COMPASS is an untimed, computerized test that helps your college evaluate your skills and place you into appropriate courses. COMPASS offers tests in reading, writing, math, writing essay, and English as a Second Language (ESL). You will receive your COMPASS test results immediately upon completion of testing, and your score report will include placement messages informing you what courses you should take and how to register.

Am I required to take the COMPASS Placement Test?

Students may be exempt from taking the COMPASS placement test, or portions of the placement test, if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • Received SAT scores of 500 or higher in the areas of Critical Reading, Writing (Verbal) and Math (scores must be less than 5 years old at the time you apply to Craven Community College)


  • Received ACT scores of 21 or higher in the area of Reading-21 or higher, English-18 or higher and Math-22 or higher (scores must be less than 5 years old at the time you apply to Craven Community College)


  • Received a grade of ‘C’ or higher in a college-level English and Math course


  • Received a grade of ‘B’ or higher in the sequential completion of developmental coursework

How Are COMPASS Scores Used?

COMPASS is not used like a traditional test. There is generally no "passing score." Rather, COMPASS scores indicate areas in which you are strong and areas in which you may need help. Thus, COMPASS can identify problems in major subject areas before they disrupt your educational progress, giving you the opportunity to prepare more effectively for needed courses. You and your institution can use scores from COMPASS tests to prepare a course of study that will be appropriate, relevant, and meaningful for you.

How Can I Arrange to Take the COMPASS Tests?

Most institutions give COMPASS during orientation to incoming freshmen who have already applied and been admitted to the school. Some institutions may require you to take one or more of the COMPASS tests before enrolling in a particular program or course. Talk to your advisor, counselor, or Office of Student Services to determine the requirements and recommendations of your institution.

COMPASS - Things to Know

COMPASS - Sample Questions

Tips for Taking COMPASS® Tests

Calculator Guidelines for COMPASS® Testing

Study Guides

Study Guides developed by Lenoir Community College

Select Elementary Algebra - pdf to download the Elementary Algebra Review document.

Select Basic Arithmetic - pdf to download the Basic Arithmetic Review document.

Select English Writing Skills - pdf to download the English Writing Skills Review document.

Select Reading Comprehensive - pdf to download the Reading Comprehensive Review document.


Additional information for applying to Craven Community College including the "Online Application" is available at: Applying at Craven.