COMPASS Placement Test

WHO TAKES THE COMPASS TEST?

Students whose first language is English, and non-native English speakers who read and write English fluently, are required to take the COMPASS placement test prior to enrolling in a degree or certificate program.

  • Students with a college transcript showing successful completion of college level math and/or English may not be required to take the COMPASS exam. Please see Transferring Credits to LWTech for more information.

  • Students who have taken the COMPASS exam at another college within the last two years may have their scores faxed from the originating institution to the Assessment Center at (425) 739-8207.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE COMPASS TEST?

COMPASS is a computer-based test, designed to assist advisors in placing students in the appropriate level of English and math courses for student success. Lake Washington Institute of Technology offers English and math courses for many levels of placement.

HOW MUCH TIME DOES IT TAKE TO COMPLETE THE COMPASS TEST?

COMPASS is not a timed test and students cannot fail. Total testing time is approximately 1.5 to 2 hours (each section takes 20-30 minutes). An additional 30 minutes may be spent at the start of the exam answering questions regarding student's background and educational plans.

HOW DO I ARRANGE TO TAKE THE TEST AND WHAT WILL I NEED?

  • No appointment is necessary. Test are given on the following schedule. All tests are administered in the West Building, Room W204.

    • Monday: 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

    • Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

    • Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

    • Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

  • You must have a valid government-issued photo ID and an LWIT Student ID number to test (available in in the West Building, Room W201).

  • No dictionaries or electronic devices are allowed in the testing room.

  • Calculators, pencils and scratch paper are provided by Assessment Center; personal calculators, pens and pencils are not permitted.

  • Test results are valid for up to two years.

WHAT SUBJECTS ARE INCLUDED IN THE TEST?

  • Reading: This is a comprehension test, in which the student reads text and answers related questions displayed on the screen.

  • Writing: In this section the student edits text by finding and correcting grammatical and organizational errors in essays. When an error has been found, the student's selected revision will be inserted into the text.

  • Math: The math section starts off with basic skills and gradually gets harder by including content from pre-algebra/numerical skills, algebra, college algebra, geometry, calculus and trigonometry.

IS THERE A FEE FOR THE TEST?

  • The COMPASS test is free of charge.

HOW CAN I PREPARE FOR THE TEST?

We strongly encourage you to prepare for the COMPASS test to improve scores, and to reduce the number of courses in math and English required. Results are valid for two years from original test date at LWTech. Retests require advisor permission.

COMPASS Testing Preparation Workshops are available every 2nd and 4th Monday of each month in room W204F.  For more information, please contact Kaytlyn Hoch at kaytlyn.hoch@lwtech.edu.

AM I ALLOWED TO RETEST TO IMPROVE MY SCORES?

  • Re-testing within the two-year period is allowed only under specific circumstances, with advisor permission.

WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY RESULTS?

  • Results are available immediately upon completion of the test.