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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.

Taking the Compass® Placement Tests

Ready to start college but have to take the dreaded placement tests? Have no fear - this guide will provide you with tips on how to prepare for each of the three tests!

General Information

  1. There are three tests: Math, Reading and Writing.
  2. The Math and Reading tests are not timed.
  3. The Writing test requires that you write an essay. A prompt will be given and your essay will be in response to the prompt. You will be given 45 minutes to organize your thoughts and write the essay.
  4. Students may attempt the test three (3) times in one (1) year. The tests can be taken separately. The first testing session for each test is free. Additional tries cost $5.00 per test portion.
  5. Therefore, it is adventageous to prepare ahead of time so that your first attempt will be your best effort.
  6. If you do not score "college ready", you may study on your own or with a tutor before re-testing. You may also take remedial classes to prepare for success in credit-bearing courses.

Free Practice Websites for the Compass® Test

The following sites are the easiest to access, are free, and have valuable practice questions.

  1. Kirtland's Placement Testing Information - General placement test information
  2. Compass® website - Sample questions
  3. Mometrix Compass® Test Video Review - Tips to help achieve a high score
  4. - Overview of the Compass® test and sample practice tests
  5. LearningExpress Library (available through Michigan eLibrary) -  Register for a free account. Choose the "College Center" icon. Then choose the "Resources" tab near the top. From the drop-down menu, select"Prepare for College Placement Exams". Finally, select "Compass® Preparation" on the left.
  6. Vocabulary for the College-Bound Student - Chapter 2 - Use this site for vocabulary study

Intro to Compass® Testing Video