To find the individual's "challenge level", each student entering Vermont is given diagnostic tests in three academic areas: English, mathematics, and reading to determine the student's concept mastery. The diagnostic tests assist the evaluator in determining the student's academic needs in each subject. After the student completes the diagnostic testing, he is given curriculum that meets and challenges him at his performance level.
If weak areas are evident from the testing, the appropriate gap PACEs are prescribed to strengthen those specific weaknesses. After completing the gap PACEs, the student progresses at his performance level.