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COMPASS Placement Test

 ATTENTION: ACT System Maintenance 

COMPASS/ESL Placement Testing WILL NOT be available Saturday, July 16th, and Saturday, July 23rd.   This downtime is due to ACT System-Wide Computer Maintenance.  

This will affect COMPASS/ESL Placement Testing ONLY, all other academic tests will not be affected.  

*Our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause* 

 For information regarding COMPASS Boot Camp, click here.

Students who do not prepare before taking the COMPASS test often end up taking extra courses they don't need. That ends up wasting time and money. By studying for - and taking the COMPASS test - you'll get your college career off to a great start. 

The COMPASS Placement Test is part of Columbus State's admissions and registration process. All students who plan to register for courses with reading, writing or math prerequisites must complete the COMPASS Placement Test. Placement testing helps to determine if you are college ready and identifies what credit and/or non-credit courses you are eligible to schedule your first semester. Our goal is to ensure that your courses are at the right level for you – not too easy and unchallenging and not so difficult that you would feel overwhelmed.

The COMPASS Placement Test is an untimed, adaptive, computer-based college placement exam. The test changes for each student based on performance. If a student gets a question correct, they next receive a question of greater difficulty and higher value. If they get a question wrong, then they are presented with an easier question of lesser value. Students are placed into course levels where their skills will not be overwhelmed or underwhelmed.

Students who have learned English in countries other than the United States will take the ESL version of the COMPASS Test completing the computerized reading and grammar usage components as well as a timed paper and pencil writing sample.


The COMPASS Placement Test is not required if you have met one or more of the following:

1) A student's ACT scores met minimum score ranges and are no more than 2 years old.

        • Minimum ACT score ranges
               English 18 or higher
               Math 10 or higher (**see Math note below)
               Reading 21 or higher

**Note: if your Math score is between 10-21, you could be placed into pre-college level math course(s). In these cases, taking the math portion of the COMPASS test is recommended.

          • A student is exempt from taking the COMPASS Placement Test in any section where the minimum score ranges have been met.

Access to print your official ACT Summary Sheet.

Note: ACT scores on high school transcripts are not acceptable.

Send official ACT Summary Sheet or ACT Student Report to CSCC:

Admissions Office (3261). Allow three weeks for receipt of ACT scores.


Hand-deliver or mail to any CSCC Testing Center location or fax to 614-287-6096.

2) Students taking only CSCC non-credit courses.

3) Transfer students who have successfully completed college-level English and/or math courses from an accredited institution where English is the official language (learned in the United States) should obtain official copies of transcripts and forward them to Records and Registration. Students should take a copy of their transcripts to the Academic Advisor to determine if they are exempt from one or more parts of the COMPASS Placement Test.