years with a GPA of 2.7 or higher
  • Scored 530 or higher on the math SAT; 480 or higher on the English SAT; 22 or higher on the math ACT; or 18 or higher on the English ACT*
  • Completed college-level English and/or math courses with a grade of C or higher
  • Enroll in a program at TCC that does not require a reading, writing, or math prerequisite
  • Have satisfactory Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), College Level Advancement Placement (CLEP), Defense Activity for Educational Support Program (DANTES) or Excelsior College scores for English and/or math
  • Successfully completed developmental English and/or math courses at another VCCS institution within the last 5 years
  • Took the Virginia Placement Tests at another Virginia community college within the last 5 years


*SAT and ACT test scores are valid for 5 years after the test date. Starting March 2014, GED scores will be valid for 5 years. GED scores prior to March 2014 will not be accepted. 

High school seniors may submit a transcript as of the completion of the first semester of the senior year to determine readiness for placement into college-level courses.

Depending on which academic program you choose, you may meet exemption criteria for either the math and/or English placement tests based on lower scores. Meet with an academic advisor or counselor to determine whether you are still required to take the placement tests.

Preparing for the placement tests

Whether or not you have studied English and mathematics recently, you will want to prepare in order to do your best. Not reviewing before taking the placement tests could possibly place you in a course that is lower than your actual skill level, costing you time and money.

Here are some resources to help.

Placement test refresher workshops

These free, 2-hour workshops are open to the public. Get the schedule here.

Online Resources

English and writing



Practice Tests (English & Math)

ESL Practice Test

Taking the placement tests

Placement tests are free, and you can take them at any TCC Testing Center. Each test generally takes between 3 and 4 hours; we recommend taking the English and math tests at separate times. 

After you've taken the placement tests

When you meet with an academic advisor or attend orientation, you may be able to enroll in college-level English and math courses immediately, or you may be required to take one or more developmental education courses, depending on your chosen program of study.

Students who take the placement tests but do not enroll in a developmental math or English course are allowed to take 1 retest within 12 months. Students who attempt developmental course work are ineligible for a retest.

About developmental education

The results of your placement tests may indicate you need additional development in English and/or mathematics. Tuition is charged for these courses, but the credits won't count toward your degree or certificate.

Preparing for college English

Three English Fundamentals (ENF) courses provide a progression of skill development in reading and writing to prepare you for college-level work. Your English placement score may require you to take all or some of the English Fundamentals courses.

Learn more about ENF courses

Preparing for college mathematics

Six Math Essentials (MTE) courses provide a progression of skill development to prepare you for college-level algebra. Your math placement score may require you to take all or some of the Math Essentials courses. On some campuses, the courses are available in a computer-based, self-paced format.

Learn more about MTE courses

Testing Centers

Hours for Chesapeake, Norfolk, and Portsmouth campus testing centers:

Monday - Thursday: 8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 3p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Hours for the Virginia Beach campus testing center:
Monday & Tuesday: 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday - Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Additionally, campus testing centers will remain open until 9 p.m. on the following rotation:

Monday: Portsmouth campus
Tuesday:  Chesapeake campus
Wednesday: Norfolk campus

View Testing Centers' closing schedule


George B. Pass Building, Room 211


Phone: 757-822-5131


Martin Building, Room 2505


Phone: 757-822-1310


Building A, Room A153


Phone: 757-822-2194

Virginia Beach

Bayside Building, Room B209


Phone: 757-822-7390

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