Details About the ESL Test From COMPASS

Everything You Need to Know About COMPASS ESL


English as a Second Language (ESL) is an an integral part of this test, which is basically an English language test that is taken by a non-native English language speaker who wishes to study in a college or University in the United States. This is a computerized examination. In other words, you need to know how to operate a computer so that you can take this test effectively. There are four areas that you will be tested in and these are as follows:

  1. Reading: This is a part of the test where the candidate will be tested on his reading ability and how much he understands the reading passage that has been provided to him. Most of the materials that will be given to the student will be in the form of passages and they can range from few sentences to few paragraphs. Almost all the passages are authentic but some may be edited. The test taker may be asked questions on graphs, photographs, charts or tables that will be provided to him.
  2. Listening: This is the section that will test how well the test taker understands the Standard American English. The aim of this section is to assess the listening skills of the candidate. The recorded dialogues will sound as if two people are conversing with each other, instead of making it sound like two people are reading out text.
  3. ESL Essay: In this section, the candidate will be asked to write an essay with correct English. The score will be given on the basis of focus, organization, development of the content as well as mechanics.
  4. ESL Grammar/Usage: This is that section of the test that will assess the ability of the test taker in function words, verbs, modifiers, word formations, conventions, subjects and objects. There will be fill-in the blanks as well as questions with four answer options in the test based on a reading passage. You will have to select the right answer from the options given to you. You need to be confident about the correct answer so that mistakes can be minimized.

Things to Know about COMPASS ESL

  1. The ESL section is listed on the approved ATB or Ability to Benefit tests of U.S. Department of Education. ATB exam is an assessment test that a candidate has to take at the time of enrolment if he wants to apply for financial aid or if he did not complete high school. With the result of this test, the college will place you in the right ESL courses.
  2. This is a test that you can take in the college that you wish to study in. Just get in touch with the counsellor or advisor of the college for more information about the registration and date of testing.
  3. It is not a timed examination. This means that there is no time limit within which you have to complete the exam. So you can take the test at your own pace without worrying about the time limit. The amount of time taken to finish the test can range from an hour to up to three hours, depending on how fast the test taker is.
  4. This exam is taken by an individual who is not from a native English speaking country but wishes to study in the United States. It is a placement test that will determine whether you need any special English preparation class or not. In case you have not taken the TOEFL, you will have to take this test. If you have already taken the TOEFL, then you will not need another English test. Of course, your college will be able to give you more details because different colleges have different rules.
  5. When you have completed the exam, the screen on the computer will prompt you to stop. This is when you will need to go to the proctor for the purpose of collecting the score report.
  6. Right after you have finished the test, the score will be automatically calculated by the system. As such, you will be able to obtain the score report instantly.
  7. Scores from this section of the test will place you in the right course that you have the skills for. If your score is low, then this means that you will need to attend English classes to help you improve your English.

Terms and Conditions

Information published in is provided for informational and educational purpose alone for deserving students, researchers and academicians. Though our volunteers take great amount of pain and spend significant time in validating the veracity of the information or study material presented here, we cannot be held liable for any incidental mistakes. All rights reserved. No information or study material in this web site can be reproduced or transmitted in any form, without our prior consent. However the study materials and web pages can be linked from your web site or web page for

  • Research

  • Education

  • Academic purposes

No permission is required to link any of the web page with educational information available in this web site from your web site or web page