Things to Know About ACT Compass®
What Is ACT Compass?
ACT Compass is an untimed, computerized test that helps your college evaluate your skills and place you into appropriate courses. ACT Compass offers tests in reading, writing, math, writing essay, and English as a Second Language (ESL). You will receive your ACT Compass test results immediately upon completion of testing, and your score report will include placement messages informing you what courses you should take and how to register.
How Are ACT Compass Scores Used?
ACT Compass is not used like a traditional test. There is generally no "passing score." Rather, ACT Compass scores indicate areas in which you are strong and areas in which you may need help. Thus, ACT Compass can identify problems in major subject areas before they disrupt your educational progress, giving you the opportunity to prepare more effectively for needed courses. You and your institution can use scores from ACT Compass tests to prepare a course of study that will be appropriate, relevant, and meaningful for you.
How Can I Arrange to Take the ACT Compass Tests?
Most institutions give ACT Compass during orientation to incoming freshmen who have already applied and been admitted to the school. Some institutions may require you to take one or more of the ACT Compass tests before enrolling in a particular program or course. Talk to your advisor, counselor, or Office of Student Affairs to determine the requirements and recommendations of your institution.
Tips for Taking ACT Compass®Tests
1. Relax! The ACT Compass tests are designed to help you succeed in school. Your scores help you and your institution determine which courses are most appropriate for your current level of knowledge and skills. Once you identify your academic strengths and weaknesses, you can get the help you need to improve underdeveloped skills before they interfere with your learning.
2. You will be able to concentrate better on the test if you get plenty of rest and eat properly before the test. You should also arrive a few minutes early so you can find the testing area, bathrooms, etc., and have time to gather your thoughts before the test begins.
3. Be sure you understand the directions for each test before that test session begins. Ask questions if you need to.
4. Read each question carefully until you understand what the question is asking. If answering an item requires several steps, be sure you consider them all.
5. Be sure to answer every item. You are not penalized for guessing. Your score will provide more useful placement information if you answer every item, even if you guess.
6. Don't be afraid to change an answer if you believe that your first choice was wrong.
7. If you have a problem or question during the test, raise your hand and the test administrator or proctor will help you. Although they cannot answer test questions for you, they can help you with other types of problems.
Learn more about the ACT Compass®Tests
Click to learn more about the test sections and review samples.
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