COMPASS Placement Test

What is COMPASS?
COMPASS is a computerized test that measures skills in reading, writing and mathematics to determine readiness for college-level courses in these areas. The COMPASS Placement Test has two purposes: first, it checks whether students have the skills to succeed in college-level courses; second, it helps to place students in whatever courses they are ready for, either college-level courses or courses to prepare them for college-level courses.  The student’s goal is to be placed as accurately as possible. The Compass is scheduled and administered through the Testing Center.


What should I bring to the exam?
You should plan on bringing: Scratch paper and a pencil for your math calculations.  You are not allowed to bring: notes, books, or calculators.


How long will the test take?
The test is not timed so you can take as long as you want.   The more knowledgeable you are, the longer the test will take.  COMPASS is adaptive, meaning if you answer a question correctly, your next question will be harder.  If you answer incorrectly, your next question will be easier. The time for each kind of test—reading, writing and math—ranges from 15-90 minutes.  


How can I prepare for the COMPASS test?
The best way to prepare for the test is to familiarize yourself with the types of questions that will be asked.  Below are some links to materials that you can use:

Sample Math test questions

Sample Reading test questions

Sample Writing test questions

A site where you can practice the different concepts that will be on the test is:

You can also enroll in a COMPASS Brush-up program to help you prepare. Call 245-8341 for more information.


Why should I prepare for the COMPASS test?
Preparing for the COMPASS Placement test before taking it will increase the likelihood that you will score better, which will in turn make a difference in:

  • How many English and Math classes you will have to take.
  • How much time and money it will cost you to get your degree.
  • How soon you start taking classes in your major.


What is the COMPASS Brush-up course?
The Brush-up course is a six-week self-paced course to prepare students for the COMPASS test. Its goal is to help students refresh their math and writing skills so that they score at the appropriate level.  More information is available here.


How do I schedule an appointment to take the COMPASS exam?
Appointments are scheduled through the Counseling and Advising Office at 245-8212.

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Kaua'i Community College
3-1901 Kaumualii Highway, Lihue, Hi 96766
Phone: (808) 245-8346
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