If you don’t have transcripts, your transcript doesn’t include an English or Math course higher than Grade 9 or your English or Math course grade is below what is required for program admission, you may still meet the prerequisites for Valemount College courses or programs. Assessments are available to provide you recognition for learning you’ve gained elsewhere.
Steps of Assessment
The assessment process involves four steps:
- Meet with an advisor to determine your goals and assessment needs and prepare for your assessment
- Complete the assessment
- Receive feedback on your assessment from NIC faculty or the assessment clerk
- Work with your advisor to develop a plan to move forward
- If you need to do an off-site assessment, fill out the application for off-campus assessment.
There are 3 types of assessment:
- Valemount College Placement Assessment
- Recognition for Prior Learning
- Exam Invigilation
1. Valemount College Placement Assessment
We want you to succeed. Assessments help you understand if your academic history has prepared you to succeed in our programs and courses or will guide our advice on how you can upgrade to become prepared to meet entry requirements. Most programs and courses accept English and Math assessments in lieu of transcripts. Study Guides and the English and Math tests are available on-line from the ACCUPLACER website at: https://accuplacer.collegeboard.org/ which also allows you to download an application to practice. Placement assessment tests may also be taken by the Fraser Valley Distance Education School on behalf of Valemount College while paper and pencil tests are invigilated by the Valemount Learning Centre. Costs for placement assessments can be found in Tuition & Costs.
TYPES OF ASSESSMENTS
Math assessments are completed in a paper and pencil format. Assessments are available up to and including Grade 12 Math. For review material that prepares students specifically for the ACCUPLACER math assessments, use the links above or sign up for the ACCUPLACER Study App.
Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra and Statistics
Advanced Algebra and Functions
Online math assessments are done using the ACCUPLACER online assessment tool. ACCUPLACER is an adaptive assessment. This means that the questions are chosen for you on the basis of your answers to previous questions. This technique selects just the right questions for your ability level. Because the assessment works this way, you must answer every question when it is first given. You can change your answer to a particular question before moving on to the next question, but you cannot leave a question out or come back to it later to change your answer.
The arithmetic assessment questions are divided into three types:
Operations with whole numbers and fractions: topics included in this category are addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, recognizing equivalent fractions and mixed numbers, and estimating.
Operations with decimals and percents: topics include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with decimals. Percent problems, recognition of decimals, fraction and percent equivalencies, and problems involving estimation are also given.
Applications and problem solving: topics include rate, percent, and measurement problems, simple geometry problems, and distribution of a quantity into its fractional parts.
The Advanced Math Assessment is divided into three sections; Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra and Statistics.
PAPER AND PENCIL ASSESSMENTS
The paper and pencil Math Assessment covers a range of math functions presented in several subsections, presented as both equations and word problems.
Students start with adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing whole numbers, fractions and decimals. This part must be done without a calculator. A calculator is allowed for the section on ratio and proportion, percentage problems, reading graphs and metric questions.
Students may move on to questions using algebra, factoring, quadratic equations, trigonometry and geometry. For these questions students should have a scientific calculator.
The paper and pencil Math Assessment is not timed, but generally takes about 2-3 hours to complete all sections. Some programs do not require the completion of all sections. Check with the program requirements to see what materials will be evaluated. If additional time is needed another session can be booked at no further expense.
Valemount College offers English Placement Assessments in both online and paper and pencil formats. Online assessments are done with the Accuplacer Online English Assessments. Students will complete three assessments; an assessment of knowledge of grammar (writing skills), an assessment of reading comprehension, and a writing sample. Speak to a Valemount College advisor for information on doing your assessment on paper, rather than online.
To prepare for your English assessment, see the English Placement Assessment Study Guide and pages 1-6 of the ACCUPLACER Study Guide or access it through the free ACCUPLACER app.
2. Recognition for Prior Learning
We want you to succeed and we recognize that learning happens in many ways and places. Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) allows you to get credit for learning you’ve acquired elsewhere through things like courses, workshops, employment or volunteering.
There are several formal assessment options for recognizing prior learning. The assessment method is set by each department. It is important to note that all assessment options require the student to submit evidence. The evidence of the student’s knowledge, skills and abilities will be assessed for possible academic credit.
The PLAR Process
To evaluate your prior learning, the first step is to contact a Valemount College Administrator. The administrator will work with you and the Program Manager to determine the best way to assess your prior learning. Prior learning is evaluated in one of two ways; Portfolio/Flexible Assessment or Challenge Exam, often combined with personal interviews.
The Portfolio Assessment process usually involves a combination of documentation, skill demonstrations, assignments and, sometimes, tests. The program PLAR advisor/Program Manager will provide written authorization to proceed by signing the Application for Prior Learning Credit form.
Challenge exams recognize a student’s prior learning through a formal examination. Students write one or more examination to prove their knowledge in an academic subject. The course faculty will provide written authorization to proceed by signing the Application for Prior Learning Credit form.
Following the assessment, you will be provided with feedback and will work with the administrator on the next steps to receive credit. The time to complete the PLAR process will vary according to the assessment measure used. Applicants for PLAR credit have one regular college semester to complete the process.
What will it cost?
The cost for the PLAR process is determined by the number of credits being requested. Fees are calculated at 75% of the tuition for each course and are due prior to the assessment. If any additional costs are required they will be explained by the administrator.
3. Exam Invigilation
An exam invigilator or proctor is someone appointed to ensure an exam is taken according to the exam rules.
Invigilation/Proctor services are available to any individual who requires a supervised testing facility. Please speak with the Valemount College administrator to book an appointment with our invigilator and to obtain dates and times. Our exam invigilator is only available in Valemount, BC.
If you need to write an entrance exam, mid-term or final exam, you can use Valemount College’s invigilation services for those exams.