Study Guide for COMPASS Math

e-books for Math Prep

The COMPASS is a college placement test and the difficulty level of the multiple-choice questions in this test adapts to the capability of the candidate. The questions begin at a certain level of difficulty. If the student answers a certain number of questions with the correct answer, then the next difficulty level questions are given. This way the difficulty level of the questions keeps increasing. On the other hand, if the student's answers are wrong, the questions move to a lower level.

Math is one of the subject areas in this test. The students' skills and knowledge in five sub-sections of mathematics are tested here. These sub-sections are:

  1. Pre-Algebra
  2. Algebra
  3. College Algebra
  4. Geometry
  5. Trigonometry

The scores reflect the students’ ability and skill that they have gained in their high school years. The educators, based on these scores, help the students in identifying the appropriate courses for their college study.

Preparation for the Test

As said earlier, the students’ knowledge and ability that they have gained in the high school years are tested in the COMPASS. However, thorough preparation is required to get the desired scores. Math is a subject where one needs to constantly refresh the concepts and formulae. Opting for a study guide will be a good thing to do as the book will help the students prepare for this subject.

Study Guides

There are many study guides that a student can use for preparation. However, a good test prep book should be able to help the students increase their scores. The book you buy should have the following aspects:

  1. Matching of Requirements- The requirements of each student will be different with respect to the study guide. Thus, it is best that each one uses a study guide that best suits his/her requirements.
  2. Explanation of Solutions- A study guide with Math problems alone is not enough for preparation. Therefore, a book that gives a step-by step explanation of the solutions is preferable. This is one of the important aspects that differentiates a good book from the other guides.
  3. Practice Tests- Practice is the only way one can improve his/her Mathematical skills. Therefore, a good study guide should have at least two practice tests.
  4. Exam Tips- Some study guides give tips that prove very useful while solving Math problems in simpler ways. These tips prove to be very helpful and time saving in the exam. A prep book with these tips is better than those without them.

There are basically two types of study guides- books and e-books. Here, we shall talk about e-books in detail.


An e-book is a book that is electronically published and can be read on a computer or other such devices. In today’s world, using e-books is an easy way to prepare for any test. Good e-books are available for the test and some of them are reviewed here for the students' perusal.

  1. -

    This guide covers the important topics in pre-algebra and algebra portions of the Math test. It is a free e-book where each lesson in it is followed by practice questions. Many practice tests are also available in this book.

  2. -

    This ebook is also available free of cost if the students buy all of their practice tests for Reading, Writing and Math sections of the COMPASS. The printed version of the study guide can also be requested.

  3. YourTeacher -

    This is a comprehensive Math study guide. A list of the topics is given in it and the students can choose the topic they want to learn.

  4. Apart from these guides, most of the colleges websites offer  practice tests. The links to these tests are available at the respective college websites.


Sincere and thorough preparation is essential to get a good score in the COMPASS. Moreover, it is important that the students get a high score because if they get low scores, then they have to register for remedial courses that will use up the students’ time and money but wont even add to the college credits. Hence, it is advised that students use the Math study guides and prepare well for the test.