COMPASS is a computer adaptive test, which means that there is no time limit on the test and that the questions you are asked are determined by your performance on previous items. This is the latest assessment technology and allows for accurate assessment of abilities in much shorter testing periods. Results are available immediately. COMPASS is a product of the American College Testing (ACT) corporation.
Click here for more information on COMPASS.
COMPASS is offered on the University of Idaho campus as a means of determining placement in Math and English courses. Entering freshmen will have a placement in initial Math and English courses based on their ACT or SAT scores. Sometimes students will feel that this placement does not accurately reflect what they are capable of doing, and feel that they should be allowed to begin in a higher-level course. In the case of English, placing in 102 also grants 3 credits for English 101. COMPASS offers student an economical and convenient means of challenging their placement.
If students would like to challenge their math placement they can take the COMPASS Math test. Students begin in Algebra and then, if they demonstrate good Algebra skills, advance into College Algebra. If they do well on College Algebra, they move into Trigonometry. The test follows the rules established by the Mathematics department to determine placement. Higher level classes require the demonstration of higher level mathematics skills. Calculators and scratch paper are provided for this test. Testing time is typically 30-45 minutes. You are allowed to use a calculator as long as it meets the requirements specified by ACT. For information on the calculator specifications, click here
This test can be taken up to 3 times in a given semester.
For more information on Math Placement click here.
The COMPASS Math test can also be used as one method of placing into Chemistry 111.
For more information on Chemistry Placement click here.
If students would like to challenge their English placement they can take the COMPASS Writing test. The UI requires all students to demonstrate skills in writing by completing English 101 and 102. English 90 is a remedial course for students who require additional preparation before attempting English 101. The COMPASS Writing test is an editing test that asks the student to read a short passage looking for errors. The student “clicks” on a word or sentence in the passage and is offered a list of alternatives to select between. Depending on demonstrated skill, the student may get anywhere from 1 to 3 passages. Students may be placed in English 90, 101 or 102, but they may not pass out of 102 on the basis of COMPASS scores. While there is no time limit, typical testing time is 30-45 minutes.
This test can only be taken one time - NO RETESTS!
For more information on English Placement click here.
Where & when can I take the test?
COMPASS testing is offered at the Counseling & Testing Center in Mary Forney Hall, Rm. 306 during regular working hours. We have a limited number of computer stations available and they are assigned on a first come, first served basis. For more information or to schedule an appointment, stop by Mary Forney Hall, Rm. 306 or call 885-6716.
to find other sites where you can take COMPASS.
How much does it cost?
The cost for COMPASS tests at the Counseling & Testing Center is $15 per test for UI students and $20 per test for non-UI students. Fees at the other locations may vary.
What should I bring with me to the test?
Bring a picture ID and your student ID number (if you are a UI student) to the test with you. YOU WILL NOT BE ADMITTED WITHOUT PROPER ID! Also bring payment in the form of a check or money order made out to the Bursar, University of Idaho. If you are a UI student we can bill your student account. We do not accept credit/debit cards.