Must-Have Books for the COMPASS

Must-have COMPASS Test Prep Books


The COMPASS test is administered to gauge the level of college preparedness of a student. It is generally considered mandatory in some colleges, while in others, it can be used as an alternative to the SAT test for determining eligibility.

Nature of the COMPASS Test:

The test has some features that sets it apart from other tests. They are:

  • It is not a pass/fail test
  • It is untimed
  • It is computer adaptive

Since it is not a pass/fail test, many students wonder if any preparation is at all required for the test and if such a preparation should be done using preparatory books. The answer is a definite 'yes'.

Why is Preparation Required?

Thorough preparation is required for the test because of three main factors:

  • To complete graduation in less time.
  • To save on tuition fees.
  • To save on time spent on preparatory courses.

Beyond these three factors, a thorough study of the syllabus is also vital to cruise through the courses that you take up in college. A sound base in fundamentals can be achieved using study guides.

What are the Kinds of Books Available?

Some prep books focus only on providing strategies and tips to perform better in the exam, while others try to build your basics so as to instil a sound level of understanding of the subject. While it is important to get a feel of the exam by using practice tests, it is also important to get your basics right. This causes confusion in many test takers while selecting books for preparation.

Broadly, the types of test prep material can be divided into the following three types:

  • Ones that focus on tips and strategies
  • Ones that provide shortcut ways to solve problems
  • Ones that focus on the subject matter

For the test, the selection of the right prep books depends on the amount of time you have before the exam. If possible, the books that focus on the subject matter must be preferred because they are also helpful in the long run, even during college. However, if time is less, studying from these books can be cumbersome and can undermine your confidence. If there is less time, you must select a book that has many practice tests and provides strategies focussed on the exam.

What are the Best COMPASS Test Prep Books Available in the Market?

All kinds of books are available in the market, and most of them promise quick ways to ace the exams. More often than not, these books are simply focussed on profit making for the publisher, and simply not usable in the long term. Here’s a review of some must-have prep books you should be considering in your test prep.

  1. COMPASS Exam Practice Questions by Barnes and Noble:

    The best way to crack the exam is through consistent, disciplined and dogged practice. This is the book that provides just that. If you are taking the Math section of the test, then this book is a definite must-have. It is also good if you have less time for your preparation.

  2. COMPASS Exam- Bob Millers test prep:

    This book comes from a good author, who is a pro in authoring books for exams. With varied experience in writing books for exams, Bob Miller can be banked upon when you have a weakness in math. This is a popular book among test takers.

  3. Chart Your Success on the COMPASS Test by Carol Callahan:

    This book is among the few effective books, that have been around since ages. It has been read and re-read by hundreds of test takers. This is therefore in our list of must-have prep books. Although a bit fudgy when it comes to answer keys and publishing, this study guide can be trusted for effective preparation.

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