COMPASS Placement Test Information

What is the COMPASS Test?
The COMPASS is an assessment of your current skill level, and the results indicate what level of Math and/or English you’re prepared to register for (without it being too difficult or easy for you to complete successfully).

Who must take the COMPASS placement test(s):

  • Students without ACT/SAT scores MUST take placement tests
  • Students with ACT/SAT scores on file that are 5 or more years old
  • Students with COMPASS scores on file that are 2 or more years old

What should I know for the day of testing?

  • Pencils, scratch paper, and a calculator (which is built into the online software) will be provided.
  • Bring a picture ID (Student ID, Driver’s License, etc.).
  • Remember: wear glasses or contacts (if you wear them normally) while taking the test; get plenty of sleep the night before; eat a well-balanced meal; if you take medications on a regular basis, be sure to take them on testing day; don’t hurry through the COMPASS – concentrate!
  • Only students taking the COMPASS are allowed in the testing center.

What should I know about COMPASS?

  • These placement assessments are COMPASS assessments, designed by ACT.
  • They are taken on the computer and are multiple-choice.
  • The assessments are not timed.
  • FSU allows students to take the COMPASS up to two times each semester. For COMPASS testing purposes, we start Fall semester Compass testing the first week of Fall classes until the week before the Spring semester begins. We start Spring semester COMPASS testing the first week of Spring classes until the week before the Summer semester begins. Summer testing starts the first day of Summer classes and continues until the week before the Fall semester begins.
  • Students must wait at least a week before retesting. Students are strongly advised to study and seek tutoring before retesting.
  • Visit www.act.org/compass for sample items. (FSU does the Algebra and the Writing tests.)

The math assessment is algebra-based.

  • As you answer questions correctly, they advance in difficulty. As you answer questions incorrectly, the questions get more basic. The assessment will stop once you answer consistently across a certain level of difficulty. Calculators are provided. This assessment determines if you must enroll in a non-college credit math class, a co-requisite college-credit math course with an attached skills lab or a college-credit math course.
  • Sample questions: pages 8-12 on http://www.act.org/compass/sample/pdf/numerical.pdf.

The English assessment is an editing assessment.

  • You will look for errors in punctuation, sentence structure, grammar, etc., and choose from multiple-choice options to make corrections. You will also answer rhetorical questions about each essay. This assessment determines if you must enroll in a non-college credit English course first.
  • Sample questions: http://www.act.org/compass/tests/writingskills.html.
  • For even more COMPASS Placement Testing information, please click here.