Advantages of Study Guides for COMPASS

Benefits of studying from a COMPASS exam study guide

With so many sites promising excellent scores using their study materials, the possibility of success without in depth study can be seen as a reality. While it cannot be denied that guides are helpful when time is limited, can you also make the best of your preparation by starting your study with a guide, and then progressing to reference books? The answer is dependent on the kind of studies you generally do. Sometimes, when you are interested in a subject, you tend to study it at great lengths, using whatever material you can lay hands on. But when you abhor a subject, you tend to ignore details. When it is the latter, guides are perhaps your best bet. When it is the former, it still makes sense to first get done with the truly essential studies using a good study guide, and then dive deeper into each topic individually using reference books.

If nothing else, there are three questions you should ask yourself when looking for a comprehensive book:

  1. Does it cover all topics relevant for the exam?
  2. Does it have enough examples and practice material?
  3. Is the author a trustworthy and experienced individual?

More often than not, most eBooks available on the online market for download will answer 'no' to at least one of these three questions. This is how quality is compromised when price is lowered. Thus, making a choice to study for the test using online materials and self- help guides may not be a safe bet.

In general, a study aid can benefit you by:

  • Providing tips and helpful information about the nature of the exam
  • Providing cheat sheets
  • Enabling you to revisit the overall exam syllabus in a short time
  • Giving you a head start in a more detail oriented study.

But if there are so many printed paperback guides, which one should you choose? It depends, on the kind of material you are looking for. If you are looking for a study guide that is specific to math, you might want to consider one that has numerous practice examples. Make sure it has a detailed answer key, so that you are not stuck trying to find the correct answers. If you are looking for guides that are focussed on reading skills, look for a quality guide from a good publisher and a qualified author, so that the answers are not incorrect or off the mark. There is also a tendency to ignore the Writing Skills test when you are a native speaker of English. It is naive to do so, since English is a constantly evolving language, and what was incorrect two or three years back might be acceptable today.

What follows is a review of 3 guides focused on this exam.

  1. COMPASS Math Test Success: 150 COMPASS Math Problems & Solutions

    One of the primary tips to ace your math score is to practice as much as you can. If you are looking for a resource that gives you step-by-step solutions to math problems, this guide is the one you must buy. It covers all areas of the test, and has a comprehensive set of practice questions with solutions. Although this is not a book that provides in depth study, it will help you brush up your basics by practice.

  2. COMPASS Exam - Bob Miller's Math Prep (Accuplacer & COMPASS Test Preparation)

    Coming from a credible author, this book provides for 2 full length practice tests. It will help you in your studies for math based on rules for various types of problems. There are around 15 chapters devoted to various topics, with a quiz after each chapter. For all miscellaneous questions that cannot be classified, the author also puts in an additional chapter with quiz.

  3. COMPASS Exam Secrets Study Guide: COMPASS Test Review for the Computer Adaptive Placement Assessment

    If you are looking for a guide that is not limited to studying, but provides strategies and techniques to solve questions, this is a book for you. It provides tips for tackling various types of questions. Even this guide includes practice questions, so it should do the trick when it comes to achieving the purpose a guide has- to provide hints and tips for tackling questions, understanding the nature of the exam and warning about pitfalls.

In conclusion, use a guide when you want to brush up your basics, and when you are confident of your capabilities. Try to solve as many practice questions as you can when studying for the math section. Working through guides is akin to taking a shortcut and carries inherent risks. However, they can be used as a first when starting thorough preparation or when there is a dearth of time.