Placement Tests

The Learning Center is responsible for the placement of those students who are admitted with deficiencies in English, math, reading, and science.  Each student’s placement in English, math, and reading is determined based on his score on the Compass Computerized Placement Test (CPT).  Science placement is based on a paper science subtest of the Stanford Test of Academic Skills.

The placement tests are administered each day, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Students are sent to the Learning Center from the Admissions Office.  Learning Center staff administer the tests and make placement recommendations based on the resulting scores.

The Compass raw score relates to a concorded ACT score. In order to avoid taking developmental courses, a student must score a Compass concorded ACT of 19 or higher.

The English, reading and math CPTs are not timed, and students should plan to arrive early enough to avoid rushing through the tests.  The Stanford Science subtest contains 40 multiple choice questions to be answered in 40 minutes.

The Learning Center does not provide study guides for the placement tests; however, the following website provides materials to help familiarize you with the format of the questions for the English, math, and reading. (This website provides detailed descriptions and a number of sample questions.)

The Stanford Science Subtest is designed to assess understanding in the domains of the life, physical, and earth sciences. Questions reflect understanding of general concepts more than the specific details of science. Test items allow students to use reasoning skills to reach answers rather than recall memorized, detailed information. Reasoning skills required include estimating, making simple calculations, seeking patterns, making observations, recognizing cause and effect, reading standard instruments, and drawing conclusions. Test items may ask you to apply an understanding of the concept directly to a situation, but, more often, you are asked to interpret data, draw conclusions, and predict events. In summary, you are applying foundation concepts and skills as you think through questions. (Description taken from the Stanford Test of Academic Skills Administration Handbook.)