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Green Mountain College Placement Assessments

Green Mountain College (GMC) has a series of three placement assessments that help us to determine which classes will serve you the best and help you succeed at GMC.

If you have received transfer credit for certain courses or scored at a particular level on your SAT or ACT, you may be exempt from having to take one or all of these assessments. We will let you know which you will need to take prior to classes starting in September.

Reading Placement

Students who are not identified as being exempt from the reading assessment will be required to take a brief, one-to-one assessment with a member of the GMC reading-assessment team. This assessment should take no more than ten minutes. Specific information about time and location for this assessment will be provided upon arrival to campus for one of the Summer Registration Days, or during Orientation. Athletes will have an additional date to take the assessment when they arrive for pre-season. The reading assessment is not an assessment that a student can study for, or prepare for in any way. The intent of the assessment is to gain knowledge pertaining to student skills so that differentiated instruction can be provided, when appropriate, to help facilitate student growth and learning.

Writing Placement

The writing placement test is an on-line test designed to assess your writing ability so that the College can better support your growth and development in writing. In order to best place you in the appropriate first-year seminar, Images of Nature (ELA 1000), first-year students should complete the placement as soon as possible.

The following new students are required to take the GMC writing placement exam:

  • Students who scored below a 500 on the verbal portion of the SATs or below a 22 on the English portion of the ACTs.
  • Students who did not report SAT or ACT scores.

Math Placement

The math placement test is an online test designed to assess a student’s mathematical preparedness for college-level mathematics and is used by the Learning Center, the registrar, and a student’s adviser in assigning GMC students to the appropriate starting math course based upon their comprehension of mathematical skills and concepts. The score on the placement test is compared with the student’s SAT and/or ACT score for a more accurate assessment. The use of calculators is not permitted.

The following new students are required to take the GMC math placement exam:

  • Students who scored below a 500 on the math portion of the SATs or below a 22 on the math portion of the ACTs.
  • Students who did not report a math SAT or ACT score and did not transfer in appropriate math credits.

Students who scored a 500 or higher on the math portion of the SATs or a 22 or higher on the math portion of the ACTs may opt to take the GMC math placement exam if they believe they are ready for a higher-level math course.

Placement levels, criteria, and recommended courses are as follows:

MasteredNot-yet-masteredACT ScoreSAT ScorePlacement Class
Level 1UndeterminedPre-Algebra< 18< 440CLC 1000
Level 2Pre-Algebra

Intermediate Algebra

18 – 21450 - 490



Level 3



Pre-Calculus22 – 25500 - 580QEA, Pre- Calc, or Stats I
Level 4Pre-CalculusCalculus I> 25> 580Advanced ELA QA or Calc I

Recommended courses for each level are as follows:

Level 1*: Students placing at this level must successfully complete Pre-Algebra prior to moving to Level 2 and taking Enhanced Quantitative Environmental Analysis to satisfy their ELA math requirement.

Level 2: Students placing at this level should take Enhanced Quantitative Environmental Analysis which will satisfy their ELA math requirement. After completing E-QEA, they may take any 1000-level math course.

Level 3: Students placing at this level may take any 1000-level math class with the exception of Calculus I and II.

Level 4: Students placing at this level may take Calculus I or II or a higher-level ELA math class.

Any questions regarding preparedness for a particular math course should be directed to Director of Quantitative Literacy, Kenneth Mulder, ( or to the Calhoun Learning Center (summer only).

*College credit is not awarded for the successful completion of Pre-Algebra. This course is offered on a pass/no pass basis (passing is a 70% (C-) or better.)

Studying for the Math Placement Exam

We encourage students to study for the Math Placement Exam, especially by reviewing their most recent math courses. Sample exam questions are provided for student use below. Not all problem types/difficulty levels are represented by the sample exam problems. It is suggested that prospective students use other resources available to them to study for the placement exam, including textbooks from previous math courses.

The following sheet contains formulas that students should be familiar with prior to taking the exam. It is not to be used while taking the exam.

Math Placement Exam Formula Sheet

The following problem sets show sample problems a student should be able to do to be ready for:

Enhanced QEA (Level 2)

A 1000-level ELA math class (Level 3)

Calculus or an Advanced ELA math class (Level 4)

Sample Math Placement Exam Answers

Math Placement Exam Retake Policy

Students may retake the math placement exam once in an attempt to improve their math placement level. Retakes are scheduled twice each semester (once prior to the last day to add a course and once just prior to registration.) Students signing up to retake the exam will be given access to the Moodle site that houses the exam and will have a one-week window in which to complete the exam. Students must contact the Learning Center at 802-287-8287 or if interested in signing up to retake the math placement exam.

Special Accommodations for Placement Exams:

Students with documented learning disabilities who require special accommodations during the placement exams, please contact:

Christina Fabrey
Director for the Center of Advising and Achievement
Jose M. Calhoun Learning Center

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