The English Placement Test of COMPASS

5 Reasons why your COMPASS English Scores are Important

The English Placement component evaluates the skills of a candidate in English as a subject and the test takers must obtain a certain score in this test for pursuing entry-level courses in college. The English test is primarily conducted through questions that are based on reading and writing.

The Sections of COMPASS English Test

The sections of in the English test portion can be noted in the points below:

  • Reading Skills: In the Reading Placement Test, the students have to answer the questions that allow the concerned institution to assess their fundamental skills through reading comprehension passages that are based on topics like Practical Reading, Prose Fiction, Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences.
  • Writing Skills: The Writing Skill test determines the writing abilities of the students for basic courses in the college; scoring below the requirement suggest that they need more support and therefore, should be placed in learning courses. In this section, the test takers are supposed to find out the errors that are presented through an essay. The test is based on two major contents including Usage/Mechanics and Rhetorical Skills.
    1. In Usage/Mechanics, the questions are related to Basic Grammar and Usage, Punctuation and Sentence Structure.
    2. In Rhetorical Skills, the questions are related to Strategy, Organization and Style.

  • Essay Writing: This is a writing task in the English paper, in which an essay is presented to the students, and based on familiar topics and the problems that are related to the same. The test takers have to construct their opinions on the writing task and form appropriate arguments for supporting their views. The opinions that are constructed by them in this part of the test should be substantiated with proper arguments that must be developed in a sequential pattern. The logic that is developed by them from the writing task should not be opinionated; the rationale behind the arguments of the test takers should be easy to interpret and hence must be presented through lucid expressions.

    The scores of this writing task are measured according to the instructions of the test in a suitable manner. Thus, a student will score well only when he/she is able to develop their opinions appropriately and present them in a clear language. On the other hand, not displaying sufficient logic and using obscure or ambiguous language will not fetch expected scores in this section.

  • English as a Second Language: This section assesses the proficiency of non-native speakers in English:
    1. Listening: This section of the test includes different listening tasks for evaluating the ability of the students to understand Standard American English. The level of difficulty increases as the students perform their tasks.
    2. Reading: This section of the test is used to evaluate the reading tasks related to Referring and Reasoning in Standard American English.
    3. Grammar/Usage: This section of the test requires the students to answer questions on Sentence Structure and Syntax, along with Sentence Elements with respect to Standard American English.
    4. Essay: This test is used to provide analytic scores on different areas related to language including Development, Organization, Focus and Mechanics.

Five reasons for Obtaining Good Scores in COMPASS English Test

Good scores are imperative for the test takers because of the following reasons:

  • Scores from the test allows institutions to determine the skills and abilities of those test takers who want to study courses based on this subject in the college.
  • English is one of the major languages that are used as a medium in the colleges and studying this subject creates numerous opportunities for the students in professional life. Thus, obtaining high scores should be a priority for the students.
  • High scores allow freedom to students for choosing their favorite subjects in college after discussing their scores with the advisors of relevant institutions.
  • The scores are one of the best ways for students to track their progress of reading and writing skills in English.
  • Obtaining good scores in English will also allow test takers to study in institutions that are preferred by them.


Appearing for the test creates an opportunity for students to continue their college education in English and good scores will help them to become successful in choosing their favorite courses in college.

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