A Guide for Test Preparation for COMPASS

Step-by-Step COMPASS Test Preparation Guide

Though the COMPASS test does not have a pass or fail score criterion, the scores play a vital role in deciding the academic path you might take up. The test content and questions are designed to measure and check college-readiness of applicants in various subject areas. Though the test does not endorse any special preparation for taking the test, it is ideal you give your best performance and thus justify the test purpose. Learn more about how to go about your test preparation here.

What is the COMPASS Test?

It is a customizable, computerized package of untimed tests. Different subjects/domain areas like writing skills, reading skills, and Mathematics are included in this test. Many higher education institutions and colleges in the United States make use of this testing to analyze their students’ skills and academic levels, and then place them in appropriate college-level courses. The tests included are:

  • The Mathematics test
  • The Reading test
  • The Writing Essay test
  • The Writing test
  • The English as a Second Language (ESL) test

How to Get Ready for the COMPASS Test?

If you learn what the test is about and why is it used, you may not need any additional preparation for taking the test. But, as the test is to analyze your skills and academic levels, and accordingly place you in college courses that befit you the most; it is important that you prepare yourself for the test based on your aspirations and interests, and thus do well in your chosen areas. For example, if you are planning to take up a writing course at college, you may have to focus more on this area.

For preparation, a number of titles are available these days, along with prep programs available both onsite and online. Listing out all the options for test preparation would not be practical; hence, here we provide a step-by-step approach guide to preparing for the test.

Step-by-Step Approach to COMPASS Test Preparation

  1. As in the case of any test preparation, the most vital step is to learn about the test in details like, test purpose, subject areas tested, and test duration. The first place to start your preparation would be the official website (http://www.act.org/compass/student/index.html). You can learn more about the test from the institute where you have applied to/enrolled, as well..
  2. Look at the types of questions asked in the respective tests that you will be taking. You can find sample questions at the official website (http://www.act.org/compass/sample/), and at many other places online and offline. Looking at the questions would give you a fair idea about the test and helps you prepare realistically. You may as well take up a pre-test, which gives you a clearer picture of your own strong and weak areas well ahead of the actual test. You can find a Math pre-test online at: (http://www.businessbookmall.com/Test-Prep%20Mathematics.htm).
  3. Based on the analysis of the pre-test scores and your own understanding of your academic levels, focus on the areas of study for yourself. For example, if you are weak in Algebra, it is advised that you brush up your skills in the area.
  4. Identify the resources for your preparation. With many books, online resources, practice tests, review materials available electronically and in print format, ensure to choose the best form and titles for yourself, based on your budget, comfort levels, and accessibility. Note that many public libraries in the country as well keep preparation materials for this test (for example, http://libguides.greenriver.edu/content.php?pid=59463&sid=436731).
  5. If joining a preparation program onsite or online, choose the right kind of program for yourself. Many colleges, community colleges, and universities conduct prep classes for students. For example, the Georgia Highlands College is conducting a test prep program (http://www.highlands.edu/site/tutorial-center-compass-test-preparation).
  6. Take a lot of practice tests. Practicing the test using actual or similar questions help you tremendously in picking up the pattern, getting yourself accustomed to the kind of questions, and also improve your confidence. Though the test is not timed, it is better you improve your own timings, so that you can deliver your best on the test day.
  7. Lastly, be relaxed when you are giving your test. Get enough sleep and rest the previous night, keep yourself sufficiently hydrated and give your best!

Given here is only a step-by-step approach to getting ready for the test; you can find many study guide titles for test preparation online and in print as well. However, when you choose a prep program or title, always ensure that you are choosing the right one that fits your needs, style of learning, and your pocket.

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