Moraine Valley Community College || Testing Services || COMPASS Tests


When Do I Take the Placement Tests?

Placement tests are required before registering for 12 credit hours or for English composition (above COM-085) or mathematics (above MTH-090). Students may be exempt from placement testing based on previous college credit or ACT scores. Students must complete the Admissions form before taking placement tests.

Students will use a personal computer in Moraine Valley’s Testing Center, located in Bldg. B, Room B101, to complete the COMPASS test. COMPASS is untimed, but students should plan to spend up to two hours for the full placement test. Placement tests results will be available immediately.

Pre-registration and pre-payment is required for placement testing. Registration for the COMPASS placement test can be done online or in person.

  1. Use MVConnect. Login using your assigned username and password. On the Self-Service menu, click Registration. Select Search, Register, and Pay for Non-Credit classes. Select Placement Testing in the Topic Code drop-down box and click Submit. Click the box next to the section you would like to register for and click Submit. Continue through remaining screens and submit your payment of $25.
  2. In person: You may choose to register for any scheduled COMPASS/placement test session that will be offered Monday-Friday. Stop by the Registration Office, Bldg. S, Room S103, to register. Payment of $25 is due at the time of registration. Please proceed to the Casher’s Office, Bldg. S, Room S105. Bring your receipt to the Testing Center, Bldg. B, Room 101.

New students must complete English composition, reading and math placement testing prior to attending an orientation program.

Currently enrolled students must pre-register and pre-pay for placement testing before registering for English composition, reading or math classes.

What Will the Placement Test Cover?

COMPASS is the computerized placement test that helps place students into appropriate reading, writing and math courses. The system draws on a pool of test questions, and then adjusts the level of the test to the skills and expertise of each individual test taker. 

  • The COMPASS Math Placement Test covers five content domains: pre-algebra/numerical skills, algebra, college algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. Results of the test will determine student placement in mathematics courses. Students may be required to complete developmental mathematics courses prior to enrolling in a college-level course.
  • The COMPASS Reading Placement Test is designed to assess students' reading comprehension. Results of the test will determine student placement in reading courses. Students may be required to complete developmental reading courses in addition to regular college-credit courses.
  • The COMPASS Writing Skills Test includes items to assess students' usage/mechanics and rhetorical skills. Results of writing skills test will determine student placement in English composition courses. Students may be required to complete developmental composition courses prior to enrolling in a college-level composition course. 

Can I Prepare for the Placement Tests?
A study guide, "Charting your success on the COMPASS," is on reserve at the circulation desk in the Moraine Valley Library in Building L, and in the office of Multicultural Student Affairs in the Student Services Center. 

You also can view sample test questions by going to and clicking on "Sample Questions." 

Placement Test Exemptions
Previously Earned College Credit
If you've previously earned college credit, you may be exempt from some or all of the placement tests. Just submit a college transcript or grade report showing a "C" or better in a college-level (101 or higher) English composition/rhetoric course and/or mathematics course to the Academic Advising Center.

Act Scores
An ACT score of 20 or above in English, reading and mathematics may be used in place of some or all of the placement tests. To qualify for an exemption, students need to bring a copy of their ACT scores to the Academic Advising Center.

  • A score of 20 or above in English and reading exempts you from the English/reading placement test.
  • A score of 20 or above in mathematics exempts you from the mathematics placement test.