COMPASS Assessment Information

Overview

For students without acceptable ACT or SAT scores or previous college classes, Shelton State requires a comprehensive assessment in English, mathematics, and reading prior to enrollment in classes. Course placement is determined by the results of COMPASS, the official assessment instrument used by the College.  COMPASS is a computerized placement and assessment system.  Students who provide COMPASS scores from another institution do so with the understanding that Shelton State accepts raw scores, not class placements.

Students must have an application for admission on file with the Office of Admissions and Records in order to take the COMPASS Assessment. COMPASS scores are valid for three years. Students who enroll in a course without appropriate assessment scores may be withdrawn from the course by the College and may not qualify for a refund of tuition. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all assessment requirements are met. For more information, email compass@sheltonstate.edu

Scheduling COMPASS Session        

COMPASS Registration Instructions

  1. Admissions application must be filed prior to attending a COMPASS assessment session. You must know your SSCC identification number that begins with the letter "S" to register for a COMPASS session. You receive your SSCC ID during the admissions application process.
  2. Register for a COMPASS assessment session.   If you need accommodations for a disability while taking the COMPASS assessment, please contact ods@sheltonstate.edu.


     Click here for COMPASS
    Note: Google Chrome is the recommended browser to use with the online appointment system. 

    Directions on how to schedule, cancel, and reschedule a COMPASS assessment session.

                                

  3. There will be an assessment deadline prior to the beginning of each semester.  Deadlines will be published in registration information.  
  4. COMPASS session information: 
Martin Campus, Room 1826 - Directions to Martin Campus
Fredd Campus, Room 116 - Directions to Fredd Campus 

COMPASS Remote Assessment

Individuals interested in applying to Shelton State Community College may take the COMPASS placement test at approved testing sites nationwide.   ACT COMPASS remote testing allows students to complete their ACT COMPASS testing quickly and conveniently at over 550 supervised COMPASS testing centers.  This service is ideal for two particular types of students: the non-local SSCC student, currently living some distance away from Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and the local non-SSCC student. Click here to locate a remote COMPASS assessment location.  For more COMPASS Remote Testing information click here

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COMPASS Retesting Information

Retesting on each component of COMPASS is allowed ONE time.  If a student takes COMPASS more than two times, the only valid scores will be the scores from the first or second session. The higher of the two scores will be used for placement and no refund will be given for the other tests taken at additional sessions. 

Retesting guidelines: 

Math 
Retesting will only be allowed prior to enrolling in mathematics courses.

Reading 
Retesting allowed if a student completed some type of remediation for reading OR Successfully completed RDG 084.

Writing
Retesting allowed if a student completed some type of remediation in English OR Successfully completed ENG 092.

COMPASS retesting procedures:

1. _____ Schedule a COMPASS session at www.sheltonstate.edu under the Quick Links section, Schedule COMPASS
2. _____ Pick up a payment form from the Testing and Assessment Information Desk located in front of the Theatre on the East side of the building
3. _____ Pay retesting fees in SSCC Cashier’s Office.  No fees may be paid in the Testing and Assessment Center.  The Cashier’s office closes at 6:00 p.m.
4. _____ Bring completed form and receipt to your scheduled retesting session – Room 1826
(You will not be allowed to retest unless you bring the form and the receipt to the testing session)

Retesting will cost $8.00 per subject.  
One subject- $8.00
Two subjects-$16.00
Three subjects-$24.00
    
If a student previously completed the ASSET assessment but never attempted the COMPASS®, they may take the COMPASS® one time at no charge.  

You MUST bring your receipt and a signed retest form to your retest session. 

Review for COMPASS

For online assessment resources and to view sample COMPASS questions, view Online Assessment Resources

The SOAR Institute is offering on campus COMPASS Help Sessions. Click here for schedule.

Policies and Procedures

  • Check-in will begin approximately fifteen minutes before the assessment time - please do not be late. 
  • Students must bring an official unexpired photo ID to the assessment. Failure to do so will result in students not being admitted to that particular session. 
  • Students may use their own calculator if approved by ACT. To view a list of approved calculators, visit: COMPASS approved calculators
  • This assessment is computerized and not timed. 
  • There is no cost for the first time a student takes the COMPASS assessment. 
  • For students wishing to reassessment, fees will be charged.   More information about reassessment is listed below. 
  • Students will receive scores and course placement immediately upon completion of the COMPASS. 

Transferring COMPASS Scores

To transfer your COMPASS scores to Shelton State Community College:

If the assessment has been taken within the past 3 years, Shelton State Community College will accept COMPASS scores from other institutions.  Your scores must be sent to Shelton State Community College Testing and Assessment Office via mail or fax, directly from the assessment institution.   Download and complete the Request for COMPASS/ASSET Scores from Another Institution form.  Send the completed form to the institution that holds your COMPASS results. Check with the assessment institution to be sure they do not require additional paperwork. 

To transfer your COMPASS scores to another college or employer:

If you have completed, or attempted coursework, with Shelton State Community College, we will send the scores at no charge. A Student Consent for Access to Education Records form and a Request to Send Scores to Another Institution must be completed.  If you have not attempted or completed coursework with Shelton State Community College, there is a $20 COMPASS score release fee that must be paid prior to scores being sent. Fees must be paid at the Cashier’s Office on the Martin Campus. Along with the fee, a Student Consent for Access to Education Records form and a Request to Send Scores to Another Institution must be completed.  If you do not sign the Student Consent for Access to Education Records form in the presence of a Shelton State Community College employee, the form must be notarized and mailed. 

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Exemptions from COMPASS Placement

The following students are exempt from the English, reading and/or mathematics section(s) of the COMPASS® Assessment:
  1. Students who score 20 or above on the English section and/or 20 or above on the mathematics section and/or the reading section of the ACT and enroll at Shelton State within three years of high school graduation; 
  2. Students who score 480 or above on the English section and/or 480 or above on the mathematics section and/or the reading section of the SAT I and enroll at Shelton State within three years of high school graduation; 
  3. Students who have an associate degree or higher from a regionally accredited postsecondary institution (community, junior or four-year college); 
  4. Students who transfer degree-creditable college-level English or mathematics courses with a grade of C or better; 
  5. Students who have successfully completed certain developmental coursework at another Alabama College System school within the last three years; 
  6. Students who provide documentation of assessment (COMPASS or ASSET) within the last three years. 
To be eligible for these exemptions, assessment scores and/or college transcripts must be on file with the Director of Assessment and Assessment.   

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COMPASS/ACT/SAT Placement Scores

In lieu of assessment exam scores, course placement may also be assigned based on English, mathematics, and reading subtesting scores as reported by COMPASS, ACT and SAT assessment, provided that the student is enrolling within three years of high school graduation.

Placement by COMPASS scores

Students with valid COMPASS scores (less than 3 years old by first day of classes) will be placed by COMPASS sub scores as indicated below:

COMPASS Test

Cutoff Range

Course Placement

English

0-37 score

ENG 092

38-67 score

ENG 093

68-99 score

ENG 101

Math

0-35 Pre-Algebra

MTH 090

36-99 Pre-Algebra

MTH 098 / MTH 116

28-62 Algebra

MTH 100

63-99 Algebra

MTH 110 / MTH 112

46-99  College Algebra

MTH 113 / MTH 120

46-99  Trigonometry

MTH 125

Reading

0-33 score

RDG 084

34-65

RDG 085

66-86

RDG 114 recommended

87 – 99

No reading required


Placement by ACT scores

Students with valid ACT scores (less than 3 years old from the intended start date) will be placed by ACT sub scores as indicated below:

ACT Test

Cutoff Range

Course Placement

English

1-19

COMPASS Writing Skills test required

20-36

College-level English (ENG 101)

Math

1-19

COMPASS Math test required

20-24

College-level Math (MTH 100)

25-26

MTH 110 or 112

27-28

MTH 113 or 120

29-36

MTH 125

Reading

1-19

COMPASS Reading test required

20-36

No reading requirement



Placement by SAT Scores

Students with valid SAT scores (less than 3 years old from the intended start date) will be placed by SAT sub scores as indicated below:

SAT Test

Cutoff Range

Course Placement

English

200-470

COMPASS Writing Skills test required

480 -800

College-level English (ENG 101)

Math

200-470

COMPASS Math test required

480-570

College-level Math (MTH 100)

580-610

MTH 110 or 112

620-640

MTH 113 or 120

650-800

MTH 125

Reading

200-470

COMPASS Reading test required

480-800

No reading requirement




These scores are subject to change.

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Special Accommodation Information

If you have a disability and need to complete the COMPASS assessment, contact Shelton State's Office of Disability Services.

COMPASS Placement Assessment Information for ESL Student

If English is not the language in which you learned to read and write, you will need to complete the English as a Second Language Placement Assessment. Contact Martha Key at testing@sheltonstate.edu to schedule a placement session.

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