The COMPASS Placement
Assessment is a computerized test that provides important information
about individual skills for placement into college classes. COMPASS is a
three-part untimed, adaptive computer-based test that measures skills in
reading, writing, and mathematics. The cost for the test is $5.00 per
module or $15.00 for the full test. A $5.00 fee is needed if the scores
will be transferred to another institution other than LCSC. Please call the
Professional Technical Education Center to schedule to take the test. Testers must
schedule and pay in advance.
The Compass tests are offered
Monday-Thursday at 9:00am and at 1:30pm.
Q. What is the COMPASS Assessment Testing?
COMPASS is an
untimed, adaptive, computerized test that helps your college evaluate
your skills and place you in appropriate courses. The
COMPASS offers tests in reading, writing, and math. You will
receive your COMPASS test results immediately upon completion of
testing, and your score report will include recommended placement
messages informing you what courses you should take.
indicate areas in which you are strong and areas in which you may need
help. COMPASS can identify problems in major subject areas before they
disrupt your education progress, giving you the opportunity to prepare
more effectively for needed courses. You and your institution can use
scores from COMPASS tests to prepare a course of study that will be
appropriate, relevant, and meaningful for you.
Q. Who is required to take the COMPASS?
First-time Freshmen Category:
Students Under 21 Years of Age: Students in this
age category are required to submit valid ACT/SAT scores for admission
to the university, and those who score below 19 in English, mathematics,
and reading are placed in the appropriate DSP classes without further
Students 21 years of Age or Older: Students in this age
category are required to complete the entire COMPASS assessment unless
transferring more than 14 college credits including math and
English. Students 21 years of age or older are not required to present
ACT or SAT scores, but those who elect to do so must provide ACT or SAT
scores taken within five years prior to the first day of the enrollment
period. Those who score below 19 in English, mathematics and
reading are placed in the appropriate classes.
Professional-Technical Students: Students entering into either a
Business Technology & Service program or a Technical Industrial program
are required to take only the COMPASS Placement Assessment.
Non-Degree Student Admission Category:
Students who are not seeking a degree and are admitted in this
category, who have not completed the first college-level course in
English or Mathematics must undergo COMPASS assessment in the
appropriate subject area. Students must complete courses indicated
by COMPASS placement prior to enrolling in the subsequent college-level
English or mathematics courses.
Transfer Students Category:
Transfer students who meet the following criteria are required to
undergo COMPASS assessment:
Transfer students who have fewer than 60 transferable semester hours of
traditional credit and who have not earned college-level algebra-based
math or English credits must take appropriate COMPASS subtests.
Transfer students with fewer than 60 transferable semester hours of
traditional credit and who have deficiencies in required high school
English or mathematic units (regardless of ACT or SAT scores) must take
appropriate COMPASS subtests.
In addition, the following categories of students must undergo
COMPASS assessment for the purpose of meeting high school unit admission
Q. What does the COMPASS measure?
is a computerized adaptive test that measures skills in reading, writing
and mathematics to determine readiness for college-level courses in
student is given one or more passages to read, and then answers
questions about the passage.
student is presented with an essay and asked to look for errors in
grammar, punctuation, usage, and style.
student solves problems which measure numerical, pre-algebra,
algebra, college algebra, geometry, and trigonometry skills. Some of the areas included are: basic
operations with integers, fractions, decimals; exponents; ratios and
proportions; percentages; and topics in elementary algebra, intermediate
algebra, and coordinate geometry.
Q. How much does it cost to take the
The cost of the placement assessment is
$15.00 for all three sections or $5.00 for one section. You need to prepay at the cashier’s window in the
hallway of the Administration Building.
Your paid receipt, photo ID, and social security number (if you have
one), will gain you access to the placement
assessment. Note: LCSC cashier's window No longer accepts Visa cards.
Students taking the assessment test at
LCSC, but needing the scores transferred to another college/university
must pay an additional $5.00 charge. You will need to supply the
testing center with the fax information or complete mailing address of
the college/university that will be receiving the scores.
Q. How is the test administered?
The COMPASS placement assessment is offered on a
computer and is not timed. We recommend you take all the time you need.
It is proven you usually get a better score by taking your time.
How long does placement assessment take?
The average student completes placement
assessment test between 1.5 - 2.5 hours, but it can take up to 4 hours or
can I improve my basic skills?
If you would benefit from academic
brush-up, there is the Adult Learning Center that will work with you
at no cost, both before and after
Many students complete their academic
brush-up through the Adult Learning Center before they start classes.
They tell us it shortens the length of time to complete their degree and
helps them do better in college coursework. For technical students it
often results in avoiding an extra semester to complete their program.
Their number is: 208-792-2238.
Adult Learning Center
can I prepare for placement assessment?
For your convenience, we have provided
some sample questions you may encounter while taking the COMPASS
assessment. Please review these to help you become more comfortable with
the COMPASS. These questions are not provided as a study guide.
You can go to
and they have excellent study help. You can also use the ACT or
SAT study manuals to help you study.
Q. What do I need to
bring with me to take the Compass exam?
You will need to bring your Picture ID ,
your receipt of payment and you will need to know your
Social Security Number (if you have one) to get into the test.
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