The Preferred Range of Test Scores for COMPASS

How much should you Score to Get into Your Preferred College?

The COMPASS is an untimed, computer-adaptive college placement test. Most often, the test is taken up by the incoming freshmen during the orientation program. The subjects tested here are Mathematics, Writing, Writing Essay, Reading and English as a Second Language.

A Brief Description of the Test

As stated earlier, the test is computer-adaptive, which means that the difficulty level of the test automatically adapts to your capability. In other words, the test begins at a certain difficulty level and moves on to more difficult areas or less difficult areas depending on your answers. If you answer a set of questions with the correct answer, the computer generates the next set of questions that is harder. On the other hand, if you answer them wrong, the next set of questions generated would be placed at a lower difficulty level.

Another important aspect about the test is that all the questions are multiple-choice questions and the syllabus for the test pertains to whatever you have studied in your high school years.

The first test of the several tests that you take is called the initial domain and the last test that you would take up is called the placement domain. The scores in the placement domain help the educators decide the courses that you can take up in college.

The COMPASS Score Range

The most unique aspect of the test is that there is no "passing score" in this exam. The score card is released immediately after the exam and the courses you can opt for are also given in the report itself.

The score ranges from 0 to 100. While, 0 is the lowest, 100 is the highest you can attain in the test. Each college has different minimum cutoff scores for the courses they offer. Hence, only if you score more than the cutoff score, would you be allowed to enroll for that particular course.

Though you do not pass or fail in the test, it is important that you attain a high score in it. Most colleges have high cutoff scores. A score range of 70 to 100 in algebra is required to join a mathematics course. If you attain a score in the lower range, the choice of courses you could opt for would be few.

Only if you attain a grade of 75 to 100 in the Writing section, you would be considered as having the writing skills that are required for a college level entry course.

Importance of COMPASS Scores

Your abilities and skills level are determined by the educators based on the scores that you attain in the different subject areas. It is important that you attain a grade in the top range. Only with such a score, can you join a course in your preferred college. Moreover, if you attain lower grades, you would have to enroll for remedial courses that would take up your time, energy and money but will not add up to your college credits. Sometimes, you may have to take up a retest to attain the desired scores.

Preparation for the Test

Only with a good preparation, you could attain a high grade that would ensure a seat in your preferred college. Good study guides are available in the market that can be used for the test preparation. Moreover, free study guides and practice tests are available online that can be used for your perusal. You must take care to revise all the formulae, concepts and theories that you have learnt in your high school years.


The COMPASS is a simple test and you can attain high scores in it if you sincerely prepare for the test. You must learn about the various score requirements for the college you would like to join and prepare with an aim to achieve a score in that range.