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What is the Compass Test?

View Testing Dates, Registration Forms, and Contacts

The COMPASS® test is an adaptive, computer -based placement test. This is not a test you will either pass or fail; the COMPASS® test simply evaluates your skill level and recommends what courses you'll need to take to help you succeed. Since the test is computer based, it adapts to your skill level (unlike a pen and paper test). Questions increase or decrease in difficulty depending on how you answer the previous question. The COMPASS® test is not timed, so you will be able to relax and work at your own speed. Another advantage of the computer based test is that you will receive your test scores immediately.

What material does the COMPASS® test cover?

The test can cover one or more of the following subjects:


The math section is divided into 3 separate parts; basic skills, application, and analysis. You will be able to choose what level of math you want to start out in (Pre-Algebra, Algebra, College Algebra, or Tech Math). Please be aware that some academic programs require that you begin in Pre-Algebra. If you have any questions about which test you need to take, ask a counselor or your test proctor.

You will not be asked a set number of questions; the test will adapt to your skill level, and may give you very few questions, or many.
Calculators are allowed, but will be provided for you. You will not be able to use your own calculator.


This test will help determine if you need any extra reading help before being successful in entry level college courses. This is a multiple choice test.


This test will help determine if you need extra writing help to be successful in entry level college courses. You will be asked to correct errors in a pre-written paragraph. You will need to check each sentence in the paragraph for errors.

Is there a way to prepare for the COMPASS® test?

Yes! You can practice sample questions beforehand to get yourself used to the types of questions COMPASS® will ask. View or download sample questions on the COMPASS® website at

For further help preparing for the test, you may want to visit one of the Learning Skills Centers located on most IECC campus. For more information on the Learning Skills Centers, please call the campus of your choice.

To schedule a COMPASS® test please contact one of IECC's colleges:

  • Frontier Community College
    877-464-3687 (toll free)
  • Lincoln Trail College
    866-582-4322 (toll free)
  • Olney Central College
    866-622-4322 (toll free)
  • Wabash Valley College
    866-982-4322 (toll free)
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