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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?

Yes, at this time the ACT will not replace the COMPASS test for proper placement in English and Math Courses at Madison College. In the future, we plan to accept ACT scores.

What are the testing fees?

There is a $20 fee for your first test. Retests are $5 per test component. 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 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

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