Placement Test FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
When do I schedule the test?
Students take the placement test after being admitted to RPCC and before scheduling classes. When it is time to take the test, the Office of Admissions will notify you.

How long does the test take?
Because the test is not timed, the total time needed for testing will vary from student to student. Students completing all three portions of the COMPASS test can expect to spend between 1.5 and 3 hours on the test.

Where will I take the test?
Because COMPASS is a computer-based testing program, testing will take place in either the computer lab or the Learning Resource Center. A test proctor will direct you to the appropriate computer in one of these locations. You will then read the test instructions and questions on the computer monitor and select your answers using the computer mouse.

What do I need to bring to the test?
Students may bring a calculator to the test. This is not necessary, though, as the test program provides a calculator on the computer screen when appropriate.

What if I require special arrangements?
If you have a disability or a temporarily disabling condition that will prevent you from taking the tests under standard conditions, please notify us at the time that you call to make test arrangements. There is no additional charge for these accommodations.

Should I study for the test?
Because this test is designed to measure knowledge and skills developed over a period of years, preparing for the test is not required. However, individuals wanting to refresh their knowledge of subject areas included on the test may find the web sites below helpful.

Reading, Writing, and Mathematics

Grammar and Writing


When will I receive my scores?
After completing the test, you should return to the Student Services Office so that a staff member can review your test results with you. Results are generally available as soon as the test has been completed.

What is the fee for the test?
Students may take the test once at no cost.

May I take the test more than once?
Individuals will occasionally request permission to retake all or part of the COMPASS test in an attempt to improve their scores. Permission to retest will be granted only if the student has neither begun nor completed a course that is directly related to the subject area in which the student wishes to retest. For example, a student who has begun or completed a math course will not be permitted to retake the mathematics portion of COMPASS.

Fees will be assessed when students retest. The cost for the complete test (reading, writing, and mathematics) is $20.00. The fee for individual tests is $10.00.