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The COMPASS placement test is part of our entry procedure at Clark State Community College. These frequently asked questions may help you understand this process.

What is COMPASS?
What does this program do for me?
Do I pass or fail the COMPASS placement test?
Do I have to take the COMPASS placement test?
Why do I have to take the COMPASS placement test?
How is taking the placement test helpful?
What if I think I am placed incorrectly?
Can I take the COMPASS placement test over if I didn't do well?
Can I take the math or English parts separately?
Why can't I take any course I want to?

What is COMPASS?
COMPASS is a placement testing, advising, and orientation program designed to identify your basic skills in math, reading, and language usage. The goal of this process is to gather information about your skills needs and plans. This information is then utilized to help you develop and implement a sound program of study.

What does this program do for me?
The placement testing part tells you the proper starting point for your math and English classes. The advising portion explains how to register and answers questions about our certificate and degree programs. The orientation part shares information about the College and the resources and services available to our students.

Do I pass or fail the COMPASS placement test?
No. Whatever your results are, there is a starting point for you!

Do I have to take the COMPASS placement test?
Yes, all degree or certificate-seeking students are required to take the COMPASS placement test. However, if you have transfer credit in math and English, or have earned a degree from Clark State Community College or another college, you may not be required to complete placement testing unless the results are used in the admission process for a specific technology

Why do I have to take the COMPASS placement test?
Research shows that when you enter the proper sequence of math and/or English, it is not only helpful with these courses, but it has a very positive and beneficial carry-over effect on all classes you take.

How is taking the placement test helpful?
Math is an area that uses your logic and reasoning skills. Skills used in English include reading speed and comprehension, grammar and writing. Identifying your skills in these areas provides a basis for selecting courses. Reading, writing, and reasoning skills will be needed as you climb the educational ladder. Also, on the job, reading, writing and computational skills are of great importance.

What if I think I am placed incorrectly?
(For example: If I score too low and end up in a developmental class?)
Since the COMPASS placement test is a product of ACT, it is already a well-researched measurement tool. It has been normed both nationally and locally. In addition, Clark State reviews COMPASS scores on a regular basis to ensure that the placements are as accurate as possible.

Can I take the COMPASS placement test over if I didn't do well?
Currently you are able to retake any portion of the COMPASS one additional time for a fee of $5.

Can I take the Math or English parts separately?
Yes. This is not a timed test. You may take the entire test or any portion, and finish the other parts at a different time.

Why can't I take any course I want to?
Everyone comes to us with different abilities and skills in math and English. If a person needs help in reading speed and comprehension, the proper class is recommended. That way, an instructor can teach at the same level for everyone in the class.

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