Placement Testing Information &

Free Prep Tutorials

NOTE:  If you have a ACT or SAT score that is less than 3 years old, you DO NOT have to take the Compass Placement Test

What is the Compass placement assessment?

 The Compass placement assessment has sections in writing, reading, basic numerical skills, and elementary algebra. Assessment results determine the type math, reading, and English courses you should take when enrolled in long certificate or associate degree curricula.

Increase Your Chances of Testing High on the Campus.

Take the Compass Boot Camp.  It is free and online.

Need More Preparation for the Compass Test

Click icon below to access free online tutorials.

 Must I take the Compass assessment before I register for classes?

  • If you wish to enroll as a full-time or part-time student, you must complete the entire Compass placement assessment unless you are exempt because:
  • Your SAT scores equal or exceed 480 verbal and 256 math and are no more than 3 years old after high school graduation.
  • Your Act composite, math, and English scores equal or exceed 20 (no more than 3 years old after high school graduation).
  • You already have an associate degree or higher.
  • You will transfer degree creditable college level math or English courses here. Your transcripts must arrive prior to the beginning of the term in which you plan to enroll. However, you still must take the Reading section of the assessment.
  • You listed No Collegiate Award as your educational goal on your admission application.
  • You chose a short certificate program having no English or math requirements in a major not leading to an associate degree.
  • You completed developmental courses at another college within three years of your enrollment here.
  • You wish to audit a class.
  • You already took the Compass placement assessment within the last 3 years. (If so, official scores must be received by our Admissions Office.)
  • You will enroll as a transient student.
  • You will be dually enrolled here and in high school while taking English or math courses.
  • All RN / LPN applicants must, at a minimum, take the Compass Reading assessment (without exception).
  • Please schedule your assessment session before visiting a counselor to register for classes.


Is there a fee for taking this assessment?

There is no fee for an initial compass assessment. The re-test fee is $8, payable by check, cash, money order, or major credit cards. (See test administrator.)

What is the re-test policy?

If a student is placed into a developmental course as a result of his / her initial compass scores, he or she must complete at least one sequence of the developmental courses before being eligible to retake the Compass Placement Assessment again.  Retest requests are subject to approval and are not guaranteed.  During the first seven days of class, developmental students in English and math are administered a diagnostic exam.  Students scoring 80% or higher on this exam will automatically be moved to the next class level class.  There is no fee associated with the in-class diagnostic exam.

What is meant by developmental course sequences?

Based on your Compass Test, ACT or SAT scores (if not older than 3 years), you may be required to take one or more developmental college preparatory classes.  Developmental tracks are detailed as follows:
  • MTH 090 TO MTH 098 to MTH 100 and above
  • MTH090 to MTH091 to MTH MTH 116 (non-transferrable track for some select majors.)  Use caution when following this track.  MTH 116 does not transfer to a state four year college / university.
  • ENG092 to ENG101 and above
  • RDG114 (college level reading is NOT a developmental course).  All students anticipating that they will graduate from Lawson State must take this exam.

Are other resources available to help me prepare?

Expanded Compass subject area study guides and other resources are available. or at Compass Study Guides.

Must I take the Compass assessment if I only want to take courses if I enroll as a non-degree (occupational enhancement or personal enrichment) admission status?

You may enroll in 1-4 credit hours during your first semester. You must take the placement assessment if you enroll the following term if you enter a program of study leading to an associate degree or wish to take courses creditable towards an associate degree..

When may I get my results and how do I interpret what they mean?

Compass results are provided to you when you complete the exam.  You are encouraged to visit a counselor after receiving your results. A counselor will help you understand the meaning of your placement scores.