Compass Test

Contact Info

Office of Admissions, 248 Hardway Hall
1201 Locust Avenue
Fairmont, West Virginia 26554
(855) 297-0999 
(304) 333-3684
FAX (304) 367-4881
TDD (304) 333-3692

COMPASS Placement Test(s)

For more information, including review sites and test locations, Download COMPASS Test Information Powerpoint


What is the COMPASS Test

The COMPASS is an assessment of your current skill level – it is NOT a test you can pass or fail.  The results indicate to us what level of Math and/or English you’re prepared to register for (without it being too difficult or easy for you to complete successfully). 

COMPASS is taken on the computer and is multiple choice.

Unlike the ACT/SAT, COMPASS is NOT timed.

COMPASS samples are available online at

Pencils, scratch paper, and a calculator (which is built into the online software) will be provided.

Remember: wear glasses or contacts (if you wear them normally) while taking the test; get plenty of sleep the night before; eat a well-balanced meal; if you take medications on a regular basis, be sure to take them on testing day; don’t hurry through the COMPASS – concentrate!

The following students must take placement test(s):

  • Students without ACT/SAT scores MUST take placement tests
  • Students who graduated high school or completed the GED more than 5 years prior to the admissions application date
  • Students with ACT/SAT scores on file that are 5+ years old
  • Students with COMPASS scores on file that are 2+ years old
  • Students with ACT sub-scores below 17, 18, and 19 in Reading, English, and Math, respectively, (or SAT  sub-scores below 450 Critical Reading and 460 Math) must take placement tests in those academic areas before being permitted to enroll in any English or Math class.

If your most recent test scores exempt you from the placement tests, please send the latest score report ASAP to:

ATTN: Enrollment Services, 1201 Locust Avenue, Fairmont, WV 26554

You may need one, two or all three assessments.

  • These placement assessments are COMPASS assessments, designed by ACT.
  • They are taken on the computer and are multiple-choice.
  • The assessments are not timed.
  • Visit for sample items.

The math assessment is algebra-based.

  • As you answer questions correctly, they advance in difficulty. As you answer questions incorrectly, the questions get more basic. The assessment will stop once you answer consistently across a certain level of difficulty. Calculators are provided. This assessment determines if you must enroll in a non-college credit math class or classes before you may enroll in a college-credit math course.

The English assessment is an editing assessment.

  • You will look for errors in punctuation, sentence structure, grammar, etc., and choose from multiple-choice options to make corrections. You will also answer rhetorical questions about each essay. This assessment determines if you must enroll in a non-college credit English course first.

The reading assessment is a comprehension assessment.

  • You will read several short articles and answer multiple-choice questions about each one. This assessment will let you and your advisor know how much of a reading load you can handle when choosing your courses.

Pierpont Community & Technical College©
1201 Locust Avenue, Fairmont, WV 26554 Tel: 304-367-4907
Toll Free: 1-855-297-0999 TDD: 304-367-4200
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