COMPASS Study Guide

COMPASS Study Guide

What you don’t know COULD hurt you...

The COMPASS test is a placement test that helps us determine if you are ready for college-level courses. We want you to be successful and determining which courses you are ready for helps you be more successful in college. If you place in introductory courses because you rushed through the test or didn’t prepare, you may end up spending more time and money on courses you don’t really need.

Preparation for COMPASS Testing at West Shore Community College:

Please follow link to your preparation guide for the COMPASS test at West Shore!

Some study suggestions for the COMPASS

  • TAKE YOUR TIME – the COMPASS is an untimed test so take all the time you need. Rushing through the COMPASS, thinking it will be easy, may cause your scores to be low.

  • READ THROUGH THE ENTIRE QUESTION – Students sometimes think they know the answer before they get to the end of the question or think they know what the question is asking, so they don’t read it all. Make sure you know what is being asked before answering. This is especially true in the Writing portion of the test.

  • TRY TO ANSWER EVERY QUESTION – Be positive and give every question a try. Just because you did not know the answer to the previous question does not mean you won’t know the answer to the rest.

Review your skills before taking the test

WRITING (also called English) and Reading

Use this for English (Writing) in Chapter 4, 5, 6 and for Reading in Chapters 12 and 13. (It may mention ACT, but ACT is the publisher of our test and it is the same.) If you want to go directly to a different chapter, change the chapter number in the address above. You can also click on a forward and backward arrow on each chapter web page to access other chapters. Each chapter has several sections to work through.

This is a free test (You will receive your results through your email. The best part, however, is an extensive grammar tutorial (Menu #2)).

Pre-Algebra (Basic Math) and Algebra – High School Level

Select “math” to get clear instructional videos on Basic Math, Pre-Algebra and Algebra I. This is especially helpful if you struggle with math concepts. for ages 13 – 100! This is a colorful and fun site with excellent teaching units. Select “Pre-Algebra” and “Algebra” from the upper left-hand corner. Stay away from the parts that require payment for services.
This site includes an extensive list of assistance with Algebra. For COMPASS, concentrate mostly on the beginning algebra topics.

Free Practice Tests and Sample Questions

Select free practice tests for ACT for Reading and Writing only. The Math gets too advanced too quickly. You can also choose the GED for practice tests on Reading, Writing and Math. Avoid the sections that want to charge you for materials!

Although there is a book that can be purchased, there is also a free section. Look lower on the page to “More Sample Questions”. These are PDF files that can be downloaded. They have sample questions. Choose “Numerical Skills/Pre-Algebra & Algebra”. These are free. Try to do all of them. The answer key is at the end of each practice test.