ACT COMPASS Assessment Testing and Placement

The placement process includes computerized testing and a written essay.


The COMPASS Placement Test is a computerized and written assessment test that confirms your readiness to take college-level classes by determining your prior level of achievement in English, Math, and Reading. It is the policy of PSC that students pursuing transfer and all degree programs achieve minimum scores required for entry into courses above the 100 level or complete the necessary developmental coursework.

All new students entering college for the first time are required to take the COMPASS Placement Test and meet with an advisor prior to registering for classes. ACT scores may be used in place of the COMPASS Placement Test. Some restrictions apply. An ACT score of 22+ in reading and a 17+ in English places a student directly into English 101. For more information, contact the Counseling and Academic Advising Center at (708) 709-3506 for assistance.

Students are encouraged to do their very best when taking the COMPASS Placement Test because the results determine whether placement in a developmental course is required, or whether you can work with your advisor to register immediately for college-level classes.



Should I study for the COMPASS Placement Test?

Yes. Preparation can save you time and money. While the COMPASS Placement Test does not determine if you are admitted to PSC, it does determine whether or not you can take college-level courses, or if you need to complete developmental courses before taking college-level coursework. Preparing yourself for the COMPASS Placement Test, by reviewing and taking practice tests, can save you lots of time and money. Based on your placement scores, there are up to two levels of English and one Reading review, and up to four levels of Math review that may be required.

Each developmental course you place into will cost you extra time and money to complete and also uses financial aid eligibility. Please look at the chart below to see the time and money required for each developmental course at PSC.

Course NumberLength of CourseNumber of Hours BilledCostCollege Credit Earned
Math 080One Semester4$464.00No
Math 085One Semester4$464.00No
Math 090One Semester4$464.00No
Math 095One Semester4$464.00No
Reading 098One Semester4$464.00No
English 098One Semester4$464.00No
English 099 A or BOne Semester6 or 3$696.00 or $348.00No
TOTALAMOUNTPAID$1160.00 or $812.00 


PSC reserves the right to change tuition and fees without notice.

There are 2 semesters each year, Fall semester (August-December), Spring semester (January-May), and two Summer sessions (June and July). For example, if you needed to take English 098, and Math 090, it would take you one semester to complete the courses, and cost $928 for in-state students. If you need to complete both levels of English and one level of Reading, it would take you one year plus summer session, and cost $1,624 or $1,276. Save yourself time and money, practice and review before you take your placement test. Also remember, financial aid is limited to 90 attempted hours for an associate degree.

American College Testing (ACT) program posts sample questions on its Web site, (Click on the "For Students" link at the top and the "Sample Test Questions" link on the left).

  1. Numerical Skills/ Pre-Algebra, and Algebra Sample Test Questions
  2. Reading Sample Test Questions
  3. College Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry Sample Test Questions
  4. Writing Sample Test Questions

Other recommended study materials can be found at these links:


If I haven't taken the ACT, do I have to take the COMPASS Placement Test?

An ACT score of 22+ in reading and a 17+ in English places a student directly into English 101. Math ACT placement is determined by a student's academic program. For more information, contact the Counseling and Academic Advising Center at (708) 709-3506 for assistance.

I'm transferring to PSC from another college. Do I take the COMPASS Placement Test?

Students who have previously completed a college-level English and/or math course with a "C" or better from an accredited college or university are exempt from the COMPASS Placement test. However, official transcripts and completion of a PSC program evaluation form are required of all transfer students as part of the application process.

Students who took the COMPASS Placement Test at another college within the past year may submit an official score report to the director of testing. For more information call Alysse (Lisa) Hansen, director of Student Success Center and testing, at (708) 709-3507. The essay portion may still be required for transfer students with scores from another college.

How soon should I take the COMPASS Placement Test?

Courses fill up quickly. You are more likely to get your first choice of classes if you complete testing well before the beginning of the term. But, it is important you are aware of the material you will be tested on and you are comfortable with your knowledge based on the expectations of this test and your chosen program of study.

What sections are in the COMPASS Placement Test?

The COMPASS Placement Test is comprised of three sections: Math, Reading, and English. You will take the Math and Reading portions on the computer and then handwrite a timed (50 min.) essay to determine your English placement.

What is the procedure for course placement?

  1. Complete an online or in-person admissions application and obtain a student ID number in Enrollment Services. A student ID number is REQUIRED to take the COMPASS Placement Test.
  2. Prepare for the test. Seek free assistance in preparing for the COMPASS Placement Test by attending on-campus COMPASS Placement Test workshops for English and Math prior to taking the COMPASS Placement Test.
  3. Choose a testing date that best fits your schedule. Although the computer portion is untimed, remember the test takes an average student about two hours to complete. Please allow yourself enough time to successfully complete the exam. All sections do not have to be completed in the same day. You may take the COMPASS Placement Test over a two-day time frame. However, you will not be able to change your answers submitted in previous sections. Please note, it is important to do your very best on the COMPASS Placement Test because this determines your placement into college level courses.
  4. Bring a photo ID and your PSC student ID number to the test. A calculator may be needed for the math portion, but it is not provided. See for a complete listing of the types of calculators that may be used on the test.

What happens after I take the COMPASS Placement Test?

Within a week your scores will be forwarded to the Counseling and Academic Advising Center, where you will meet with a member of the advising team to review your scores and select your classes. An appointment is not required. View advising hours.

Additional information on COMPASS testing may be obtained from the director of Student Success Center and testing at (708) 709-3507.

Will I be able to re-take the COMPASS Placement Test?

Yes, however it also depends on your program of study. There is a cost of $25.00 per section to retake the exam and there are three sections. For Nursing, Surgical Technology, and Dental Hygiene, the first scores you receive are the only ones considered.

Can I bring friend/children/parents to the COMPASS Placement Test?

Children and guests are NOT allowed in the COMPASS Placement Testing Center.


COMPASS Dates and Times - Subject to Change (Room 2505, Second Floor)

Students must be here at least one hour before the end of COMPASS testing  to start the COMPASS Placement or essay exam.  Students arriving later than this will not be allowed to start the COMPASS or the essay exam.

210 a.m. - 3 p.m.
33 - 8 p.m.
79 a.m. - 12 p.m.
910 a.m. - 3 p.m.
103 - 7 p.m.
1110 a.m. - 3 p.m.
149 a.m. - 12 p.m.
242 - 7 p.m.
2510 a.m. - 3 p.m.
264 - 7 p.m.
289 a.m. - 1 p.m.
3010 a.m. - 3 p.m.
312 - 7 p.m.
110 a.m. - 3 p.m.
74 - 8 p.m.
810 a.m. - 3 p.m.
94 - 7 p.m.
119 a.m. - 1 p.m.
1310 a.m. - 3 p.m.
142 - 7 p.m.
164 - 7 p.m.
189 a.m. - 1 p.m.
2010 a.m. - 3 p.m.
213 - 8 p.m.
2210 a.m. - 3 p.m.
259 a.m. - 1 p.m.
282 - 8 p.m.
2910 a.m. - 3 p.m.
303 - 7 p.m.
29 a.m. - 1 p.m.
410 - 3 p.m.
52 p.m. - 7 p.m.
610 a.m. - 3 p.m.
99 a.m. - 1 p.m.
1110 a.m. - 3 p.m.
122 - 7 p.m.
1310 a.m. - 3 p.m.
144 - 7 p.m.
1810 a.m. - 3 p.m.
2010 a.m. - 3 p.m.
214 - 8 p.m.
2612 p.m. - 8 p.m.
2710 a.m. - 3 p.m.
2811 a.m. - 7 p.m.


  • No appointment necessary for COMPASS Testing.
  • Allow approximately three hours to complete the COMPASS Test.
  • The COMPASS Testing Center computers will be shut down fifteen minutes prior to the ending times listed above.

Please schedule accordingly. For additional information, contact the testing center at (708) 709-3558.