COMPASS Testing FAQ�s by paulj


									                             COMPASS Testing FAQ’s
Q: What is the COMPASS test and why do I need to take it?
A: The COMPASS test is designed to measure your preparedness in the areas of reading,
writing, and mathematics. Every degree seeking student must take some type of entrance
test to determine class placement in each of the three areas. The COMPASS test is
SouthArk’s preferred entrance test. However, we can also use ACT, SAT, or ASSET
scores for the same purpose.

Q: Do I need to sign up to take the COMPASS?
A: YES. You must call The Learning Center at 870-864-7196 to schedule your test.
Then, prior to taking the exam you must pay the $8 fee in the Bookstore. Bring your
receipt and a photo ID to The Learning Center where your test will be administered. Be
sure to be on time.

Q: Where do I pay for the COMPASS?
A: You pay for the COMPASS in the Bookstore. The Bookstore is located on the north
end of the Classroom Building located alongside South West Avenue. The Bookstore is
open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Q: Where do I take the COMPASS?
A: You take the COMPASS in The Learning Center (TLC). TLC is located on the
second floor, Room 220 of the Computer Technology Building which is directly behind

Q: What if I work during the day and cannot take the COMPASS until after 5:00?
A: Call TLC at 870-864-7196 to schedule the test. Evening tests are available. Testing is
available during the following are the TLC’s hours of operation:
    • Monday through Thursday – 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    • Friday – 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Please keep in mind that you should allow at least two (2) hours if taking the entire test.
If you only need to take one section of the test, allow one (1) hour.

Q: Can I retake the COMPASS?
A: If you are not already enrolled in a basic studies course, you may retake the
COMPASS test after 60 days, or you can complete ten (10) hours on our PLATO
software which is located in TLC. SouthArk will always use the highest test score to
determine your class placement.

Q: How much time is allowed to take the COMPASS?
A: The COMPASS test is not timed. Take as long as you need, but most people finish
within 2 to 2 ½ hours. If for some reason you need to stop testing before finishing, your
test can be saved and resumed at a later time.

                                  MORE ON BACK
Q: How many questions are on the COMPASS?
A: The COMPASS test is a progressive computer adaptive test. There is no set number
of questions. The system will adjust the difficulty of the questions based on your
responses to previous questions until settling on an appropriate score for you.

Q: What scores do I need to make on the COMPASS?
A: SouthArk is an open admissions college. This means that no matter what your scores
are, we will accept you and allow you to register. However, it may be necessary to take
some Basic Studies courses to prepare you for college level classes. The basic studies
courses offered are Reading I, Reading II, Writing I, Writing II, Fundamentals of
Arithmetic, Elementary Algebra, and Intermediate Algebra. Your COMPASS scores
determine your class placement as indicated in the following chart.

                          COMPASS Scores Courses Required
                                       Writing Skills
                              01 - 41               Writing I
                              42 - 74               Writing II
                              75 - 100            Composition I
                                       Reading Skills
                              01 - 50               Reading I
                              51 - 81              Reading II
                              82 - 100        Reading not required
                                        Math Skills
                              01 - 35          Fund. of Arithmetic
                              36 - 100         Elementary Algebra
                              01 - 49          Elementary Algebra
                              50 - 70         Intermediate Algebra
                              71 - 100           College Algebra

Q: Can I use a calculator on the COMPASS?
A: You may use a calculator on the math exam. A pop-up calculator is available on the
computer screen or you may use your own personal calculator if you bring it. Pencil and
scratch paper will be provided for you as well.

Q: When do I get my COMPASS test scores?
A: As soon as your exam is completed your scores will print automatically and this will
be your copy. The test administrator will review these scores with you if you would like.
You will then be encouraged to take your test results to the Academic Advisor in the
Admissions Office in the Administration Building, First Floor.

                            For any other questions,
                       please call The Learning Center at
                                (870) 864 – 7196

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