Winter Quarter Financial Aid Deadline is Friday, October 28, 2016 at 5:00 pm. See the Financial Aid Office in Bldg 17 for more details.
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The College and Center will be closed Nov. 11 and Nov. 24 - 25

COMPASS is a tool developed by ACT Inc. to measure writing, reading and math skills. This test is used for placement into academic courses required for certificate and degree programs and as a prerequisite for entrance into select technical programs. The test is not timed and retests can be arranged. COMPASS is user friendly, and we have practice tests before each session so students can become familiar with the format. The computer selects questions based on questions you've previously answered. Our staff are available to assist as needed. 

COMPASS is given in the Assessment Center in Building 17, Room 210. 

Students who would like to take the COMPASS assessment will first need to visit Enrollment Services located in the lobby of Building 17. You will be assigned a student identification number and will then proceed to the Cashier Office located in the lobby of  Building 17, Room 140; to pay the non-refundable testing fee of $19.00. Picture identification must be presented in order to obtain your test results.

COMPASS Sample Questions


For COMPASS accommodations, contact our Student Disabilities Specialist at 253-589-5767 prior to testing.

What Does COMPASS Measure?

COMPASS is a computerized adaptive test that measures skills in reading, writing and math to determine readiness for college-level courses in these areas. 

  • Reading: you'll be given one or more passages to read, and then you'll be asked to answer questions about the passage.
  • Writing: you'll be presented with an essay and asked to look for errors in grammar, punctuation, usage and style.
  • Math: you'll be asked to solve problems that measure numerical, pre-algebra and algebra skills. Some of the areas included are basic operations with integers, fractions, decimals, exponents, ratios and proportions, percentages, elementary algebra, intermediate algebra and coordinate geometry.

What Is Included in COMPASS?

  • Student Educational Plan: collects student data, status, goals and services requested.
  • Writing, Reading and Math Skills Tests: all are multiple-choice. You cannot use reference guides or your own calculator.
  • Algebra Test: all multiple-choice. You cannot use your own calculator.
  • Diagnostic Tests: these tests are used to identify possible specific skill deficiency.

How are COMPASS scores used?

COMPASS scores indicate strengths and can identify problems in academic areas before they disrupt the educational process. Advisors meet with students after testing to determine their next step, as research shows that students placed at the proper start point have a higher success rate. If skill building is necessary, students are given the necessary information on resources and services to prepare for their technical program at Clover Park Technical College. Admissions and registration are available for those who are ready to start programs.

Is It Necessary to Take COMPASS?

Potential students must take COMPASS before entering most technical programs. If you have taken a College placement assessment at another College submit the official scores to Enrollment Services.

Can I Fail the COMPASS Test?

No. COMPASS is used as an advising tool. Some technical programs have established cut-off scores for enrollment; refer to the catalog for these programs.

In order to receive Financial Aid you must have a High School Diploma or a High School Equivalency.

Tips for Taking COMPASS

Relax! The COMPASS test process is designed to help you succeed. Your score helps you and the advising staff determine which program is most appropriate for you current level of knowledge and skills. Once your academic strengths and weaknesses are identified, help is available should you need to improve any skills before they can interfere with your learning.

Rest and eat properly prior to the test. Arrive early to find parking, the cashier, Assessment Center (Building 17, Room 210), bathrooms, seating, and to gather your thoughts before the test begins.

Ask questions to clarify any information or directions before the test session begins.

The test is not timed. However, it could take approximately two hours to complete. Please do not bring or leave children unattended on the College campus during the testing process.

Read each question carefully until you understand what the question is asking. If answering any item requires several steps, be sure you consider all of them.

Be sure to answer every item. There is no penalty if you must guess. Your score will provide more useful placement information if you answer every item. Do not be afraid to change an answer if you believe that your first choice was wrong.

If you have a problem or question during the test, ask the examiner or proctor for assistance. She/he cannot help you with specific test information, but can help you with problems related to computer use.

Cheating will not be tolerated. If suspected, the testing session will be terminated. Penalties may include, but are not limited to: cancelation of scores and an imposed waiting period before retesting.

No dictionaries or study aids are allowed during testing. A calculator will be provided for you. You may not use your own. Scratch paper will also be available if you find the use of the calculator too difficult. Scratch paper and calculator will be picked up at the end of the testing session.

You may exit the test session if you are unable to complete your work. You may return on another day to complete your test.



Testing Hours

Mon., Tue., Thurs. 
8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

1st, 3rd, and 5th Wed.
8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

2nd and 4th Wed.
11 a.m. - 7 p.m. 

Fri. 8 a.m. - Noon

Hours subject to change due to holidays. Keep in mind that testing ends 30 minutes before the end of the session.