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COMPASS Placement Testing
What is the COMPASS Placement Test?
The COMPASS Placement Test is a computerized assessment of skills in mathematics, reading, and writing. The test uses a multiple choice format, and there is NO “pass” or “fail” grade; instead, the COMPASS is simply a tool used to measure students’ readiness for college level courses and to help place them in classes that correspond to their individual skill levels, either college-level courses or courses to prepare them for college-level courses.
When can I take the COMPASS?
Regular Testing Hours:
8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Monday – Thursday
8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Friday by appointment only
Extended Testing Hours:
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Every second Tuesday of each month by appointment only
Where do I go?
8th floor, James C. Bailey Center
*Please note the application for enrollment to Wallace State must be completed and on file in Admissions before testing.
What should I bring?
A driver’s license or other form of identification
Scratch paper, pencil, and calculator for math calculations
NO notes or books allowed
How long will it take?
The test is not timed, but individuals should allow approximately 2 hours for completion. The COMPASS is an adaptive test, so that means if a question is answered correctly, the next question will be harder. However, if the question is answered incorrectly, the next question will be easier. In essence, the more knowledgeable a person is, the longer the test will take. Remember the goal is to be placed as accurately as possible based on individual skill level.
When will I know results?
Results are generated automatically when you finish the assessment. Immediately upon completion and before leaving the testing center, you will know your test scores which are then used to ensure accurate placement in English, reading, and math courses.
May I test more than once?
Yes. There is an $8 fee to take the COMPASS once more. You will need to pay the cashier and bring your receipt to the computer lab.
How can I prepare?
In preparation for the COMPASS, it is best to become familiar with the types of questions and concepts on the test. However, it is important to remember these are only reviews; the goal of the COMPASS is to assess your current skill level.
Why should I prepare?
By preparing for the COMPASS, you increase the likelihood of a better score which can affect the following:
- The number of English and math classes you are required to complete.
- The amount of time and money you will spend to obtain your degree.
- The start-time for taking required classes for your specific major.
Do I have to take the COMPASS?
A student is exempt from taking the COMPASS placement test if any of the following conditions apply:
- You have taken the ACT and scored a 20 or better in the individual areas of math and English
- You have taken the SAT and scored at least 470 on the verbal or 470 on the math, and you are enrolling with 3 years of high school graduation
- You are transferring college-level English and math courses with a grade of “C” or better
- You have completed required developmental coursework at another Alabama College System institution within the last 3 years
- You can provide documentation of assessment (COMPASS or ASSET) within the last 3 years
- You already have an Associate’s Degree or higher
- You are not seeking a degree but are taking classes for personal enrichment only
- You are an audit student
- You are a transient student
For additional information regarding the COMPASS Placement Test:
256.352.8248 Action Center at Wallace State College (firstname.lastname@example.org)
256.352.8048 Fax Number
866.350.9722 Toll Free Number
The COMPASS test allows you to make choices about prerequisite courses needed before being admitted into a specific program. Preparing well for your testing session can save you both time and money; therefore, take your placement test seriously, but remember to RELAX! These tests were designed to help you succeed. Take your time and carefully read all directions and each question. Be sure to answer every question. There is no penalty for guessing, and it is to your advantage not to leave any question unanswered. Arrive at the testing center both well rested and fed. Allow plenty of time to complete the assessment without rushing, and ask the testing center staff for assistance if needed. Wallace State wants you to be successful with your education, and we are here to help you obtain your goals!