Scoring High in the Writing Section of COMPASS

Writing Skills Required for Scoring High in COMPASS Writing

The COMPASS is a computer-based test of assessment that is administered for those students who want to pursue their college education in the subjects that are tested in this exam. In fact, a majority of colleges use this tool for assisting the students in choosing the courses that they wish to study in college. It is different from the conventional system of testing as the concept of pass/fail does not exist here. While the scores are declared immediately after the test, students can discuss them with the advisors or counselors for obtaining proper guidance regarding the choice of a proper field of education.

The subjects that are tested include the following:

  • Reading Skills
  • Writing Skills
  • Mathematics
  • Essay Writing
  • English as a Second Language

Overview of the Writing Skills section of the COMPASS Test

As far as the Writing Skills section is concerned, it intends to measure whether a student has the skill or ability to study the basic or entry-level courses in the college that requires them to have good knowledge of writing. The score obtained by a student here is important if they require support for the development of their writing skills. In this section of the test, students are instructed to rectify the errors that are present in an essay. The contents of this section  can be noted from the following points:

  • Usage/ Mechanics: This part includes Punctuation, Basic Grammar and Usage and Sentence Structure.
  • Rhetorical Skills: This part deals with Strategy, Organization and Style.

What are the skills required for obtaining good scores in Writing Test?

The knowledge of the Writing Skills test is essential for the students to wish continue their college studies in the courses that are based on this skill. Thus, it is important to know what the skills are required for obtaining good scores. The points mentioned below will sum up a few of these skills:

  • The  test requires the students to rectify the errors present in a writing task.
  • The test takers should have proper knowledge of the ways in which punctuation should be used in a piece of writing particularly the basic rules of punctuation in sentences.
  • In order to score well in the Writing exam, the knowledge of grammar should be accurate so that a test taker is able to identify the grammatical errors in a writing task or an essay. For instance, the subject and verb agreement of the passage should be made free of errors.
  • The students should have patience while exploring each paragraph of the writing task so that it is easier for them to spot the mistakes. These errors may not be present in every sentence although a student should have an eye for details so that the possible errors can be located easily. For scoring high in this section of the COMPASS, a student should be able to spot as many errors as they are present in the writing task that is presented to him/her.
  • The test takers should be able to identify the errors in the structure of the sentence for obtaining good scores.
  • The candidates should also be able to identify whether the style that is followed in the writing task is relevant to the subject of the passage.
  • Knowledge of editing is surely going to help the students obtain good scores in the Writing Skills test.


The Writing Skills test of the COMPASS offers an excellent opportunity to the candidates to demonstrate their ability to identify errors in a writing task. However, having adequate knowledge of the test items of this section is essential for obtaining good scores in this test.

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