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English COMPASS Placement Test Study Guide

What is needed to take an English course?

Students must complete one (1) of the following:

  • The course prerequisite taken at Madison College or another college with a final grade of "C" or better.
  • Appropriate COMPASS e-Write, Writing and Reading scores taken within the last 2 years.

 English, Writing & Reading Course Placement (Doc., 143.5KB)

COMPASS Writing Skills Test

This test measures your knowledge of English grammar, sentence structure and style.  In fact, all you need to know is what's wrong with a sentence without knowing the grammatical term for what's wrong.

Web sites to help you review sample writing skills questions, grammar and style:

COMPASS Reading Comprehension Test

The best way to prepare for the COMPASS Reading test is to read often.  

Web sites to help you review sample reading skills questions:

COMPASS eWrite Essay Test

The eWrite test asks students to compose a short essay in response to a specific question. 

Your essay will be evaluated according to how well you:

  • Formulate a clear and focused position on the issue defined in the prompt
  • Support that position with reasons and evidence appropriate to the position taken and the concerns of the reader/audience
  • Develop the argument in a coherent and logical manner
  • Express ideas using clear, effective language

While grammar and spelling count on eWrite, they're not as important as organization, transitions, evidence, and word/sentence variety.

Web sites to help you review sample eWrite skills questions: