COMPASS is an untimed, computerized “success planning”
set of tests that helps your college to evaluate your skills, identify
the levels of courses you are ready to enroll in, and give you
recommendations about additional resources and services you can use to
succeed in the college and the program of your choice.
COMPASS gathers information about your plans, educational needs, and
goals and brings that to the attention of the college, so it can
develop the plan that’s best for you.
The COMPASS system offers tests in:
- Writing Essay
- English as a Second Language (ESL)
- Diagnostic Tests in specific skills in the areas of Mathematics (15
sub-skill areas), Writing (8 sub-skill areas), and Reading (3 skill
areas); examples include diagnostic tests focused on Fractions,
Decimals, etc., to help you to identify specific areas you might need
to review or strengthen.
You will receive your test results immediately after testing with the
COMPASS Student Advising Report, which is customized to alert you to
resources available at the college. Your score report will
include messages about courses the college recommends (or requires)
that you complete, along with information about resources at the
college that can help you develop a plan for success in your program of
How Are COMPASS Scores Used?
COMPASS is not used like a traditional test. There is generally no
"passing score." Rather, COMPASS scores indicate areas in
which your skills are strong and areas where you may need help.
COMPASS can identify problems in major subject areas, so you can
better prepare for courses. You and your institution can use your
scores to prepare a course of study that will be appropriate, relevant,
and meaningful for you.
Where Do I Take the COMPASS Tests?
Most institutions give COMPASS to potential students when they come
to campus to begin exploring or planning to become an enrolled student.
Some institutions may require you to take one or more of the COMPASS
tests before enrolling in a particular program or course. Talk to your
advisor, counselor, assessment center, or Office of Student Services at
the college you are considering to determine the requirements and
recommendations of your institution.
Many COMPASS colleges also have a “remote testing”
option. If you are currently some distance away from a desired college,
you may be able to complete the required COMPASS tests at another
college closer to your current location. In this situation, you
must contact the Assessment Office of the desired college and ask the
college staff there to “register” you to complete your
testing at a COMPASS Remote Testing site closer to your current
If you are applying to a four-year institution, you may need to take
the ACT test