Rock Valley College

Placement Requirements

All new students enrolling in credit classes are required to meet placement requirements prior to registering for credit courses and must submit a completed application to RVC prior to testing.


RVC promotes multiple methods of determining student placement, including:
 

  • Overall High School GPA of 3.0 or above (after seven semesters)
  • ACT (19+ Reading & English, 18+ Math)
  • SAT (480+ Evidence Based Reading & Writing; 470+ Math)
  • GED (165+ Reasoning Through Language Arts; 165+ Mathematical Reasoning); or
  • College Transcripts
  • AP, CLEP, and International Baccalaureate (IB) transcript(s)


If none of the above-mentioned placement methods provide sufficient placement, the College is deferring placement testing during the COVID-19 health crisis.  Learn more about applying for the deferment.

Guided Self-Placement Procedures

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to administer the Accuplacer testing.  New students should use the following Guided Self-Placement procedures to determine their first English, reading and mathematics course at RVC.


MATH

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ENGLISH & READING

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Mathematics
 

Follow each of the steps below.  Each step may result in a different recommended initial math course.  Use all of the information as a whole to make your decision on which course would be best suited for your current knowledge and experience in mathematics.

Step 0: Transfer Students Only
 

If you are transferring from another college or university and have already successfully completed a math course, simply choose the next course in the sequence.  Check your degree or program requirements to determine what level of math must be completed or contact an academic advisor.

Step 1: If you’ve already taken a standardized admissions or placement examination:
 

Please contact an academic advisor to understand your class opportunities.

Step 2: Use your math experience from high school.
 

If your high school grade point average is at least 3.0, and you received a grade of at least “B” (3.0) in your final high school math class, consider enrolling in the starting math course in the RVC math sequence.  If either or both are less than a 3.0, consider taking a course in the developmental math sequence.

Step 3: Compare your previous math experience with the goals for each of the starting math courses.
 

The course descriptions for each of the common starting mathematics courses are listed for your convenience. 

MTH 091 - Beginning Algebra, Part 1

Beginning Algebra Part I will cover real numbers, solving linear equations and inequalities including applications, and graphing linear equations and inequalities. Study skills will be incorporated throughout the course. This course uses online homework. Placement into MTH 091 is according to placement test scores or on a voluntary basis. Credit earned does not count toward any degree, nor does it transfer.

MTH 092 - Beginning Algebra, Part 2

Beginning Algebra Part II continues work in basic algebra concepts. It will cover operations on systems of equations in two variables, polynomials, factoring, dimensional analysis, ratio and proportion. Study skills will be incorporated throughout the course. This course uses online homework. Credit earned does not count toward any degree, nor does it transfer.

MTH 093 - Intermediate Algebra, Part 1

Intermediate Algebra Part I includes a review of factoring from beginning algebra. The course will also cover rational expressions and equations, linear equations, and an introduction to functions. This course uses online homework. Placement into MTH 093 is according to placement test scores or on a voluntary basis. Credit earned does not count toward any degree, nor does it transfer.

MTH 094 - Intermediate Algebra, Part 2

Intermediate Algebra Part II covers systems of equations, radicals, and quadratic equations. This course uses online homework. Credit earned does not count toward any degree, nor does it transfer.

MTH 096A - Mathematical Literacy for College Students

Mathematical Literacy for College Students is a one semester course for non-math and non-science majors integrating numeracy, proportional reasoning, algebraic reasoning, and functions. Students will develop conceptual and procedural tools that support the use of key mathematical concepts in a variety of contexts. Throughout the course, college success content will be integrated with mathematical topics. This course uses online homework. Credit earned does not count toward any degree, nor does it transfer. Upon successful completion of the course, students may take MTH 115, MTH 220, MTH 093-094, or MTH 096S.

MTH 096S - Combined Beginning and Intermediate Algebra

Combined Beginning and Intermediate Algebra is a one semester course covering both beginning and intermediate algebra. The topics included are real number operations and properties, linear equations and inequalities, graphing, functions, polynomials, factoring, rational expressions, systems of equations, radical expressions, and quadratic equations. This course uses online homework. Credit earned does not count toward any degree, nor does it transfer.

MTH 115 - General Education Math

General Education Mathematics focuses on mathematical reasoning and the solving of real-life problems, rather than on routine skills and appreciation. Three or four topics are studied in depth, with at least 3 chosen from the following list: geometry, counting techniques and probability, graph theory, logic/set theory, mathematics of finance, and statistics. The use of calculators and computers is strongly encouraged.

MTH 120 - College Algebra

College Algebra includes a brief review of intermediate algebra covering the overlapping material at a deeper level. The course also develops the concept of a function and its graph, exponential and logarithmic functions and their applications, and systems of linear equations and the matrix methods useful in solving those systems. The course will also cover the theory of equations. A graphing calculator is required for this course.
 

MTH 220 - Statistics

Elements of Statistics is intended primarily for students enrolled in life science or social science, or others interested in elementary statistics. This course uses the graphing calculator extensively to allow emphasis on conceptual understanding instead of hand calculations. Topics included are measures of central tendency and variability, graphical presentation of data, normal and binomial distributions, t- and chi-square distributions, sampling, and correlation. This course is not intended to apply toward a major or minor in mathematics. A TI-83 or TI-84 graphing calculator is required for this course.

Step 4. Use the information from the above steps to make a determination of the best math course for you and register online.
 

If you need additional help doing this self-placement, please contact an academic advisor.


English & Reading

Step 0: Transfer Students Only
 

If you are transferring from another college or university and have already successfully completed an English course, simply choose the next course in the sequence.

Step 1: If you’ve already taken a standardized admissions or placement examination:
 

Please contact an academic advisor to understand your class opportunities.

Step 2: Use your last graded English writing course from high school
 

If you received a grade of at least “B” (3.0) in your last graded high school English writing class, consider taking ENG 101.  Otherwise, continue to Step 3 to make a decision.

Step 3: Compare your previous English writing experience with the goals for each of the starting English courses
 

The course descriptions for the starting English courses are listed for your convenience.

RDG 096 - Essentials of Reading

Essentials of Reading is intended to help students improve their reading skills to the level necessary for entrance to RDG 099-Reading for Academic Purposes. Emphasis is on improvement of vocabulary, comprehension, study strategies, and time management. Placement based on assessment scores.

RDG 099 - Reading for Academic Purposes

Reading for Academic Purposes emphasizes the development of reading strategies to enhance the comprehension and critical thinking of college-level material. Topics include vocabulary development, extracting implied meaning, drawing conclusions, and analyzing college texts. Placement is based on assessment scores. RDG 099 may also be taken on a voluntary basis for students who did not test into the reading program. Prerequiste: RDG-092 or RDG-096 with a grade of C or higher; or appropriate reading placement score. Credits: 4 semester hours Lecture: 4 Lab: 0.

RDG 101 - College Reading

Reading 101 focuses on reading flexibility, critical reading techniques, lecture processing skills, and test cycle evaluation. Students will appraise their reading skills, work to improve them, and apply these skills to their courses. The course also includes developing and applying study skills to individual student's college course material to strengthen the connection between reading and college success.

ENG 095 - Foundation Reading & Writing

This course is designed to build a foundation in integrated and contextualized reading and writing skills and strategies to prepare students for college level coursework. Students are introduced to the connection between the reading and writing processes. Using materials, such as college-level textbook chapters and academic readings from various contexts, students will build comprehension skills, critical thinking strategies, and produce well-developed, coherent and unified texts using evidence as support. Placement is according to entrance assessment. A grade of "C" or higher is required in this course to advance to the next level. Students write a minimum of 10 pages of revised prose in this course.

ENG 097 - Essentials of Writing

In Essentials of Writing, students practice effective strategies for developing multi-paragraph compositions of a variety of types, often in response to their reading. Students revise and edit their own work, in order to prepare for writing in their college courses.

ENG 099 - Introduction to College Writing

In Introduction to College Writing, students learn to write focused, coherent, multi-paragraph essays in both personal and persuasive genres. In addition, students read a variety of texts, both to develop critical thinking skills and to provide a context for some writing assignments. Attention is devoted to grammar and usage within the context of students' writing. Students write 12-16 pages of revised prose during the course. A grade of C or better is required in this course to advance to ENG-101.

ENG 101 - Composition I

In Composition I, students employ flexible strategies to develop focused, purposeful essays that demonstrate college-level thinking. Students write in a variety of textual forms, including persuasive essays in the latter half of the semester, and learn to address the needs of audiences by increasing their awareness of the rhetorical situations in which they write. Students learn to develop and support their claims effectively, to position their ideas in relation to those of others, and to edit their writing carefully. Students write 16-24 pages of revised prose during the course.

Step 4. (Optional) Take a short assessment to evaluate your current reading knowledge.
 

  1. Complete a simple test
     
  2. After you’ve taken the test, you will receive an immediate response with a recommendation of the appropriate course
     

Step 5. Use the information from Steps 1-4 to make a determination of the best English course for you and register online.
 

If you need additional help doing this self-placement, please contact an academic advisor.