Review Before Testing

Review Before Testing

It is beneficial to review before taking your placement exam. The links below contain study guides and practice tests that will help you improve your skills. If you have difficulty with the questions within these study guides, you may need to review prior to scheduling your appointment. While some of these resources may appear to be specific to COMPASS, most are application to other assessments as well.

Free Instruction through Learner Support and Transition

Learner Support and Transition at Western offers review sessions for COMPASS in the areas of math, sentence skill (writing), and reading at no cost. Instructors work with each student to identify and strengthen problem areas. Services are available at each Western Center. For further information, call (608) 785-9535.

General COMPASS Review

COMPASS Practice (Test Prep Preview)
Unofficial COMPASS Practice Test
Sample Test Questions (COMPASS/ESL)


Writing Skills (COMPASS/ESL)
COMPASS Writing Exams (courtesy of University of North Georgia)
OWL Exercises (Purdue Online Writing Lab)


COMPASS Reading Exams (courtesy of University of North Georgia)
Reading Main Idea (Test Prep Preview)
Reading Comprehension (Test Prep Preview)


Pre-Algebra/Algebra (COMPASS/ESL)
College Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry (COMPASS/ESL)
Khan Academy
Math Study Guide (myCOMPASStest)
Practice Math Tests (myCOMPASStest)

Test-Taking Tips

Test anxiety occurs for many reasons-negative past experiences, fear of the unknown, and fear of failure. Tension and anxiety can become so intense that we may experience some physical symptoms. Shortness of breath, nausea, headache, and that "sick-all-over" feeling are some examples. Whatever the reason for your anxiety, there are some ways to help keep things in perspective. Being prepared helps but you can also try the following:

  • Use relaxation techniques. Remember, these tests are designed to help you succeed in college. Once you identify your academic strengths and needs you can select the right courses and get the help you need to improve underdeveloped skills.
  • Be certain that you understand the directions for each test before that test section begins. Ask questions if you need to-the proctor is there to help you.
  • Read each question carefully until you understand what the question is asking.
  • Answer every item. There is no penalty for guessing.
  • The tests are not timed so you should take your time and take breaks when you need them.

Tips for Taking COMPASS Tests (COMPASS/ESL)
Exam Strategy (