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About the COMPASS Test

The COMPASS test is an untimed, computer-based, multiple choice placement tool for writing, reading and math courses. The first test is free to new students; re-take fees are $15.00. The math portion of the test is adaptive, meaning it will automatically increase or decrease the difficulty and content of each question depending on the correctness of each preceding question. The math department recommends doing each problem with paper and pencil, and calculator when appropriate, and then selecting the best answer provided.  Reviewing sample math material is highly recommended prior to taking the placement test.

To schedule a COMPASS appointment at Mount Vernon Campus login to You will need your Student Identification number (SID) and PIN.  If you do not know your SID and password, please call Admissions at (360) 416-7697.

To schedule a COMPASS appointment at Whidbey Island Campus: 360.679.5319; San Juan Center: 360.378.3220; South Whidbey Center: 360.341.2324.

  • Your scores reflect a skill level in reading and writing standard American English, and math.
  • These scores will place you into the reading, English, and math classes you are allowed to take at SVC.
  • After your test you will make an advising appointment to plan your schedule. If you plan to attend classes at the Mount Vernon Campus, call the Admissions office at 360.416.7697 to schedule a New Student Group Advising session. During this session, you will receive an introduction to the college website and help in planning your course of study. You will have the opportunity to register for classes after your assigned registration date.
  • Enrolling for courses for which your skills are appropriate will increase your chance of success here at SVC and save money.

Testing at Whidbey Island Campus

SVC Students
Student Identification Number is required. To schedule an appointment, call 360.679.5319 or visit Old Main, Room 100.

Non-SVC Students
Social Security Number and receipt of payment is required. For Non-SVC Students, and re-takes,  a $15 test fee is required, payable at the Cashier Window (Old Main, Room 115), open Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Please bring receipts to Student Services (Old Main, Room 100) to schedule test date and time.

Testing Location and Times
The testing center is located at Hayes Hall, Room 109. Test start times are absolute and the testing center will be closed after tests have begun. Late arrivals will need to make another appointment. Test times are as follows:

  • Wednesday: 12:45 p.m. for 1 p.m. test; 4:45 p.m. for 5 p.m. test
  • Saturday: 8:45 a.m. for 9 a.m. test

Note: Testing center space is limited to 15 testers.

Please arrive fifteen minutes before schedule testing time. A current photo ID and Student ID number (or receipt of payment if a Non-SVC Student/ retaking test) is required. Individuals with special needs or accommodations may contact Disability Access Services at 360.679.5393.

If you have a financial need when retaking the test or you are a non-SVC student, see the Financial Aid Coordinator to obtain a fee waiver, in lieu of the test fee. Bring receipt/waiver with you to schedule an appointment.

Preparing for the COMPASS Test

Refresh your skills: Preparation may enable you to place into more advanced courses; not preparing may result in placement into developmental/review classes, using valuable time and tuition dollars.

Helpful Resources and Links:
Practicing for the COMPASS Math Placement Test

There are several sites offering practice questions and sample COMPASS problems for various levels of math. Sites we recommend:

  1. Interactive sample assessment diagnostic test.
    • Click "Create an account and enroll" button at the bottom of the page.
    • Fill in the boxes to quickly and easily create a free WAMAP account.
    • Once done, you will be taken directly to Skagit Valley College's Practice Site for the COMPASS test.

Test Anxiety and Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques
  • Sit quietly and comfortably with eyes closed.
  • Systematically relax your muscles, beginning with your feet and moving up your body. Tense each muscle group and then release. Allow streams of relaxation to flow through your body.
  • As distractions come into your mind, let them go, you can deal with them later. Stay in the moment.
  • Continue to relax and breathe for 10-20 minutes once or twice a day.

Previous college credit?

If you have taken math or English at a previous college, you may not need to take the COMPASS test for placement. Please provide a transcript for verification in your advising session.

Taken the COMPASS test at a different location?

COMPASS score reports from a test taken at another institution within the last three years will be accepted and recorded on the SVC database, if they are sent directly from that testing office (by FAX or mail) to the Admissions office.

Skagit Valley College
2405 E College Way
Mount Vernon WA 98273
Attention Admissions
Fax: 360.416.7890