What is COMPASS Test ?

A COMPASS test is a set of computer adaptive tests created by the American College Test (ACT) Program. The test doesn't have a time limit where the test-takers have to answer based on whether they have answered previous questions correctly or incorrectly. The difficulty level increases if the test-taker has answered the question correctly. And if the question is not answered correctly and if the test-taker is at the lowest difficulty level, the next question will be easier than the previous one automatically.

A COMPASS test is conducted to know a potential college student's skill level in Math, Reading, Writing Skills, Writing Essay, Listening, Reading, and Grammar/Usage.


Since there are three basic fields i.e Reading, Writing, and Mathematics proficiency, the eligibility to qualify for these fields also differs with specification.

Reading Proficiency: This is assessed using the COMPASS Reading Test. It is an untimed computer test which consists of reading comprehension of seven paragraphs followed by multiple choice questions. A student gets appropriate placement if he scores 500 and above,400-499.

Writing Proficiency: Writing proficiency is a test of sentence, paragraph skills and writing styles. Punctuation, grammar, usage and style skills are assessed in this test. Evaluation of the essay written by the test-taker determines a student's placement in either Basic Writing if he scores 500 in ENGL or a Freshman Writing Seminar if he scores 400-499 in ENGL.

Math Proficiency: This test consists of basic mathematical functions through college-level algebra. The score of the student depends on the performance on each problem. The student is placed appropriately according to his score of 500 and above, and 499 and below in SAT, and 19 and above or 18 and below according to ACT.


The following requirements have to be fulfilled in order to take a COMPASS test.

  1. Get an application form for admission from the ISU College of Technology.
  2. Submit the completed application with a application fee of $40 to: ISU College of Technology, Student Services.
  3. A Photo ID is required prior to testing.
  4. A fee of $5.00 is required for each portion of the COMPASS test, each time it is taken.


Algebra COMPASS score below 32 Math 0097, followed by Math 0099
  COMPASS score 32-39 Math 0099
  COMPASS score of 40 or higher No math requirement
Writing COMPASS score below 71 English 0099
  COMPASS score 71 or higher No English requirement
Reading COMPASS score below 82 Reading 0099
  COMPASS score 82 or higher No reading requirement


Exams give at 9:00 AM, 2:00 PM, AND 5:00 PM

10/14/2014 3/10/2015 9/8/2015
10/28/2014 4/14/2015 9/22/2015
11/11/2014 5/19/2015 10/6/2015
12/09/2014 6/2/2015 10/20/201
1/13/2015 6/16/2015 11/17/2015
2/10/2015 7/14/2015 12/8/2015
2/24/2015 8/11/2015  

Exams Article Archive