How To Prepare For Compass Test? – A Comprehensive Guide
The Compass tests are usually taken during an orientation period to assess a student’s readiness for college, as tertiary education is much more difficult than high school curriculums. Unlike high school, colleges cannot give a student individual attention as there are thousands of students and only a handful of professors.
Compass tests are for writing, reading, and mathematical skills, and each test’s focus is to verify each student is ready to attend and learn at college independently.
Practice tests are an excellent way to study for your upcoming college placement exams, but there are a few more things we can tell you about Compass’ Tests below.
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What is the Meaning of COMPASS?
COMPASS is an acronym that stands for “Computer Adaptive Placement Assessment and Support System.” This assessment is given to high schoolers and first-year students in colleges according to the American College Testing (ACT) education standards.
Compass is an untimed, computerized, and standardized test that assists colleges in evaluating a student’s skills. Compass tests also guarantee that students are placed in the appropriate courses according to their skill levels.
There is no pass or fail in this test as it is only used to measure students’ ability and aptitude in university or certain courses. If one ‘fails’ the Compass test, they may not be accepted to the college or specific courses they applied to. But this ‘failure’ in the compass test will ensure a student doesn’t fail real college courses and assessments.
There are no wrong or right answers, only a student’s true reading, writing, and mathematics skills.
Compass Tests Information
The test is untimed
However, on average, it takes 1 hour for a student to complete a section of the Compass test. If one completes all three sections, the test may take 3 hours.
The test is instantaneously graded
Once a student selects an answer, they cannot return to it or change that answer. Immediately the computer grades the question and moves to the next. As the test is completed, the previously graded question is added to the count score.
There is no ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ on the test
The score report will only determine whether the student is accepted to the university or not. Depending on the marks attained, an individual may be required to undertake additional developmental studies courses or be eligible to commence regular university courses immediately.
For this reason, to not take extra developmental courses, one must ‘pass’ above a certain grade in each Compass test.
- The minimum passing score for Math is 37;
- The minimum passing score for reading is 74,
- The minimum passing score for writing is 60
Compass tests are scheduled through the college’s Testing Center
Students should look to the relevant Testing Center for an available test date.
A person should receive a copy of the results immediately
After sitting for the test, results are generally uploaded to the student information system within 24 -48 hours. During peak testing times, the system may delay uploads, but they should be posted within 48 hours.
The Importance of Compass Tests
Colleges and universities have a high enrollment rate and cannot assess the individual needs of each student.
A compass test determines whether the student is ready or prepared and capable of taking certain coursework. The test will help the counselors note whether the student has an understanding at a college level in maths, reading, and writing to complete the courses that they are interested in.
Colleges and universities mainly offer the Compass test to students during orientation. Many students enrolling in first-year courses must take at least a part of the Compass test. But if they score well on the ACT, some schools will allow students to skip certain tests.
Enrolling students have different educational backgrounds; some are only at the basic level, while others are above the basics. Every student has a different understanding and interpretation level.
Using a test like a Compass allows college administrations to avoid too many drop-outs and keeps students from failing too many courses. The Compass test is a quick solution to many administrative and educational challenges.
Prepare for the Compass Test
There are many online practice tests to guarantee success in your placement test. We recommend JobTestPrep as they have a great subscription and an abundance of advice, practice tests, and resources.
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Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.