The ACT, SAT, or the Compass test is used by Columbia State to determine course placement for entering students. The Compass is not a pass/fail instrument, but instead determines which courses are best suited to the student's level of readiness. Students with valid ACT/SAT scores (within 3 years) are placed according to those results and are not required to take the Compass test.
Students not satisfied with initial placement score(s) have a one-time opportunity to challenge by taking the un-timed Compass test. You may take all three areas (reading, writing, and math) or you may choose to keep placement in one area(s) and challenge another. The risk is that you might test to a lower level, and Compass test scores override any previous tests.
For example, if you have not had math recently, you may want to keep your math placement. Use the sample test to help you decide if you want to challenge.
How to apply
Each campus schedules their Compass exams. Contact the campus nearest you to register for the Compass exam. Consult each campus at the numbers below or consult the Columbia Campus Master Calendar (PDF).
Contact Testing Services at the Columbia campus
Location: Jones Student Center - Room 130
Williamson County Campus: 615-790-4400
Lawrenceburg Campus: 931-766-1600
Lewisburg Campus: 931-359-0351
Clifton Campus: 1-888-346-6581
1. Free for initial testing if no valid ACT/SAT score exists
2. $20.00 if challenging valid ACT or previous Compass scores; pay at your local campus Business Services office.
NOTE: At Columbia pay the fee at the Pryor Administration Building and take receipt to Ms. Michelle Nelson in Testing Services.
Scores are available within two business days of the exam and are valid for 3 years. Compass requirements and placement scores are established by Tennessee Board of Regents guidelines.
How to prepare for the Compass
http://www.dianahacker.com/bedhandbook (Writing exercises)
http://www.onlinecollegeprep.com/FreeArithmetic/index.html (Basic Math Course)
http://www.studygs.net (Reading, Writing, Math and Study Skills)
http://webster.commnet.edu/grammar (Writing Skills)
Get additional test preparation at your local State of Tennessee Career Center: http://www.state.tn.us/labor-wfd/cc/cccounty
Courses also available from:
Literacy Council of Williamson Co.
129 W. Fowlkes Street, Suite 143
Franklin, TN 37064