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Assessment and Placement

The Cowley College Mandatory Assessment and Placement Policy states that students who want to enroll in any course that does not include English or math must take the English reading assessment. Students who want to enroll in any English course must take the English reading and English writing assessment. Any student who wants to enroll in any math course must take the English reading and math assessment.

Cowley College uses COMPASS and ASSET placement tests. Compass is a computerized adaptive testing system that helps place students into appropriate courses. Since the test is adaptive, the number of questions will vary depending on skill level. This test measures students’ mathematics, reading and writing skills and reports results immediately. The test is not timed, but generally takes 1 ½ to 2 hours.

The test is administered in Student Services on the Arkansas City campus and any of
our enrollment centers. Students can locate the nearest enrollment center by
visiting our site at www.cowley.edu/about/campuses.html.

Students who have adequate ACT scores (taken within the last three years) may be
exempt from all or part of the assessment test. ACT score exemptions are as
follows:

ACT Score
18 Reading = exempt from Compass Reading Test (no reading skills class required)
20 English = exempt from Writing Skills Test (places student directly into Comp I)
18 - 20 Math = places student into Colleg Algebra w/Review
21+ Math = places student into College Algebra

For more information on ACT cut scores or other assessment information, see the Mandatory Assessment and Placement Policy.

Asset Test
The ACT Asset test is a paper/pencil test that is an alternate for the Compass test.
The Asset test might be used if 1) a student has no computer skills or 2) the student is being tested off campus where the Compass computer program is not available.

STUDENTS MUST ARRIVE AT LEAST TWO HOURS PRIOR TO CLOSING TO ALLOW TIME TO TAKE ALL PARTS OF THE ASSESSMENT TEST AND ENROLL.

Cowley College offers courses to students with a variety of skill levels. The Cowley Course Placement Guidelines Table lists the mathematics, reading and English courses students will take based on their assessment scores.

Students wishing to review their skills prior to taking the assessment may obtain study guides at any of our testing locations or review a study guide online.   Any student who has not taken math for over a year is strongly encouraged to study before testing. Students may retest one time at the beginning of their course sequence if they feel their initial assessment results do not adequately reflect their ability for a $5 fee. Contact Student Services for more information on the assessment process.

High school students taking Cowley classes must also take the placement test prior to enrollment in any college course. Concurrent high school students should read the CAPSS guidelines for additional requirements.

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