Sources to Prepare for the COMPASS

5 Invaluable Prep Sources for COMPASS Test Prep

Though not a competitive test that determines your admission into any college or institute, the COMPASS is an important step in the admission and placement procedures of many institutes in the US. The test scores paint a clear analysis of the test takers' skills and academic levels and, in turn, help the institution or college place the students in courses that are appropriate to their knowledge levels. Preparation is, therefore, a significant step in your college admission, and when you study for this test, you should take care that no important aspects of the test are missed out. Learn more about COMPASS test preparation here, along with pointers to five invaluable resources for this purpose:

What Is COMPASS and Why Is It Administered?

When preparing for any test, the first step is to learn about the test in detail. The COMPASS is an evaluative and diagnostic battery of computerized subject tests. The test package administered at each institute can be customized, based on the requirements of the institute. That is, not all test takers are administered the same package, but different subject/skill tests as per the requirements.

While, many institutions in the country use this test as a pre-requisite to admission or as part of the enrollment process, many others administer this test to students who have already enrolled to courses.

Along with compass prep, let us, therefore, understand why it is administered. Rounding up this aspect, it can be said that this test is administered so that institutions can:

  • Measure the skills and academic levels of students in different subject areas, and analyze their college-readiness for entry-level courses

  • Learn about any strong and weak areas for each student

  • Place students in classes appropriate to their academic levels and existing skill levels

  • Assess the need and plan for developmental and supportive programs to help students improve in any weaker areas

For more information on the ACT COMPASS test, you may refer to the official test website:

The COMPASS Test Content and Question Types

While preparing for the COMPASS test, it is also essential that we learn what is on the test. The following are the subject and skill tests included in the COMPASS test:

  • The Writing test (placement and diagnostic)

  • The Writing Essay test

  • The Reading test (both placement and diagnostic)

  • The Mathematics test (placement and diagnostic)

  • The English as a Second Language (ESL) test

Each of these tests contains multiple-choice questions, except for the Writing Essay test. Also, the ESL test is generally administered for foreign students and not for everyone. More details on the test content and sample questions can be found at the official COMPASS website (

Furthermore, it should also be noted that none of the COMPASS test sections is time-bound. You are encouraged to complete the sections at your own pace, with no kind of time limits and restraints, or pressure preventing you from giving your best.

When getting ready for the COMPASS test, you may also need to pay attention to institute-specific testing and scoring requirements and accordingly prepare yourself. Taking a pre-test, practicing well, focusing on essential areas, and getting yourself the right kind of resources and prep materials are vital factors of preparation.

While choosing the materials for preparation, you should choose the ones that are authentic and tailor-made to your specific needs for test preparation. For example, if you need comprehensive test help, you should choose resources or programs that fit the bill; but for specific areas, you must select the ones that are more focused and delving into the topic.

Five Essential Resources for COMPASS Test Preparation

  1. The official COMPASS website ( - This is the best and foremost important resource that you should seek online when getting ready for COMPASS. Providing links to all the important aspects of the COMPASS test like question types, sections, time duration, scoring and the like, this is one of those resources no COMPASS test taker can miss out.

  2. The college or institution where you are taking the test - This is the next important place for getting yourself ready for your COMPASS test. Most institutes have their own websites providing all related information on the COMPASS test, and any specific requirements. You may therefore not forget to check with your college/institute during preparation for this test. Many times, the institute might be conducting prep programs or providing access to specific resources for test preparation.

  3. COMPASS Exam - Bob Miller's Math Prep - An important prep material available in the market today, this study guide to COMPASS Math preparation is considered a comprehensive resource. With example, drills, and two practice tests based on actual test questions, along with detailed answer keys, this resource covers all important aspects of the COMPASS Math test ( Special tips and strategies from the author, also an experienced Math teacher, add more value to this guide and make it one of the most sought-after prep resources for COMPASS Math.

  4. COMPASS Exam Practice Questions (First Set): Practice Test & Review for the Computer Adaptive Placement Assessment and Support System - If looking for COMPASS practice questions, this popular title from Mometrix Media is a popular choice. Detailed and in-depth answers provided for each practice question make this title a very useful resource for preparation. For more information, visit

  5. COMPASS Exam Success: The Easy Breezy Guide to Help COMPASS Test Takers is yet another comprehensive title for COMPASS test preparation. With review materials for each subject presented in an easily understandable way, this COMPASS test prep book also includes general strategies and overview information for the test. You may find more information about this title at:

Conclusively, it must be said that with many test prep resources available for COMPASS preparation, it may not be easy to choose the right one for you. However, it is important that all candidates select the best resources that fit their specific needs and any budgetary constraints.