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Compass Placement Test

All new students at Kent State University at Geauga and Regional Academic Center are required to take the COMPASS Placement Exam (CPE), which assesses basic skills in composition, mathematics, and reading.  This assessment information will be sued to help you get the best possible start at Kent State University.  You and your advisor will use the information to determine how well prepared you are to meet academic demands.  In other words, the scores will tell you about your academic strengths as well as areas where you might benefits from help.  Additionally, the scores will tell you which academic classes are the right ones for you to begin your college career.  Your scores will be matched against scores of Kent students who have succeeded, so that you can start with those classes.  If your advisor starts you in introductory classes, don’t be disappointed.  Students who begin “at the beginning” do very well in college because of the good foundation they have built.

The COMPASS Placement Exam has two parts:  Reading and Writing
Assessment of Reading
To succeed in college, you must be able to comprehend and to study textbooks, lecture notes, and other materials.  You must be able to analyze information and pick out the essential parts:  you must be able to paraphrase and to realize the importance of inference in determining the meaning of written or spoken text. 

In the Reading section, you will be required to read short passages and then answer multiple-choice questions about them.

Assessment of Writing
College work frequently requires you to put your thoughts and ideas into the writing of essays, papers, research projects, reports and exams.  Your writing must be logical, organized, and coherent.

In the Writing section, you will shown essays and be asked to correct them so that each passage reflects standard English usage.

The COMPASS placement exam is untimed and generally takes most students one hour to complete.  Since individual variations in student abilities exist, you should not judge your progress by other students who are testing.

Once testing is complete, you may be able to meet with an academic advisor who will share your COMPASS results and inform you of the courses in which you were placed and will have the best chance for success.  An appointment with an advisor after COMPASS testing is preferred.  A copy of your scores will be provided to you at the meeting.

Cell phones, Blackberrys, calculators, I-pods, backpacks, pursues and books are NOT allowed in the testing room.  Students must sign up for the COMPASS placement test at least 24 hours in advance.  You may either call 440.834.4187 or sign up at the front desk at the Student Services department at the Geauga Campus.  If you prefer to take it at the Regional Academic Center, you may either call 330.487.0574 or stop in the Student Services Office in Room 205 to make an appointment. 

Only students admitted to Kent State University may take the COMPASS test.  Students are required to show a photo ID prior to taking COMPASS and to bring their KSU ID number.  Students without a photo ID will not be allowed to take the test.  If you arrive 15 minutes late, you will not be able to take the COMPASS exam and will have to re-schedule at another date. 

COMPASS placement exams are proctored by the Department of Academic Services.  If you have any questions, please call at 440.834.3726 or email at

Take a COMPASS practice test 
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