Difficulty Level of the COMPASS Test

Understand the Difficulty Level of COMPASS Test

The COMPASS placement test is computer-adaptive in nature and it is also not timed. It is taken by the incoming freshmen to determine the skills and knowledge they have gained in their school years. The subjects tested are Reading, Writing Skills, Writing Essay, Math and English as a Second Language.

  1. The Reading Test- This multiple-choice test helps to determine if you have the reading skills that are needed to succeed in a standard entry-level college course.

  2. The Writing Skills Test- In this section, you are required to identify and correct mistakes in the usage and mechanics which include basic grammar, punctuations and sentence structure; and rhetorical skills that include strategy, organization and style in essays.

  3. The Writing Essay Test- This test is used for identifying your writing ability. Here, you are required to respond to a question describing your position on the issue given in the prompt.

  4. The Math Test- The abilities in Pre-Algebra, Algebra, College Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry are tested here.

  5. The English as A Second Language Test- This test assesses the abilities of non-native English speakers in four different areas.

Importance of the COMPASS Placement Test

The COMPASS placement test is used by the educators to identify the candidate's strengths and weaknesses so that they can be placed in courses that suit them best. The test results are released immediately after the exam and the score report includes a placement message with the details of the courses that the candidate can take up.

Difficulty Level of the Test

The test is not difficult because it tests what you have learnt through your high school years. As said earlier, the COMPASS is an adaptive test and this means that the questions adapt to the capability of the candidate.

The questions asked begin at a certain difficulty level and moves to the next level after you attempt a certain number of questions correctly. On the other hand, if you get certain number of questions wrong, the subsequent questions that you will face will be that of a lower difficulty level.

Test Preparation

It is very important that you prepare for this examination properly so that you will be able to score high in it. When you are prepared, you will find that the COMPASS is actually quite simple. However, if you do not prepare well, then it can turn out to be a nightmare. The exam tests you on your abilities and skills that you have amassed during your school years and refreshing the concepts and a thorough preparation is essential for getting a good score.

Sometimes without proper preparation, the scores you get may be lower than your actual ability level. In such cases, you have to take extra classes. However, these classes will not count for your credit scores. This means that both time and money are wasted because of the lack of a good preparation.


The main reason for taking the COMPASS is to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. The test also helps the educators, based on your abilities and skills, guide you to the right courses.The COMPASS test is not a tough test and with a good preparation, you can get a good score and join the courses you are interested in.

If you are calm during the examination, you can answer the questions well. However, if you are tensed, even simple questions appear difficult and you may not do well in the test even after a good preparation. Therefore,a calm and composed mind is essential while taking up the test.

Terms and Conditions

Information published in TestPrepPractice.net is provided for informational and educational purpose alone for deserving students, researchers and academicians. Though our volunteers take great amount of pain and spend significant time in validating the veracity of the information or study material presented here, we cannot be held liable for any incidental mistakes. All rights reserved. No information or study material in this web site can be reproduced or transmitted in any form, without our prior consent. However the study materials and web pages can be linked from your web site or web page for

  • Research

  • Education

  • Academic purposes

No permission is required to link any of the web page with educational information available in this web site from your web site or web page