Prep Methods for COMPASS

The Most Preferred COMPASS Test Prep Options

Though the COMPASS test is an evaluative and diagnostic test that does not have specific pass or fail scoring criteria, the scores of the test play an important role in deciding your academic future. Most colleges in the United States rely on these scores to decide the best possible course work for their students. Though the test evaluates your college-readiness in various subject areas based on your high school levels, it is always better to be prepared for the test. Read here about some of the commonly accepted preparatory options.


As in the case of any other test prep, the first important step towards this test's preparation would be to try and understand the test. The COMPASS is a customizable package of multiple subject tests that are untimed and computerized. Most colleges and higher education institutions in the country utilize the COMPASS testing to understand about their students’ academic skills and levels, and accordingly place them in appropriate level of courses. The test also helps colleges take a diagnostic view of the students’ academic abilities and accordingly help them take up any remedial or additional courses to improve their performance in the weaker areas. The tests included are:

  • The Reading test
  • The Writing test
  • The Mathematics test
  • The Writing Essay test
  • The English as a Second Language (ESL) test

The best resource to start your prep, thus, would be the official website ( It has all the important information; like what COMPASS test is, why it is taken, and what the test areas included are.

Preparing for the COMPASS Test

If you understand the test and its purpose, you may not need additional practicing for taking the COMPASS test. But, the point to be remembered is that the test is trying to understand your potential and skills and academic level, and hence you need to prepare for the test based on your aspirations and interests. For example, if you are planning to take up Math in college, your areas of focus for the test's preparation should be algebra, pre-algebra, trigonometry, etc. so that you can do well in the Math COMPASS test, and thus get placed in a course that you are aspiring for. You may also have to do well in the Reading and Writing tests of COMPASS, for these are the skills required for almost all entry level courses in colleges.

For COMPASS preparation, a lot of options are available these days. These include books, online resources, online and on site classroom programs, etc. Learn about some of the most preferred options as under.

Prep Options

Listed here are some of the popular options for preparation. You can take suggestions and help from previous test takers and from the college/institution you are applying to, as well.

While selecting a prep option, however, make sure that it fits your specific needs for taking the COMPASS test. Also, make sure that you are getting authentic materials and required guidance for taking the test.