COMPASS is important for students and institutions for bringing out
the best out of the education system. There is no point in working
towards something that you are not skilled enough for. Likewise,
investing in students who are misfits for courses leads to wastage of
educational resources and efforts. Hence, there is need of a system
that enables students and educators achieve their best. COMPASS meets
The test is meant for judging students for the skills they have developed during their years of education. This might make students think that the skills they are good at shall help them achieve results, irrespective of their preparation for the exam. This however, is not true. No matter how capable a person is, he does require some amount of preparation for delivering to the best of his capabilities.
Why is Preparing for COMPASS Important?
Unlike competitive exams, COMPASS is an assessment test. Most exams like SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT etc. are competitive exams meant for admission purposes. COMPASS however, is taken for placement in different courses. This makes it crucial for determining your course of study and hence you need to prepare for it.
The exam is completely computer adaptive. Since you do not have a choice in this matter, you need to get accustomed to its format and the testing conditions in order to avoid any distractions while you appear for the exam.
The test is not limited by time. This shows how the exam is not meant to test you under any sort of pressure. You are free to perform in a relaxing atmosphere where your true potential is brought out, unrestricted by any constraints. This makes the competition tougher and hence you shall have to be prepared as well as the best students.
Hence, its unique features require you to prepare well for it.
How should I Prepare for COMPASS?
The method of preparation you employ depends largely on your capabilities and your aspirations. There can be two types of situations; either your capabilities match up to your aspirations or they do not. When you are capable of something, then achieving it becomes easy. On the other hand, if you do not possess the skills required for something, then achievement requires hard work. In either case, success depends on your efforts.
- For those who are capable of pursing the course they desire, efforts are required to put their best performance and obtain scores parallel to their capacity. They need to sharpen their smooth edges and revise concepts previously learnt in order to deliver their best.
- For those who are not as capable and whose skill level is not in accordance with their hopes, the road to success can be slightly difficult. However, hard work and meticulously executed preparation plans can see them through.
Where can I get Help from?
You should prepare a schedule and work according to it to achieve your preparation goals. The website www.act.org contains sample questions related with every subject. This website should be your starting point for preparing. Go through all the sample questions and answers and understand what is expected of you.
There are other sources of preparation as well, like software, books, courses, tuitions etc. Whatever source of preparation you choose there are a few things to be kept in mind.
- Ascertain whether you need an external source of preparation or not. Your textbooks should suffice in case you are confident about your abilities. If you feel even the slightest requirement of some external source then you must not hesitate to take help.
- While selecting a source of preparation, be mindful of your budget, convenience, specific requirements, weak and strong subject areas, time available for preparation, alternate sources of preparation and other such factors.
- If you purchase a book, you should check that it is the latest publication in accordance with the syllabus, covers the entire syllabus and is published by a reputed publisher. Second hand books also come in handy. Go to amazon.com and ebay.com for cheaper books along with their reviews.
- Those planning to take the help of prep courses should inquire about the results of the alumni. Important things to consider would include the qualifications of instructors, the syllabus covered, practice tests, cost and duration of course, proximity to your residence etc.
- Flashcards and preparation software should be such that they provide help in accordance with their price. Ensure this by going through others’ opinions.
- The quality of a source cannot be determined by its cost. A costly source need not be good and a cheap source might deliver more than expected.
- Keep your personal needs and capabilities in mind. There is no substitute of confidence and you must contemplate over before choosing any source of preparation. Chances are that preparation for other exams like SAT, GRE, ACT etc. gives you an opportunity to prepare for COMPASS as well. Hence, you might not require a separate course for COMPASS preparation. Integrated courses can also be an option worth considering.
Keeping some tips in mind can be very helpful for taking the test. Tips shall help you use your potential to the fullest while making optimum use of your energy.
You should learn how to make guesses. There is no penalty for incorrect answers and this stands to benefit you. However, guesswork should be the last option and one should learn how to make educated guesses as a part of preparation.
Do not rush through the exam. Take time to answer each question and ponder over all the answer options before you mark the answer.
- Though you do not have any time limits on the exam, you should not spend so much time on a question that you end up getting confused about the answer. Moreover, spending too much time on a question results in loss of interest and becomes exhausting. Losing confidence will lead to confusion in the easiest question.
- Understand your duties and rights as a test taker before you reach the test center. You could be violating rules without knowing it. Else, you could be missing your rights for lack of knowledge.
- Give equal importance to all the tests. Consider the exam as self-assessment and make the most of the opportunity. Prepare for all the tests so as to get a genuine idea of your abilities.
Where else should I Guard Against?
One helpful aspect of the test is that it is not time bound. This relieves you of any tension of performing quickly and hence you can spend appropriate amount of time on each question. With the time factor taken care of, there is little to worry or upset you during the exam time. Your concentration then is on the questions and obtaining the correct answers.
Another reason for not performing well can be getting unnerved during the exam due to unforeseen circumstances. This too can be avoided if you familiarize yourself with the testing conditions by gaining as much knowledge about it as possible.
At times, one difficult question is enough to make you lose confidence. Then you end up making silly mistakes and cannot perform in spite of being capable. The only way to avoid this situation is by preparing well and keeping your confidence level high. Keep relaxed while you step in the exam room and remain composed while taking the exam. Taking practice tests in simulated conditions shall help you get accustomed to the testing conditions and this shall help you perform well.
Feeling confident about your preparation shall reflect in your performance. This is one important aspect of test taking that you must work upon during preparation.
There is nothing in the world that is not achievable for those who are determined. Go by your gut feeling and explore all options. You can take up any course in college that you are interested in, in spite of your skills. The only thing that you need to keep in mind is that the test results are very reliable. Pay heed to the results and keep in mind your scores. It is better to excel in the field you are good in than trying your hands at something that you are not capable for.