All About the COMPASS Test Scores





Interpretation of COMPASS Scores

The COMPASS is an examination that potential students may have to take if they are planning to join a college-level course, because most colleges have made this test mandatory. On the basis of this exam, the educational institution will decide whether to give you admission or not. This is a computerized test and you can complete all the questions at a pace that you feel comfortable in because there is no time limit. You will find three sections included in the exam and these areReading, Writing and Maths. All the questions will be in the form of multiple-choice questions with five answer options for each question. You need to choose an answer from the given options after thinking carefully. Most students finish the examination in about 2.5 hours. The time will depend on how fast you are and also how well-prepared you are for the test. Once you complete the test, you will be able to obtain the score report instantly from the proctor. 

Explanation of the COMPASS Scores

When it comes to scoring, you will find that the scoring system of this exam is not complicated at all. There is nothing complicated about it and you can easily understand it. The scores are automatically calculated by the computer system, since it is an online test. Many people think that understanding the scores is difficult but it is not, like you will discover. Read the following points to find out more about the scores of this exam:

  • Different sections scored individually: If you look at the test report, you will find that there are three scores. This is because each of the three sections of the COMPASS is scored separately and it is also shown in the report as individual scores. You will not find a composite score for these sections, unlike other tests. It is important that you obtain high scores in all the sections so that you will have higher chances of getting admission into the course of your preference.

  • Percentile Score: The scores of this exam will be in the form of percentile score that will range from 1 to 100. Each section is scored as a percentage of the total number of questions that you have answered correctly. If there are 12 questions in a section and you have answered 10 questions correctly, then you will obtain 83%. Generally, each section will have 12 to 15 questions. There is no negative marking for answering the questions incorrectly so even if you are unsure of the answer; you can select an option that you believe is the right option.

  • You can neither pass nor fail the test. However, you need to ensure that you obtain the cut-off score that the college has made mandatory for enrolment in the course that you wish to pursue.

  • Validity of the test report: Another thing you need to know is that most colleges will not accept reports that are older than two years. If your result is over two years old, you may have to take a retest if you wish to apply for a college-level course.

Interpretation of the Scores

Unlike the other exams, there is no passing score in the COMPASS. However, the scores that you obtain can be interpreted in the following ways:

  • Generally, it is important that you obtain 78% in the Reading section of the COMPASS. Any score lower than this will be considered as low and it will decrease your chances of gaining admission in a college.
  • In the Writing section, you should score a minimum of 70% because it is the cut-off score in most colleges.
  • Last but not the least, in the Maths section you need to have at least 75% otherwise you will not be able to get enrolled for the math course that you have in mind.



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