Assessment and Placement

The Compass Test is used for assessment and placement.

Assessment means that your college wants to get a measurement of your skill level in one or more academic areas, such as English, reading, or math.

The Compass Test assesses your ability in these areas by functioning as a computer-adaptive test.

Computer-adaptive tests are those that assess a student’s level after the response to each question.

The difficulty level of the subsequent questions is then pitched according to whether the previous question was answered correctly or not.

If you answer the first few questions incorrectly on your Compass assessment, you may receive easier questions which are worth fewer points overall.

For this reason, take your time when answering questions on the Compass test, especially as you begin to answer the first few questions of the exam.

Your college will then place you in classes according to your performance on the Compass assessment. This process is called placement.

For this reason, the Compass Test is sometimes referred to as the Compass Assessment or the Compass Placement Test.

You may be placed in developmental English or introductory math classes if you perform poorly on your actual Compass Test, so you need to be prepared for your exam.

For information on our preparation materials, please visit our Study Guide page.

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