Math Section of the COMPASS Placement Test

Pre-requisites for Taking COMPASS Placement Test Maths

What is COMPASS Math test?

Math is one of the sections of the COMPASS exam, the other two being the Reading and the Writing sections. All the questions in this section will consist of multiple-choice questions, with five answer options for each question. You will find that the number of questions that will be asked range from 12 to 15. Since it is a computerized examination you must know how to operate a computer because if you do not have this knowledge, you will not be able to take the test. As of now, no paper and pen version is available for COMPASS. The main purpose of this test is to assess the ability of the candidate to solve basic mathematical problems. The exam will help in determining whether the candidate has the relevant skills that are required for the purpose of successfully completing a particular college level Math course. If you cannot obtain a high score, then you may be denied admission by the college.

Things to Know Before Taking the Math Test

There are certain things or pre-requisites that you should be aware of before you take the Math test because they will be useful for you. Furthermore, with the knowledge of these pre-requisites you will be able to effectively study for the exam.

  1. Untimed examination: Unlike the other examinations that are offered, this is a test that does not have a time limit. This means that you can work on the questions at a time that is convenient for you. You do not have to worry about not being able to finish the exam within a time limit.

  2. Topics: The questions that you will find in the Math section will consist of problems from five major mathematical topics. The areas or topics that you will be tested on are:
    • College Algebra
    • Algebra
    • Pre-Algebra
    • Geometry
    • Trigonometry
    You can study for the exam in the most effective manner by working on problems related to the topics given above.

  3. Use of calculator: Math is a section where you will be allowed to use a calculator. You can bring your own calculator if you want to, provided it meets the requirements of the COMPASS. Otherwise, you can simply use the online calculator that will be provided. If you bring your own calculator, make sure that the battery is full. You can bring spare batteries if you want. It is important for you to know that you will not be allowed to share calculators with another test taker.

  4. Answering the questions: When you are answering the questions, make sure that you calculate the answers correctly and then choose an option that you believe is the right answer. On the other hand, if you are not very sure about the answer option in the math section, you can just choose the option that you feel is the right answer. This is because there is no negative marking if your selection is incorrect. Whichever your guess is, you will have a 20% chance of getting the answer correctly.

  5. Regular study: Since it is a math section, you will have to make sure that you are spending enough time to work on the problems. An important thing about mathematics is that you will only be able to obtain a high score when you practice on a regular basis. There are so many books available in the market that you can consider buying for this purpose. The Internet has many websites that are offering free sample exams to candidates who are looking for the same. You can work on these sample exams and after you complete the test, you will be able to find out how much you have scored because the website will calculate the score for you automatically.

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