Preferable Scores From the COMPASS

What Compass Scores Do Top Colleges Prefer

The score chart in the COMPASS test, also known as "Standard Individual Report" is the official score sheet provided to you after you complete the test. The test is a self paced computer adaptive test that helps in finding whether you are "college-ready".

Most students get into dedicated preparation for the test, to save on tuition fees for courses that are elementary and to save time for graduation. While the format of the chart for scores is dependent on the college in which you administer the test, here’s a list of sections that are common and most noticeable.

Section 1: General Information

This section is used to display some basic information about the student, his background information and the GPA, if provided by the student. It also mentions the day, date and centre of the test. For most colleges, the result sheet is valid for two years.

Section 2: Demographics

This section of the score report displays information such as whether the student has requested enrolment in scholarship programmes or career guidance. This is for the internal use of the college, and has no forbearance on the final outcome. It only displays the optional information already provided by the student before the exam.

Section 3: Assessment Results

This section provides information about the actual score the student has scored in the exam. It is usually divided into three sections corresponding to three tests - maths, reading and writing. Each section has scores based on initial and placement domains. The marks in the placement domain on your score report is used to determine which courses should be taken by the student to become college-ready.

Different colleges can recommend different courses for the same placement domain, so it is important to understand the cut-off score of the college you intend to study in. Thankfully, these can be easily found on the official website of the college, or simply by browsing through the admission catalogue.

COMPASS cut-off in State Fair Community College

To serve as an example, the cut off scores for different tests and the corresponding recommendations for State Fair Community College can be found at

As can be seen, a score of 43-65 in math in the test places a student in MATH 108 or MATH 112. What is interesting in the sheet is that a SAT score of 430-459 will place the student in the same subjects. However, the SAT test is a timed test, while COMPASS is untimed. Thus, a distinct advantage can be gained in case the college admits both SAT and COMPASS scores, by understanding how well you can adapt to time pressure. If you are not comfortable when made to perform under time pressure, you might want to consider the possibility of appearing in the COMPASS test.

COMPASS cut-off in Kapi'olani Community College

The cut-off scores in Kapi'olani Community College can be found at

The cut-off scores are specific to COMPASS, and no-matter how well you score, the college places you in at least one course.

COMPASS cut-off in Joliet Junior College:

The cut-off scores specific to the math section for JJC college can be found at

What is important about this cut-off sheet is that the document clearly mentions how the Geometry pre-requisite can be met by earning 50 or more points in the geometry test.

Thus, it can be seen that different colleges can have different cut-offs for the test, and it is wise to target the college after checking the cut-off scores. Sample score sheets as well as cut-off scores can be downloaded from the official sites of your target college, or from the official college admission brochure. It is in general a good practice to be aware of the cut-off scores and the score chart to be comfortable in making a decision about the college you intend to study in.