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What is COMPASS?

COMPASS, Computer-adaptive Placement Assessment, is a web-based computer skills assessment developed by ACT. It is not timed.

COMPASS includes a series of basic skill assessments in:


  • Refer to explicit statements in the reading passage
  • Determine meaning using context
  • Draw Conclusions
  • Make Comparisons
  • Make Generalizations


  • Punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure
  • Strategy (audience, purpose, supporting material)
  • Organization
  • Style (word choice, pronoun reference, clarity)


  • Pre-Algebra
    • Whole Numbers
    • Fractions
    • Absolute Values
    • Squared Roots
    • Decimals
    • Ratios and Proportions
    • Order of Operations

  • Algebra
    • Simplifying polynomials
    • Simplifying rational equations
    • Graphing solutions to linear equations
    • Solving polynomial equations by factoring
    • Graphing solutions to linear equations
    • Solving equations containing rational expressions
    • Solving equations containing a radial
    • Calculating distance using distance formula
    • Calculating the slope of a line



Why Should I Take COMPASS?

We want you to be successful in college. Correct initial course placement is essential to long term academic success and COMPASS helps ensure you are placed appropriately.




When Should I Take COMPASS?

You should take COMPASS before you meet with an advisor and register for classes. Then, you and the advisor will be better able to start planning your academic path to graduation. Upon completion of COMPASS, your scores will be valid for course placement for three years.



How Will I Take COMPASS?

The COMPASS must be scheduled ahead of time; you can schedule by calling or walking in to one of the Eastern Iowa Community Colleges' testing centers.

Please bring a photo ID and your Social Security Number to your testing appointment!

Scott Community College

  • Belmont Room 2201
    563- 441-4088
  • Kahl Educational Center Room 230

Clinton Community College

  • Room 110
    563- 244-7004

Muscatine Community College

  • Student Center/Testing Center
    563- 288-6056



Tips for Success!!

  • RELAX!!
    This is NOT a pass/fail test. Prepare beforehand, take a deep breath, relax, and do your best.

    The COMPASS is not timed, so don't rush through the exam; feel free to take as much time as you need.

    Read the directions carefully and make certain you understand what is being asked of you. If you don't understand the directions, be sure to ask for clarification from a staff member.

    Arrive a few minutes before your scheduled test time to find the testing center and to gather your thoughts. If you arrive more than 10 minutes late, you may have to reschedule (and if you can take the assessment, you'll already be stressed out!)

    Don't leave an answer blank. You must answer every question in order to move to the next question.



Re-test policy

A student may be re-tested in any or all of the components of the COMPASS Placement Test one time.  There is a waiting period from the first administration of the student’s COMPASS Placement Test until the re-test date.  

If you are taking COMPASS to qualify for financial aid and do not obtain the minimum passing scores, you will be required to retake all three tests.


Placement Assessment Exemptions for EICC

Placement testing in math, writing and reading comprehension will be required of all students.  Exemptions may be granted if a student has completed placement tests (COMPASS or ACT) within the last three years or has transfer credit in college-level English and/or math.


Previous success in the college level course:
Students with previous college level coursework should submit a transcript, official or unofficial, from that institution for placement testing exemption . All transcripts received are reviewed for appropriate exemptions in Reading, Writing and Mathematics. If you want to transfer your prior college credits please contact your previous college(s) and request that they mail an official copy of your transcript to CCC/MCC/SCC Registrar’s Office and complete the request for transcript evaluation form.

Students who have already earned an Associate’s Degree:
Students who have already earned an Associate’s Degree from a regionally accredited college within the United States are exempt from Placement Testing. If you want to transfer your prior college credits please contact your previous college(s) and request that they mail an official copy of your transcript to CCC/MCC/SCC Registrar’s Office and complete the request for transcript evaluation form.

Personal enrichment:
Students who at the time of application indicated they are enrolling at EICC solely for personal enrichment (not seeking a degree or certificate program, or taking a course to transfer credit) are not required to take a placement test, unless they are enrolling as a full time student or in courses that specifically require math and English placement test scores.

Summer study / Guest Students:
Students taking summer courses for transfer to their home institution do not need to take a placement test. Please review the EICC Course Catalog for course prerequisite information. All of the above policies will be in effect if the student plans to enroll for future Fall or Spring semesters at EICC.


Practice Resources

  • You should review and practice before taking the COMPASS. Your assessment results will have a direct impact on your academic path, so it is to your advantage to review; that way, you know you'll have the most accurate course placement possible.


Sources for Review:

Testing Tips: