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The COMPASS (computer-assisted basic skills assessment), is a computer based placement test. The assessment measures how well you understand what you read, and how well you use the English language.

F.A.Q.s of the Assessment

Q) How do I register to take COMPASS?
A) Once you have received your acceptance letter, call the front desk at the Columbiana County Campus you are interested in attending to make an appointment.

  • Kent State University at East Liverpool 330-385-3805
  • Kent State University at Salem Campus 330-332-0361

Q) What does COMPASS include?
A) The computerized assessment is divided into two sections:

Reading: you will be asked to read several passages and then answer questions about them.
Writing: you will be shown short essays and will be asked to correct them so that each passage reflects standard English
usage.  (**Note: In some instances, a student may be asked to complete a writing sample.)

Q) What if the assessment reveals a need to improve basic skills in some area?
A) If COMPASS assessment shows a need for specific coursework, students will be required to successfully complete those designated courses. Kent State University offers several courses designed to improve academic skills. All courses receive a letter grade and are used to compute a student's grade point average. Although college credit is awarded for these courses, their application toward meeting degree requirements varies by program. Appropriate coursework placements that are available to students who are in need of academic support include:

  • Introduction to College Writing-S  (ENG 11001)
  • Reading Strategies for College Success (US 10003)
  • Study Strategies for College Success (US 10006)

Q) What happens when I conclude the assessment?
A) When you complete COMPASS, your results will be immediately reviewed with you, to include the indication of any developmental course placement. You will then meet with an academic advisor for college planning and scheduling of classes, and a financial aid advisor to review your questions. The S.T.A.R. session will conclude with your receiving your FLASHcard (Kent State Student ID card).

Q) Is there anything else I need to know?
A) The assessment and advising will take approximately 2-3 hours. COMPASS, although a computer based assessment, is self-paced and does not require a knowledge of computers. Paper, pencil and an online calculator will be provided. You are not permitted to use your own calculator.

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