Ask Test Masters – Compass Test

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Ask Test Masters is a free service offered by the college admission experts at Test Masters. Reader Olalekan want to know more about the Compass Test and placing out of introductory college math classes. Olalekan writes,

“I took compass test and I was placed in calculus… does that mean I have passed college algebra, trig and statistics? Thanks.”

Dear Olalekan,

ACT Compass Tests are placement exams typically given to entering college freshmen during orientation. Compass Tests are available in the following subject areas: Reading, Writing Skills, Writing Essay, Mathematics, and English as a Second Language. These tests are used by college administrators to place students in appropriate classes according to students’ ability levels. The ACT Compass Exam in Mathematics covers the following subject areas: Pre-Algebra, Algebra, College Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry. So, if you took the Math test and placed into Calculus, that means you have tested out of College Algebra and Trigonometry, but not Statistics. Statistics is a separate subject not covered on the exam, so if you have not studied Statistics before you will probably have to take a Statistics course if you wish to learn it or if it is necessary for your major. If you have studied Statistics before and do not wish to repeat the course, you might ask your college counselor if there is a way for you to place out of the class. If you took AP Statistics in high school and received a score of 3 or above on the AP Statistics Exam, then that may qualify you to place out of an introductory Statistics course. Keep up the good work, and good luck!

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