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Information on Placement Testing


The Department of Developmental Studies administers COMPASS, an untimed, adaptive, computerized assessment of basic skills used for placement testing. Tests are scheduled throughout the year. Accepted students who are not exempt from testing are scheduled for testing by the Admissions Office.

A student tests in three areas: Writing, Reading, and Numerical Skills. The writing section measures skills in grammar and punctuation. The reading test measures both speed and comprehension. The mathematics test includes basic arithmetic.

COMPASS must be completed prior to the first day of classes in the term in which a student is matriculated. The results will help students and advisors determine the best courses to take for the first semester. The reading and writing skills tests determine appropriate placement into reading and writing skills courses which serve as prerequisites to ENG 123 College Composition.

COMPASS Information for Students

Click here for information from the COMPASS website including sample test questions, test-taking tips, and calculator guidelines.

Exceptions to the Placement Testing Requirement

The Admissions Office automatically grants exceptions to a student who

  1. has passed the English 11 Regents exam with a grade of 75 or better and has also passed any of the following mathematics Regents exams: Course I, Course II, Course A, Algebra, Geometry, or Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry with a grade of 75 or better; or

  2. has presented evidence of transferable credit for College Composition and for Algebra I or higher; or

  3. has presented evidence of transferable credit for College Composition and also passed the math Regents courses listed in item 1); or

  4. has scored 450 on all three sections of the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) Reasoning Test: Critical Reading, Writing, and Math; or

  5. has comparable scores of 18 verbal and 18 mathematics on the ACT (American College Testing).

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