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FAQ: COMPASS Placement Tests

This page answers the most common questions that students have about the COMPASS Placement Test. If this document still does not answer your question, please contact the Testing Center at 808.734.9144.

COMMON QUESTIONS ON TEST AVAILABILITY AND REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

Do I need to make an appointment to take the COMPASS Placement Test?
All tests are administered by WALK-IN ONLY. No appointments or reservations are needed. On Monday-Thursday, you may START your test between the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. On Friday, you may START your test between the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. We are closed on weekends and on most state and federal holidays.

What do I need to bring with me to take the COMPASS Placement Test?
Bring a photo ID and a document showing your UH student identification number (UH ID Number). If you do not yet have your UH ID Number, please bring a completed Request for UH Number form to the Kekaulike Information Service Center in 'Ilima 102. They will provide you with a UH ID number which you can bring to the Testing Center when you come to take your test.

COMMON QUESTIONS ON TEST TIME LIMITS

Does the COMPASS Placement Test have any time limits?
The COMPASS Placement Test has no time limits. You should plan on spending about 1 1/2 to 2 hours to complete all sections (Math, Reading, and Writing) of the test. It may take up to 30-45 minutes or more to complete each section individually. Please read through the directions carefully and answer all questions. If you need help, ask the proctor.

Does the ESL Writing Sample Test have any time limits?
Yes. If you took the COMPASS-ESL Reading Test, you will also take the ESL Writing Sample Test. You will write an essay on a pre-determined topic. Your completed essay will be evaluated by an ESL instructor, who will determine your appropriate ESL or English level.

COMMON QUESTIONS ON THE MATH SECTION

I think I started from the 'wrong' math level...help!
There is no 'wrong' level on the math placement test. The COMPASS is an adaptive test - it adapts and adjusts the recommended placement level up or down as you answer the questions.

YOUR MATH PLACEMENT IS DETERMINED BY YOUR ANSWERS ON THE MATH TEST...NOT THE LEVEL YOU CHOOSE.

If you answer math questions correctly, the recommended placement level moves up; if you answer math questions incorrectly, the recommended placement level moves down. The system continually adjusts the level of difficulty until it has determined your placement level.

A good place to start off on the math section should be the level that you are most comfortable with and have some background in. Use the following link as a guide on where to start on the COMPASS Math Placement Test.

 

 

 

COMMON QUESTIONS ON THE ENGLISH (READING & WRITING SECTION)

What does the reading section of the COMPASS Placement Test consist of?
The Reading Placement Test can help determine if students have the skills to succeed in standard entry-level college courses or if they need developmental reading courses or other instructional support.

What does the writing section of the COMPASS Placement Test consist of?
The Writing Skills Placement Test helps institutions determine whether students are ready for entry-level college writing courses or other courses with significant writing loads, or whether students require developmental writing instruction prior to entry into those courses.

COMMON QUESTIONS ON TEST RESULTS

When do I get my COMPASS Placement Test results?
Except for the ESL Writing Sample Test, computerized COMPASS Placement Test results will be available as soon as your test session is complete. Return to the Testing Center counter to pick up your results.

When can I pickup my ESL Writing Sample Test results?
The results of an ESL Writing Sample Test are usually ready two (2) business days after the completion of the test. Before coming to the Testing Center, please call us at 808.734.9144 to check if your results are ready for pickup. We can only release results to the person who took the test, and a photo ID is required. Please take your results card to the Kekaulike Information Service Center for processing.

When are my results uploaded to the student information system?
Scores are generally posted at the close of business the day you took your test. During heavy registration periods, scores will be posted more frequently to assist those who need to register for their classes.

COMMON QUESTIONS ON TAKING THE COMPASS

Can I take the COMPASS Placement Test in separate sections?
If you are not ready to take the entire test in one sitting, or do not have time to take the entire test, you can break the test up into separate sections. Please inform the testing staff of your intentions when you check-in.

I live in Hawaii, but am taking the COMPASS Placement Test at KCC is inconvenient. Can I take it at another UH Community College?
Hawaii residents who apply to KCC may take the COMPASS Placement Test at any UH community college. Each campus testing center has their own testing schedule. Inform the testing center staff that you will be taking the test for admission to Kapi'olani Community College. See the Cutoff Scores & Placements page to convert your scores into KCC placement recommendations.

I live in Hawaii, but am applying to a college outside of the University of Hawaii system. They require me to take a COMPASS Placement Test. Can I take it at KCC?
A systemwide test proctoring fee of $25 per hour applies. Please contact the Testing Center at 808.734.9165 for information.

I live on the U.S. mainland, and have already applied to KCC. Is there a way to take the COMPASS Placement Test on the mainland rather than flying all the way out to Hawaii?
Yes! Students living on the U.S. mainland may now take the COMPASS Placement Test for admission into Kapiolani Community College remotely at an approved ACT Test Center in their area. Please contact us at 808.734.9165 to schedule your test.

COMMON QUESTIONS ON COMPASS PLACEMENT RETAKES

Can I retake my COMPASS Placement Test?
Please see the COMPASS Re-Test Policy page for more information.

COMMON QUESTIONS ON REQUESTING SPECIAL TESTING ACCOMMODATIONS

Who do I contact to request special testing accommodations?
To request special testing accommodations, please contact the Disability Student Services Office at 808.734.9552, or via e-mail at kapdss@hawaii.edu.

COMMON QUESTIONS ON FINDING TEST PREPARATION MATERIALS OR RESOURCES

Do you have any books or other resources to help me prepare for the placement test?
Yes. Please see the COMPASS Resources page for more information.

   
Kapi'olani Community College Testing Center 4303 Diamond Head Road Honolulu Hawai'i 96816
Information: 808-734-9144 Fax: 808-734-9453 E-mail: kcctest@hawaii.edu