COMPASS Frequently Asked Questions

Contact UsPhone: 253.680.7030 
Fax: 253.680.7031
Testing@bates.ctc.edu

Bates Technical College Downtown Courtyard

Downtown Campus, Rm. M216

Office Hours:

Mon: 8:30-10 a.m.
Tue: 8:30-11 a.m.
Wed: 8:30-10 a.m. 
Thu: 8:30-11 a.m. 
Fri: 8:30-10 a.m.

See Test Schedule for test times.

Bates Technical College South Campus

South Campus, Rm. 105 By appt. only

Can I retake the COMPASS test?

Yes. The retesting fee for any section is $5.75. Students may retest after a 30-day waiting period. Only three retests per calendar year are permitted.

Do you accept COMPASS scores from other colleges?

Yes. COMPASS and ASSET scores within the last two years may be used for enrollment and registration. Scores from other colleges should go directly to a career advisor.

I need special accommodations. Who do I contact?

For those with special needs, disability services are available. Accommodations may be available if arranged well in advance through Disability Support Services.  Visit the webpage or call 253.680.7013 for more information.

What do I do with my COMPASS test results?

You will receive your results immediately following the test. Your next step in the enrollment process is to apply to the college. You should contact the career advisor listed on the printout of your test results to schedule an appointment and complete the application form.

What kinds of questions will be asked on the COMPASS?

The COMPASS Reading Test measures reading comprehension.

The COMPASS Writing Test measures usage/mechanics (punctuation, basic grammar, word usage, and sentence structure) and rhetorical skills (strategy, organization, and style in effective writing).

The COMPASS Mathematics Test includes five content domains: pre-algebra/numerical skills, algebra, college algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. Students choose the initial math domain they test in, and the computer-adaptive system moves them up into domains based on their proficiency level.

You can visit the official COMPASS website to see sample questions.

English is my second language. Can I still take the COMPASS?

The COMPASS English as a Second language (ESL) Placement Test is a comprehensive computerized-adaptive testing system that helps place students into appropriate ESL courses and maximizes their chances for success.

The ESL Placement Test has four components: grammar/usage; reading; listening; mathematics. The ESL COMPASS test is offered at the same time as the COMPASS.