Information About the COMPASS

Your Information Hub for Compass Test Sections

What is COMPASS?

The examination is one that is used by colleges to assess the skills of a candidate and then to place him into a course that is most suitable for him. This exam is offered by the ACT and it is basically taken on a computer. This means that the candidate will need to have the basic idea of how to operate the computer in order to take the test. The reason why this test is taken is to ascertain whether or not a particular student has the skills to successfully complete college-level courses. Furthermore, the result of the test will determine which courses the applicant is ready for (be it courses to get him ready for the college level courses or whether he is ready for college level directly). The main reason why students take this test is because they want to make sure that they are placed in a course that is right for them.

COMPASS Sections

In the test, you will find that there are three sections and these are as follows:

  1. Maths: The areas that will be tested include Algebra, Numerical Skills/Pre-Algebra, College Algebra, Trigonometry and Geometry. To answer the questions in this section, the candidate is permitted to make use of a calculator. He can bring his own calculator or he can make use of the online calculator that will be provided to the test taker. The questions in this section will measure basic math skills, application of the mathematical operations and the analysis of the mathematical operations.
  2. Writing: In this section of the exam, the candidate will be given an essay and then he will have to look for mistakes in the style, grammar, usage and punctuation.
  3. Reading: In this section of the exam, there are five kinds of passages and these are from Humanities, Natural Sciences, Prose Fiction, Social Sciences and Practical Reading. It is possible for the candidate to spend as much time as he wants in each passage to ensure that he is answering the questions correctly.

All the questions in each of the sections are multiple-choice questions and each of the sections will take about 30-40 minutes to finish. An important thing one needs to remember is that there is no specific time limit; this means that that a test taker can pace himself independently.

Importance of the COMPASS Test

  • The exam is very important because it will help in determining your skills and then finding out which courses will be best for you. If there are any areas that you are weak in, you can find this out by taking the test. Certain skills are required to study specific courses and if you want to find out which courses you will be most suited to, then you can take this exam. With the help of this test, it will be possible for you to find out which course will be proper as well as significant for you.
  • Through this test, it will be possible for you to find out which areas you are weak in and which areas you are strong in. Once you know your weak areas, you can put in more effort to improve in those areas.
  • The outcome of the exam will also help you in determining whether you need to attend any additional course to help you prepare for the college level courses.
  • There are some colleges that will require you to take this exam before you can register for a specific course. As such, you need to do well in this test so that you will be able to get enrolled in the course of your preference. You can always get in touch with the counsellor or advisor of the college that you wish to register yourself in to find out more information on this.

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