Sources of Study for the COMPASS

How to Select Your COMPASS Test Prep Source

The ACT COMPASS test scores form an important part of the admission and placement procedures in many US colleges and other educational institutions. The institutions use the test scores to learn about the students' skills and levels and accordingly place them in classes that best fit their educational levels. Though there is no shortage of prep materials and sources to study for this test, selecting the best material can be a difficult task. In this article, you may learn more about modes of study and how to choose the best prep source.


The COMPASS is a test used by many educational institutions in the country to evaluate and accordingly place their students in classes appropriate to their levels and skill sets. Different subject tests are included in this exam for this purpose, so that students can be evaluated in their specific course areas. Also, the test scores help institutions decide the need for any developmental and support programs for students to help them improve in their respective weak areas. Thus, being evaluative in nature, the COMPASS tests do not have any pass and fail criteria. Also, test takers are allowed to complete the tests at their own pace, giving in their best performance so as to allow a more accurate evaluation of their skills and abilities.

More information about the COMPASS test and its test content is available at the official test website

Preparing for the COMPASS Test

It is a popular belief that being a non-competitive test, additional resources and prep classes may not be essential to study for this exam. Knowing about different aspects of COMPASS test like the test sections, types of questions, and duration, in detail is highly important. Yet, in addition to understanding the test, it is also important that you practice well for the test and focus on any weaker areas. In this regard, a good prep source can definitely aid all your efforts towards COMPASS test preparation.

For specific preparation and score requirements, you may also need check with the particular university or college you are applying to, as each individual institute may have its own customized test packages and different minimum score requirements for placement.

Selecting the Best COMPASS Prep Resource

Choosing the best prep source for studying may not be an easy task for you, especially with a lot of sources, programs, and titles around. Discover a few essential pointers here that can help you evaluate your COMPASS test prep sources. Remember that prep sources may include books, guides, online resources, downloadable materials, websites, and classes and prep programs specifically designed for COMPASS testing:

  • Determine your area of study and then choose the prep source: Every one of you may not be interested in pursuing the same courses at college. Hence, while selecting a COMPASS test prep source, this should be one of your primary concerns; that you choose a source that helps in your plan of study and preparing for the course of study you are enrolling in. For this, it is critical that you first understand your interests and aptitudes.

  • Decide the kind of help you need: Also, depending on your needs, the types of titles and prep sources should be selected. That is, depending on whether you need help with only specific areas of testing or need comprehensive help, you must choose a prep resource accordingly. Some titles like COMPASS Exam - Bob Miller's Math Prep focus on Math areas; in addition provide comprehensive test help. However, if you are not taking up Math at college, a Math title may not be of help to you.

  • Ensure authenticity and accuracy of the prep source: Authenticity and accuracy of information included, the author's expertise and experience, and the publisher's credibility are important factors while choosing any prep resource. While selecting other prep sources like prep classes, and online resources also, the credibility, authenticity, and the accuracy of the source/parent institute are primary factors that you need to verify.

  • Choose resources that best fit your pocket: While many books and prep sources are competitively priced, many other sources for COMPASS test preparation are available free of cost. In addition, you may find prep programs and classes run by community colleges and even your institute; many of which come at no extra cost or at a nominal fee. You can also lend books from friends and family, and from libraries. Hence, the price of the prep book is a factor, especially if you have budget constraints.

There might be different resources that meet these criteria, or you may find only a few. In any case, the goal is to select the best source for yourself to prepare for COMPASS test, score well in the test, and move ahead. When selecting a prep resource, therefore, remember that each candidate's needs are different and the selection for each is more or less an individual decision.