COMPASS Frequently Asked Questions

Is a photo ID required?

For identification purposes, a valid photo ID is required to take the COMPASS test.

What if I'm taking COMPASS for another school?

Please notify the proctor prior to testing that the test is for admission to another school. There is a $20 fee for the COMPASS test and a bill will be sent to you for payment. 

What if I don't want to travel to Madison College to take the COMPASS?

If you live a distance from Madison College and don't want to travel to take the COMPASS test, the test can be arranged remotely at a college in your area.  There is a pre-determined fee set by each test center for the COMPASS test. To arrange a remote COMPASS test, please contact Testing and Assessment at (608) 246-5220.    

Do I still need to take the COMPASS if I have ACT Scores?

As of March 23, 2015 we will accept ACT scores that are 2 years old or less.

What are the testing fees?

There is a $20 fee for your first test. Retests are $5 per test component. Fees may be made at the campus payment centers during normal business hours. If payment is not made, the charge will go onto the student's account. A limited number of COMPASS fee waivers are available if the payment of the fee would present a substantial financial hardship.  Financial hardship will be verified by the Testing Office.  If you meet certain criteria, complete the COMPASS Fee Waiver Request Form

What do I need to bring?

You will need to bring a valid picture ID. You may also bring your own scientific calculator, however we do provide scratch paper, pencils and scientific calculators. 

How long does the test take?

The average completion time for the test is 2 ½ to 3 hours but will depend on each individuals aptitude. You will be given a copy of the test results upon completion.

Can I take the test more than once?

You are allowed to re-test once in English and math without authorization from an Advisor, but you are encouraged to wait a minimum of two weeks before taking the test again. We recommend that you prepare for the re-test using the English study guide and/or math study guide resources we have listed. If after retesting you are still not satisfied with the score, an Academic Advisor can be contacted to obtain assistance for authorization to retest (PDF, 243KB).

What if I've taken the test several years ago?

Scores are only valid for two years. If your scores are more than 2 years old, you will need to retake the COMPASS test.

How do I send COMPASS scores taken at another institution?

COMPASS test scores should be sent to the Testing Center at 1701 Wright Street  Madison, WI 53704, or delivered in-person to the Test Center, Truax - Room D2603, or Commercial Campus, Room 215.   

Test scores submitted to Madison College are electronically imaged upon receipt and original documents confidentially destroyed.  Imaged documents are kept on file for three years.  After this time, you may need to resubmit test scores.

Test scores submitted to Madison College become the property of the college and cannot be returned to you.  If you would like a copy of your transcript or test score for your personal use, contact your previous educational institution or the testing agency and request copies to be issued directly to you.

Test scores must be sent directly from the testing agency of school to Madison College to be considered official.  Madison College does not accept copies of student score reports or scores listed on high school transcripts.  Test scores delivered in a sealed envelope from the original institution are also considered official.  Madison College does not accept faxes, emailed, scanned, advising copies, campus use only, or web produced transcripts.

Any unofficial test scores received by the college will not be linked to the student academic records and will be confidentially destroyed upon receipt. 

How do I request a copy of my scores?

To request a copy of your test scores or request they be sent to another school, you must submit a written, signed request by mail or fax with the following information:

  • Your Name

  • Social Security Number or Student ID Number

  • Date of Birth

  • Phone Number

  • Address where you want the scores sent

  • Your Signature (required to authorize release of scores)

Mail to: 2125 Commercial Avenue, Madison, WI 53704 OR
Fax to: (608) 246-5227

Students can order transcripts at any time; however, if there is an outstanding financial obligation to Madison College, credentials will not be processed until the hold is released by Madison College.

If you have additional questions, search our knowledge base of frequently asked Testing and Assessment questions available through askMadisonCollege.