South Suburban College
South Suburban College

Frequently Asked Questions about COMPASS® Testing

Collapse all | Expand all
What is the COMPASS Placement Test?
  • The COMPASS Placement Test is a computerized test that determines where you begin your studies at SSC, and your readiness for college level courses.
  • It is important that you do your very best.
  • The results will determine if you are college ready or developmental courses are required.
  • Developmental courses will add time and money to earning a degree or certificate.
Do I Have to Take the COMPASS Placement Test?
  • All new students entering college for the first time need to take the Placement Test, unless exempt based on previous college credit or ACT scores.
  • Students can only take the Placement Test after they have completed an Admission application.
  • Students must wait 24-hours after completing the Admission application before they are allowed to take the COMPASS Placement Test.
  • Students will be given a packet of review materials from Admissions, and are encouraged to review it before testing.
  • Students can contact Counseling at (708) 596-2000, ext. 2306 to schedule an appointment with a counselor for an evaluation.
Where do I take the COMPASS Placement Test?
  • The COMPASS Placement Test is given in The Assessment Center, located on the second floor of the main campus in room 2266.
  • No appointment is needed. Walk-in testing is available Monday through Thursday between 8:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Last start time to test is 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 1:00 p.m. on Fridays to ensure adequate time to complete testing.
What ACT scores will I need to be exempt from COMPASS Placement Testing?
  • Your ACT scores in Reading, Writing and Math may exempt you from taking the COMPASS Placement Test.
  • Use the table on the next page to determine whether a combination of your ACT scores and your high school grades will exempt you from taking one or more parts of the COMPASS Placement Test.
  • If you believe you should be exempt from taking one or more parts of the COMPASS Placement Test based upon your ACT scores, you must make an appointment to see a counselor to waive the appropriate part of the test.
  • NOTE: Reading & Math ACT scores are good for placement 3 years from date of test. English ACT scores are good for placement 2 years from date of test.
Academic Area ACT Subject Score + High School
Requirement
= SSC Placement
Reading 20     = No Reading Required
English 20     = ENG 101

Math

19-20 + Passing grades in Algebra I & Geometry = MTH 097 or MTH 100
21-22 + Grades of "C" or above in Algebra II = MTH 115 or MTH 126
23 or above + Grades of "C" or above in Algebra II = MTH 145 or MTH 165
What areas will I be tested on?
  • The COMPASS Placement Test consists of three sections: English, Reading and Math.
  • You may take the complete test in one day, or break the testing areas up over multiple days.
  • Students will start with the Math section of the Placement Test.
How does the COMPASS Placement Test work?
  • It is important to understand that the COMPASS Test is “adaptive” to how you answer the given questions. Depending on the number of correct or incorrect answers, the test will move up or down adjusting to your answers.
  • The more answers you get correct, the more you move up. If you miss several in a row, it will adjust, or move down.
  • In Math you will start out at the Algebra level.
Should I study for the COMPASS Placement Test?
  • Yes. Preparation can save you time and money.
  • The COMPASS Placement Test determines 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 time and money.
  • Based on your placement scores, there are up to three levels of English, three levels of Reading, and five levels of Developmental Math courses that may be required.
  • Each developmental course you place into will cost you extra time and money to complete and also uses up your financial aid eligibility.
  • It is important that you are prepared in order to place in the highest level possible.
  • The following chart shows the time and money required for each developmental course at SSC.
Developmental Math Course Length of Course Number of Hours Billed Cost College Credit Earned
Math 085 One Semester 3 $377.25 No
Math 091 One Semester 3 $377.25 No
Math 093 One Semester 3 $377.25 No
Math 095 One Semester 4 $502.00 No
Math 097/100 One Semester 4 $502.00 No
Total Courses:
5 Developmental
Total Semesters:
5 (2 Years)
Credit Hours Used: 17 Total Cost: $2,135.75 College Credit
Hours Earned:
None
Developmental English Course Length of Course Number of Hours Billed Cost College Credit Earned
English 097 One Semester 3 $377.25 No
English 098 One Semester 3 $377.25 No
English 099 One Semester 3 $377.25 No
Total Courses:
3 Developmental
Total Semesters:
3 (1.5 Years)
Credit Hours Used:
9
Total Cost: $1,131.75 College Credit
Hours Earned:
None
Developmental Reading Course Length of Course Number of Hours Billed Cost College Credit Earned
Reading 080 One Semester 3 $377.25 No
Reading 081 One Semester 3 $377.25 No
Reading 082 One Semester 3 $377.25 No
Total Courses:
3 Developmental
Total Semesters:
3 (1.5 Years)
Credit Hours Used: 10 Total Cost: $1,256.50 College Credit
Hours Earned:
None

 

If you have a disability for which you may need special accommodations for testing, please contact the Services for Students with Disabilities Office (SSDO) at (708) 596-2000, ext. 2572, room 2268. For the hearing impaired, call the TDD at (708) 596-2000, ext. 2573.

© 2008 - 2014 South Suburban College · Main Number: (708)596-2000 | Office of Admissions: (708)210-5718
Main Campus: 15800 South State Street, South Holland, Illinois 60473-1200
Oak Forest Center: 16333 South Kilbourn Avenue, Oak Forest, Illinois 60452-4601