Details About COMPASS as a Placement Test

How important is COMPASS for College Placement?

COMPASS is a computer-based college placement test that is administered for measuring the skills of the students and their readiness for continuing college education.

The Sections of COMPASS

  • Reading Skills: In this section, the students have to answer multiple-choice questions on five types of comprehension passages in the placement test. They will have the opportunity to answer the questions in the Windows format since COMPASS is a computer-adaptive test.
  • Writing Skills: In the Placement test of this section, the students have to identify the errors that are related to their language Mechanics and Rhetorical Skills.
  • Mathematics: This is the most comprehensive section of the test and the Placement Test consists of questions in which the students have to establish their knowledge of Application Skills, Basic Skills and Analysis Skills based on problems related to Numerical Skills/Pre Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry and College Algebra.
  • Essay Writing: In this section, the test takers are supposed to construct their opinions on a writing passage based on their own understanding and substantiate their arguments in a suitable manner.
  • English as Second Language: This test consists of Reading, Listening and Grammar/Usage.

The Significance of COMPASS for Course Placement in College

Each section of the test consists of multiple-choice questions, and students can take as much time as they require for answering the questions of this test. In short, there is no time limit for this test although most students are able to complete it within two and half hours. The following points sums up the significance of the test:

  • It prepares and allows the students to carry on with their college studies.
  • The scores of this test are delivered immediately after the completion of the same and allow the students and institutions to assess the strength and weakness of every test taker to an appropriate level.
  • The universities and colleges follow the prescribed scores for granting admission to the students or place the students in appropriate courses and learning programs.
  • Since there is no concept of pass or fail; the students are able to concentrate on the contents of the test and prepare themselves for greater challenges in the field of education.
  • The scores from this exam allow students to make necessary improvisations in any or all of the subjects by taking a retest if they are unable to achieve the scores according to their level of expectation.
  • By appearing for this test, each student is able to realize their educational goals and fulfill their dreams by studying appropriate courses in the college. For instance, if a student does well in English, he/she will be able to study the varied courses that are available in this subject.

Thus, the test is significant for those students who want to pursue their college education in the subject of their choice according to the judgment that comes out of the scores of this test. In short, the scores of this test pave the way for each student to envisage their progress in education and the subjects that are tested in COMPASS.


The test can be taken in several institutions across the United States and also in some international locations. Students must contact the advisor or counselor of the college for knowing all the details of this test. Moreover, the test dates and schedule are available in the website of each college or university. The students can take the test when they are confident of their preparation so that they are able to obtain the scores that are required for studying a particular subject.

This standardized test has led the way for students to continue their college education through the parameters of basic skills on various subjects and begins the process of higher education for every student who wants to move ahead in their career.

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