Preparing for COMPASS Test
Professional Assistance Available for COMPASS Prep
With many colleges and other educational institutions in the country using the COMPASS scores to place students into courses appropriate to their academic skills and ability levels; the COMPASS is a test of much importance to those seeking higher education in the United States. COMPASS preparation is, therefore, a step you cannot miss out while preparing for college. Here is an article that describes the vital points to be remembered while preparing for COMPASS test; also listed here are some of the professional help sources available today for preparing for COMPASS test.
The Significance of the ACT COMPASS Test
Whatever may be your area of interest and course of study, completing college-level courses may require a certain level of academic knowledge, skills, and expertise; and COMPASS is a test that helps colleges evaluate this college-readiness of prospective candidates.
It is a battery of different subject and skill tests so that the ability levels and knowledge of candidates can be tested in different areas, as required. As the test is evaluative in nature, it does not carry any negative scoring for incorrect answers; nor are there any pass or fail marks set for this test. The COMPASS test is also diagnostic in nature and helps colleges assess the need for any developmental/remedial programs for those areas, in which each individual student may be lacking.
While preparing for COMPASS test, you may also note that the COMPASS test package is customizable as per the individual course requirements of the conducting college/institution. A student enrolled to a Math program may have to take the Math COMPASS component, along with the Reading and Writing skill tests. However, one who wants to take up a language course at college, may not be required to take up the Math component of the test; similarly, foreign students are generally administered an ESL component to evaluate their language abilities, as may be required for academic as well as day-to-day functioning.
Yet another significant feature of the COMPASS test that adds on to its diagnostic and evaluative purposes is that the test is not timed. Hence, all test takers are encouraged to complete the test at their own pace, and under no kind of pressure or time limits. Accommodated testing is also provided to those eligible, as per the policies at the conducting institute.
While preparing for COMPASS test, the first and foremost important point is to learn everything about the test and also understand why it is conducted. You may find more information on the various related aspects of the test at the official test website http://www.act.org/products/higher-education-act-compass/.
COMPASS Test Content, Question Types, and Test Duration
Learning about what is on the test is the next important part while preparing for COMPASS test. The following are the different tests included in the test battery (can be customized as per needs):
- The Reading test (placement and diagnostic)
- The Writing test (placement and diagnostic)
- The Writing Essay test
- The Mathematics test (placement and diagnostic)
- The English as a Second Language (ESL) test
You may note that some of these tests have two different components, the placement test and the diagnostic test. While the placement tests help colleges decide the best possible course for each individual student based on their COMPASS scores, the diagnostic tests are designed to help assess the need for any remedial programs as per any academic shortcomings of each test taker.
All the tests include, except for the Writing Essay test, multiple-choice questions. For more details on the test content and sample questions, check the official COMPASS website
Professional Assistance for COMPASS Test Preparation
Apart from learning about the test and test contents, while preparing for COMPASS test, you may also need to take at least one pre-test and as many as possible, practice tests. With plenty of different types of resources available for test preparation today, you may also need to choose the best one for yourself. While some may prefer to do self-study with the help of books, guides, and online materials, some others might need professional assistance or prep programs.
The professional programs generally include topics and practice sessions for all the important aspects of the test, and also may provide you with the advantage of a class-room environment, with guidance from experts and a group of peers to learn and share with. Most colleges or other educational institutions conducting the COMPASS test also provide professional assistance to test takers for preparing for COMPASS test. This assistance is apart from the prep materials provided on many of their websites:
- Georgia Highlands College (http://www.highlands.edu/site/tutorial-center-compass-test-preparation)
- Joliet Junior College (http://www.jjc.edu/services-for-students/academic-resources/academic-skills-center/Pages/compass-review-materials.aspx)
- Gwinnet Technical College (http://www.gwinnetttech.edu/content.cfm?PageCode=eexam)
- Maysville Community and Technical College (http://maysville.kctcs.edu/Academics/Adult_Education/College_Preparation.aspx)
In addition, there are other professional programs and coaching classes available, like those from the COMPASS Education Group (http://www.compassprep.com/).
Thus, there can be different kinds of materials and programs for prep help. However, practical wisdom lies in choosing the best help that fits your specific needs for COMPASS test preparation.
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