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Compass® Test

Tips & hints for preparing to take the Reading, Writing and Math sections of the college placement test - the Compass® test.

Reading Reminders

Read each passage slowly and carefully to gain understanding of the material.

Be prepared to re-read the passage as you answer the questions.

Know what the question is asking -

1. Referring questions  have specific answers found by going back and search the passage.

These questions will often include the following phrases:

  • According to the passage ......
  • The passage states that ......
  • The author indicates that  ......

2. Recognizing significant details -

  • Re-read the passage and confirm details even if you think you remember the answer.

3. Reasoning questions imply or hint at the answer. It requires you to "read between the lines" or make an educated decision based on information given.

These questions will often include the following phrases:

  • It is most reasonable to conclude ......
  • What can be most reasonably inferred?
  • The information serves to ......

4. Vocabulary questions ask you to decide what a certain word means, or what word could be used in place of another. Read the sentence in context for clues.

These questions will often include the following phrases:

  • The word __________ most nearly means ......
  • Which of the following words could be substituted for the word _________ without changing the meaning of the sentence?
  • Which of the following is the best definition of the word _________?

Reading Tips Video