TESTING: Student Instruction
The COMPASS placement
assessment is the official LCSC placement tool for students
seeking admission into any professional-technical program
and for academic students who have never taken the ACT or
SAT or have not taken it within the past five years.
It is also for those who are transferring from another
institution with 14 or fewer credits, and are not
transferring math and English credits. The three
required assessments for LCSC Students are reading
placement, writing placement and mathematics placement.
The COMPASS placement
assessment requires a $15.00
fee for a full assessment, which includes reading,writing,
and mathematics or $5.00
per assessment. There is an additional
$5.00 fee to
have scores transferred to another institution. If
scores are being sent to another institution, the tester
must provide the contact person plus the fax information, and/or
address of the receiving institution. Testers need to
pay for the COMPASS in advance at the Cashier's window,
located in the Administration Building and bring receipt and
picture ID with them on test day. Testers need to know
their social security number if they have one to get into
the COMPASS test. Test scores are printed out
immediately after testing.
The COMPASS is offered on
campus ONLY in the Professional
Technical Education Center (PTEC), located in Reid Hall in
the basement Room 23. Those needing to take the
COMPASS must make an appointment
by stopping by the PTEC or calling (208) 792-2331, or (866)
You are about to take a
series of assessment tests which will help you decide what
courses you should enroll in. These are not admission
tests; they are CLASS PLACEMENT tests.
Although you cannot fail this test, it is used to determine
admissions to some programs and certain scores are needed in
order to get into certain Professional Technical programs.
This could delay your entrance into LCSC, so we recommend
studying before you take the compass exam.
IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU DO
YOUR BEST ON THE ASSESSMENT.
Cell phones are not allowed in the testing
center. You can leave them at home, in your car, or we
will have you turn them off and place them in a locker.
There are three sections of this placement assessment:
reading, writing, and mathematics. If you are exempt
from one or more sections you will be able to test in
whatever sections are required for your enrollment.
Tests are not timed, but students generally spend 45 minutes
to 1 hour on each test. Total testing time for the
full battery of tests may require about 2-2 1/2 hours, but
it can take longer. You are not allowed to access any
electronic devices. For the math section, you will be
able to access the windows calculator through a link at the
top of the screen. The calculator has two views:
Standard and Scientific.
Bring photo identification
with you and receipt of payment from the cashier's office,
which is located in the hallway of the Administration
building. To facilitate parking control and to avoid
penalties for parking violations, visitors wishing to park
in the campus parking lots are requested to obtain a
complimentary parking pass. If you park in
one of the parking lots, please let us know you need a
parking pass right away when you come into the office.
Handicap individuals may make previous arrangements by
calling the Security Department at (208) 792-2226.
As you work through the
assessment, all necessary information and instructions will
be given right on the computer screen. You will click
the mouse on your response or you may type the letter of
your response. Each question is very important
and you should carefully consider your answer. You
cannot "skip" a question and come back to it.
IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU DO YOUR
BEST ON THE ASSESSMENT.
GOOD SOURCES FOR FREE TEST
Adult Learning Center (LCSC) (208)
792-2238: Offers COMPASS tutoring 3:00 pm - 7:00
pm. Call to set up an appointment.
Learning Express Library
My Compass Test
My Compass Test
www.khanacademy.org Khan Academy
practice videos on math concepts needed to pass the Compass:
(Practice & Videos-Addition & Subtraction, Multiplication &
Division, Factors & Multiplies, Order of Operations,
Decimals, Fractions, Exponents & Radicals (no logarithms),
Percent, Rates & Ratios, Absolute Value, Creating & Solving
Linear Equations, Pythagorean Theorem, Polynomials,
Quadratic, Linear, Functions, System of Equations &
Inequalities, Functions, Equation of a Line, Probability).
Placement exam is an un-timed multiple-choice test that
helps you and LCSC determine your current reading skill
level. The exam will assist advisors with determining
if a student has the necessary reading skills they need to
succeed in certain standard entry-level college courses or
whether the student needs a developmental reading course to
Before starting the test
you will have a screen that will prompt you with commands to
learn how to take the test. The right side of the
screen has the current question and possible responses.
You can click anywhere on the correct answer, or you may
type the letter of the correct response. Numbers in
boxes below the question indicate the question number.
The left side of the screen has the passage. You can
click on the "More" button to scroll through the passage, or
press the ꜜ(down) or ꜛ(up) arrows.
1. You will see a Focus
Question before each passage.
2. You should read all
the questions before
reading the passage.
3. To answer a question,
click anywhere on the correct response or
type the letter of your response.
4. You can change an
answer to a question in the same section before leaving the
section. After you leave a particular section, you
cannot go back again. To change an answer simply click
response you want.
satisfied with all your answers for the complete passage
click on the "Go On."
The Writing Skills Placement exam is an
un-timed multiple-choice test that requires students to find
and correct errors in essays in the areas of usage and
mechanics, including basic grammar, punctuation and sentence
structure, and rhetorical skills, including strategy,
organization and style. There are a variety of topics
and reading passages that will be provided during the exam.
The Writing Skills Placement exam will assist advisors with
determining whether the student will test into college-level
English or will need a pre-college or developmental English
course to catch up.
CAREFULLY read and follow
the directions given here.
1. You will have a practice screen to
learn how to take this test.
2. BE SURE
TO EDIT (click on to see options for) EVERY
SENTENCE OF THE ENTIRE ESSAY; do not just scan for
errors! IF YOU FAIL TO DO THIS,
A LOW SCORE WILL RESULT!
3. When you click on any sentence or
phrase in the essay, those words will be highlighted and you
will see an area on the right side of the screen with
options for change. Option "A" will always be the same
as in the essay (reflecting no change!).
4. BE SURE
you have made all the corrections for an essay
before you click on the "Finished
editing essay" button. ONCE YOU HAVE FINISHED
EDITING AN ESSAY, you cannot go back to it later.
5. You will then have two questions
referring to the essay; choose the best option from the
choices given. After answering both question, click on
the "Go On" button to continue with the test.
The Math Placement test is a
multiple-choice test that evaluates students' ability levels
in terms of basic skills such as performing a sequence of
basic operations, application skills such as applying
sequences of basic operations to novel settings or in
complex ways, and analysis skills such as demonstrating
conceptual understanding principles and relationship for
mathematical operations. The Math Placement exam will
assist advisors with determining whether the student will
test into college-level Mathematics
or Algebra or will need a pre-college or developmental math
course to catch up.
NOTE: Because COMPASS is a computer-adaptive test,
you will be given a problem and depending on how you answer
the problem depends on whether the next problem gets harder
or easier. You may
use the calculator on the computer. You may
switch between the standard or scientific view throughout
1. You can click anywhere on the
correct response, or type the letter.
2. You must answer a question before
you will see the next quesiton, and you will not be able to
return to any question later.
3. You are allowed to use the
whiteboard, pen and eraser at the time for the test.
When you have completed all
required tests, the final screen will say: "You
have completed the test." At this point you may leave
your computer station, retrieve your belongings from the
locker, return your key to the front desk, and then you will
receive your score report.
Standard view of
To switch views, click on View; then click
on Scientific or Standard