COMPASS Test

TVCC uses COMPASS Placement Exam scores for course placement. The purpose of placement exams is to determine at what level of coursework a student should begin so that the student has the greatest chance of being successful. Every new student who has not earned college-level credits from another college in reading, writing, and mathematics (the building blocks of all higher education activity) must take the COMPASS Placement Exam. Not all students entering college are ready to succeed at this level of coursework - and that's okay! You begin where you are, and we help you get to where you want to be. However, whatever you lack in reading, writing and math skills will need to be learned before you can successfully complete more advanced college coursework.

Appointments are not required to take the COMPASS. However, COMPASS tests will NOT be administered during finals week!

  • Allow 2 hours for completion of all three subject areas.

PHOTO ID is required. Bring testing supplies, such as a calculator* and pens/pencils.

The test is untimed, but please allow two hours to take all three exams, or a minimum of 45 minutes for just one.

After completing the test, your scores will be given to you. It is recommended that you schedule an advising session after you complete the test. To better understand how your scores translate into the courses you will be placed into, click on the follow link: 

Learn more about the COMPASS Scoring System

Look at Helpful Testing Tips

Retaking the COMPASS Test

If you are not happy with your score, think your score is incorrect, or have any other concerns with the test, you are allowed to retest once per quarter. (We recommend that you talk with an advisor before you decide to retest.) Retesting is appropriate when there is reason to believe that a score obtained from previous testing does not accurately reflect the examinee's true level of knowledge or skill. Typically, retesting is appropriate in only two situations:

1. When factors other than the examinee's ability are believed to have influenced the previous testing, and

2. When the scores obtained from earlier testing are no longer believed to reflect the student's current ability. This occurs when the examinee has engaged in a learning activity since the previous COMPASS testing and the learning activity is likely to have meaningfully improved the examinee's relevant knowledge and skills.

If any reason exists to believe the examinee's current level of knowledge and skills should be verified, a retest is appropriate. The fee for a retake is $10, whether retaking one, two or all three portions. Students may only retake the exam once in order to try and improve their placement. After the retake, students must wait until after the first four weeks of the following quarter to attempt the exam again. Students who have retaken the exam and are still convinced of their ability to be in a higher level math or English class may appeal the results to the respective Department Chair.

A few notes about the COMPASS Test

* The test is designed to help you be successful and helps advisors select classes for your enrollment.

* It is not a pass or fail test.

 * You may ask questions.

* The test is not timed.  You are allowed to take breaks while taking the test. Feel free to get up and stretch when you need to. If you are tired or have an emergency, you are allowed to end the test and return another to complete your test.

 * There are sample questions you may view on the COMPASS web site.

 Math

http://www.act.org/compass/sample/math.html

http://www.act.org/compass/sample/pdf/numerical.pdf

http://www.act.org/compass/sample/pdf/geometry.pdf

Reading

http://www.act.org/compass/sample/reading.html

http://www.act.org/compass/sample/pdf/reading.pdf

Writing Skills

http://www.act.org/compass/sample/writing.html

http://www.act.org/compass/sample/pdf/writing.pdf

*Calculators with built-in computer algebra systems are prohibited. Prohibited calculators in this category include:

  • Texas Instruments: All model numbers that begin with TI-89 or TI-92 and the TI-Nspire CAS
  • Hewlett-Packard: HP 48GII and all model numbers that begin with HP 40GHP 49G, or HP 50G
  • Casio: Algebra fx 2.0ClassPad 300 and ClassPad 330, and all model numbers that begin with CFX-9970G
  • Handheld, tablet, or laptop computers, including PDAs
  • Electronic writing pads or pen-input devices
  • Calculators built into cell phones or any other electronic communication devices
  • Calculators with a typewriter keypad (letter keys in QWERTY format