The COMPASS college placement test is an untimed, computerized test which helps school counselors quickly evaluate incoming students' skill levels in Reading, Writing and Mathematics; place students in courses appropriate to their skill levels; and connect them to the resources they need to achieve academic success. COMPASS test results are available immediately upon completion of testing, and include placement messages suggesting which courses are needed to meet the specific student’s educational goals.
Unlike a traditional test, there is no grade or "passing score." Rather, COMPASS scores indicate areas in which the student is strong and areas in which the student may need help. COMPASS can thus identify problems in major subject areas before they disrupt the student’s educational progress, giving them the opportunity to prepare more effectively for needed courses. In addition, the scores from COMPASS tests are helpful in preparing a course of study that will be appropriate, relevant, and meaningful to the individual student.
The Certification Center at North Arkansas College offers COMPASS testing during orientation to incoming freshmen who have already applied and been admitted to the school. During enrollment, the student may be required to take one or more parts of the COMPASS tests before enrolling in a particular program or course. Please talk to your advisor, counselor, or Office of Student Services to determine the exact requirements and recommendations needed at North Arkansas College.
Reservations are not required to take the COMPASS test: walk-ins are welcome during regular Center hours. Be aware, however, that the Center’s primary mission is to offer professional certification examinations to North Arkansas College students as well as the public at large. Since such test candidates have already paid steep sitting fees in order just to take their exams, they have the highest priority when it comes to computer use at the Center.
Therefore, students wishing to take the COMPASS test may have to wait for a computer to become available during peak usage periods such as enrollment. Please expect to wait.
During such times, it is highly recommended that students call the Certification Center at 870-391-3533 to check on computer availability before coming in to take the test. There is a nominal fee to take part, some or all of the COMPASS college placement test. Payment can be made at the Students Accounts Office located in the main building next to the Library on the South Campus. Making this payment in advance will help speed up the registration process at the Center. Students may bring their own calculator to use in the Math portion of the COMPASS exam.