COMPASS Placement Test

Applicants must be prepared to begin academics at the freshman English and college algebra levels. Readiness to begin at these course levels is determined either by college credits accepted for transfer, math and English ACT or SAT exam scores, Advanced Placement tests or through COMPASS (Computerized Adaptive Placement Assessment & Support System) placement tests. For those that have taken the ACT or SAT, a minimum ACT composite score of 20 or combined SAT score of 1440 is required for consideration.

The COMPASS placement test is a computerized test that verifies placement levels in Reading, Writing, Numerical Skills and Algebra. The COMPASS not only verifies the minimum placement level, but can also be used to justify advanced placement in mathematics or honors placement in English. A standardized test, COMPASS is available to be administered at the Academy / Northwestern Michigan College and other colleges throughout the country. You may use an approved calculator on the math portion of the test. Additional information regarding the COMPASS placement test, sample test questions and the latest calculator guidelines may be found at the ACT web site »

Help is Available

Your COMPASS scores matter. Here are some of the many resources, including sample tests, to help you prepare (links to external sites open new browser windows):

  • – NMC's guide to resources for preparing for the test
  • – things to know about COMPASS
  • compass_practice.htm – free online practice tests and study guides
  • COMPASS review manual – available at Career and Employment Services in the Osterlin Building (#3 on the Campus Map)
  • PLATO and MultiMedia Skill review software is also available in the NMC Center for Learning, located in the Osterlin Building, to help you review for COMPASS.
  • Khan Academy (online) - "For free. For everyone. Forever". Includes the 2016 redesigned SAT prep.
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