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Test-Taking Strategies

The only time a test can be a trial is when you are not prepared. Here are some tips on how to do well on the COMPASS Placement Test.

Before the Test

  • Start reviewing for the test.
  • Review for several short periods rather than one long period. You will find that you retain information better and get less fatigued.
  • Decide on a Testing Center location and check the hours of operation.
         Plan to arrive early.
         Make time allowances for traffic and parking.
  • Get enough rest.
  • Eat a well-balanced meal.
  • Use the restroom.
  • Bring an official picture ID with you.
  • Turn off your cell phone and any electronic devices.

During the Test

  • Only testing materials are allowed on your desk.
  • Read the testing directions carefully and understand the practice test.
  • When taking the multiple choice test, eliminate the options you know to be incorrect and focus on only those that make sense.
  • Take your time and do not rush.  Your scores will determine your course placement.
  • If you do not know the answer to a question, make an educated guess.
  • If you have any questions, please see the staff.
  • If writing the ESL writing sample, organize your thoughts in an outline format before your begin.  Be sure to write legibly and review what you have written before submitting your essay.
  • Do your best.

See Preparing for the COMPASS Placement Test to review Helpful Test Preparation Sites.