Placement Testing FAQs

What is the COMPASS test?
The placement test administered at Tri-County is the COMPASS test. Developed by American College Testing (ACT), the COMPASS test is an untimed computer-adaptive placement test which measures skills in reading, writing, and math. Even though COMPASS is a computer-based test, very little computer skills are necessary to complete the test. COMPASS is not a pass/fail test. COMPASS test scores are used to determine initial course placement in selected subjects.

Are sample questions available for the COMPASS test?
COMPASS sample questions are available on the ACT website at .

In addition, the following websites may be beneficial:

Who is required to take the COMPASS test? 
All Students (except transient students) must take the placement test.   You may be exempted from taking the COMPASS test if you have completed college courses in English and math at the 101 level or higher with a minimum "C" grade or if you have previously taken COMPASS or ASSET at your high school.  COMPASS placement test scores are valid for three years. If you are unsure if you need to take the COMPASS test, contact Admissions to determine if placement testing is required.

Can SAT, ACT or other standardized test scores be substituted for COMPASS?
SAT, ACT or other standardized test scores cannot be substituted for the placement test.

Is there a fee to take the COMPASS test?
Provided you have completed an Application for Admission and paid the application fee, there is no charge for initial COMPASS testing.

Is an appointment required to take the COMPASS test?
No appointment is required. COMPASS placement testing is offered on a walk-in basis. Walk-in hours for COMPASS testing at the Assessment Center are listed below.   


Testing Days/Time

Pendleton/Miller Hall, Room 103

Monday-Thursday/8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.*

Friday/8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Anderson/Room 221

Friday/8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Easley/Room 206

Tuesday/2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.*

*The Assessment Center will close at 5:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday when there are no classes scheduled.  Students must arrive no later than 3 p.m. on these days. 

 How much time should I allow for COMPASS testing?
COMPASS is an untimed test; however, most students require 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours to complete the test.

What should I bring with me for COMPASS testing?
A picture ID is required for placement testing. Acceptable forms of identification include a state-issued ID (a driver's license for example), a military ID, or an official school ID (high school or college). Scratch paper will be provided by the Assessment Center. You are encouraged to bring a pencil. Approved calculators may be used on the COMPASS test. View calculator guidelines on the ACT website at

Dictionaries are not allowed during testing. Children may not accompany students during placement testing.

Can I take my test at another location if I live more than 100 miles from TCTC?

If you live more than 100 miles from Tri-County and would like to take the COMPASS test at a remote location, please visit to find a COMPASS Internet Remote Testing Site in your area. When you enter your zip code, you will be able to view a list of COMPASS Internet Remote Testing Sites in a 150 mile radius.

If you would like to request a remote COMPASS test, please send an email to: and provide the following information:

  1. Official full name
  2. Date of birth
  3. Tri-County Student Identification Number (Bridge students: your T number is included in your TCTC acceptance letter.  All others refer to your missing requirements letter.) 
  4. Mailing address including city, state and zip code
  5. Phone number
  6. Email address
  7. Remote testing site address. This information can be obtained using the ACT link listed above.
  8. If you have completed college course in English and math at the 100 level or higher with a minimum "C" grade, please list the course(s) which you have completed or respond with not applicable. Note: TCTC strongly recommends that students enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) courses take the COMPASS assessment as AP scores are typically not received until late July.


When will COMPASS test scores be available?
COMPASS test scores are available immediately following the completion of testing. After completing placement testing, you will receive further instructions from the admissions office concerning your next step. The interpretation of placement test scores in relation to course requirements will be covered during your meeting with your success coach.

What do my COMPASS test scores mean?
If you are interested in knowing the English, math and science courses for which you qualify based on your placement test scores, click here:

COMPASS Placement Criteria (pdf)

Is retesting allowed?
If a retest is needed or requested, you may take one retest at a cost of $10 during a three-year period. Check with your academic advisor or the Assessment Center to determine if you qualify for retesting.

How can I prepare for a COMPASS retest?
Below you will find three options for preparing for a COMPASS retest. Please keep in mind you only qualify for one retest in a three year period, so make sure you are well prepared.

Option 1: Use customized on-line MyMathTest Program
1. Access codes, which are good for sixteen weeks, are available in the Campus Store or on-line at .
2. Register in MyMathTest and take a diagnostic test.
3. Go to Study Plan to see which objectives you should focus on.
4. Click here to access to Getting Started Guide.

Option 2: Follow these links to practice problems
1. Go to
2. Select Admissions
3. Select Placement Testing
4. Select Are sample questions available for the COMPASS test?

Option 3: Go to the Learning Express Library

1. Select Learning Express, then Register.
2. Select College Students and follow instructions.

What accommodations are provided for students with disabilities?
If you have a documented hearing, learning, physical, psychological, and/or visual disability that will prevent you from taking the test under standard conditions, you may request reasonable accommodations. For more information, contact the Coordinator of Disability Services at (864) 646-1564.

How can I get my test scores sent to another institution?
You may request to have your placement test scores sent to another institution for a fee. Please print and complete Tri-County's Placement Score Release Form available online at:

Placement Score (PDF)

COMPASS test scores will be mailed or faxed to the institution you list on the release form the same day the completed form, a photo copy of a state-issued identification (such as a driver's license), and the applicable fee are received by the Assessment Center staff.

How can I contact the Assessment Center?
The Assessment Center is located in Miller Hall, Room 103. You may also contact the Assessment Center by email at , phone at (864) 646-1300, or fax at (864)646-5071.

Contact Us

Toll-free (within the 864 area code) 1-866-269-5677, ext. 1550
Fax: 864-646-5080

Office Hours:
8:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.
8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.