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COMPASS Diagnostic Testing: Some Guidelines

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Placement Test Guidelines You must take placement tests in English and/or math if you are: A new student who is still in high school. A new student who does not have a high school diploma or its equivalent. A new student who has declared a major or who is undecided about a major. A special student who registers beyond nine cumulative credit hours. A student who is interested in taking a math course, an English course, or a course that has a math or an English prerequisite.

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Placement Exemptions You may be exempt from some or all placement testing if You have achieved at least a 550 on a subset score of the SAT within the last two years. You have scored at least a 21 on the reading, writing, or math sections of the ACT within the last two years. You are transferring English or math credits from another university AND the registrar at Wor-Wic has awarded you transfer credit. You are a special student who wants to take only one course during the semester.

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Purpose of Evaluation The three tests (mathematics, reading, and writing) determine which math and English courses you should take first. Placement in the first level of developmental reading or developmental writing will affect your ability to attend the college as a credit student. Only credit courses are eligible for financial aid. It is critical that you take these tests very seriously. If you do not feel prepared today, please return at another time so that the test results will be accurate.

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Test Features Before you begin the test, you will be prompted to answer several survey questions about your reasons for choosing Wor-Wic. You do not need keyboarding skills to complete the tests, but you should be able to point and click with a computer mouse. Each multiple-choice test is untimed. Questions are selected randomly from a large pool of test items. The level of difficulty, therefore, will vary throughout the testing session.

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Test Features There is not a set number of questions for each test. The computer program determines your placement in each area based on your responses to the questions you are given. You may change an answer when you are on a screen, but you may not go back to a screen after you have clicked the Go On button. You may not skip any question. If you are not sure of an answer, you must click on your best guess.

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Test Features When the computer program has enough information to make a placement, you will be taken out of one test and moved to the next. You do not need to see a proctor to move on. When you have completed the test, the word STOP will appear on the screen. At that time, you may gather your belongings and proceed to the front of the room to discuss your results with the proctor.

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Features of Mathematics Test It assesses your understanding of numerical/pre- algebra and algebra skills. It provides access to an online scientific calculator. It includes three types of mathematics questions: Basic skillsperforming a sequence of operations Applicationapplying a sequence of operations in complex ways Analysisdemonstrating conceptual knowledge

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Mathematics Skills for the Numerical Skills/Prealgebra Section Operations with Integers Operations with Fractions Operations with Decimals Positive Integer Exponents, Square Roots, and Scientific Notation Ratios and Proportions Percentages Averages (Means, Medians, and Modes)

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Mathematics Skills for the Algebra Section Substituting Values into Algebraic Expressions Setting up Equations for Given Situations Basic Operations with Polynomials Factoring Polynomials Linear Equations with One Variable Exponents and Radicals Rational Expressions Linear Equations in Two Variables

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Sample COMPASS Math Tests Please complete at least ONE of the following practices to help you determine if additional practice is needed. http://www.act.org/compass/sample/prealg.ht ml http://www.act.org/compass/sample/prealg.ht ml http://www.act.org/compass/sample/algebra.h tml http://www.act.org/compass/sample/algebra.h tml Source: Clark College web site

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Features of Reading Test It requires you to answer reading comprehension questions from the following types of passages: practical reading prose fiction humanities social sciences natural sciences

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Features of Reading Test, continued It assesses skills in two areas: referring and reasoning Referring: finding information directly stated in the passage Reasoning: making inferences based on the reading and determining meaning through context clues

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Sample COMPASS Reading Tests Please complete at least ONE of the following practices to help you determine if additional practice is needed. http://www.act.org/compass/sample/human.ht ml http://www.act.org/compass/sample/human.ht ml http://www.act.org/compass/sample/prac.html Source: Clark College web site

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Features of Writing Skills Test It assesses two areas: usage/mechanics and rhetorical skills Usage/Mechanicsapplication of punctuation, grammar, usage, and sentence structure rules Rhetorical Skillsanalysis of writing strategy, organization and style of passages It requires that you identify and correct any errors that you find in the essays you are asked to evaluate.

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Sample COMPASS Writing Tests Please complete the following practice to help you determine if additional practice is needed. http://www.act.org/compass/sample/write- s.html http://www.act.org/compass/sample/write- s.html Source: Clark College web site

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Resources During Testing Graphing calculators are available on loan. Because ACT restricts the type of graphing calculator permitted, you may not use your own. Scrap paper is available on the computer towers. Pen or pencil may be used. Dictionaries and notes are prohibited.

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Suggestions for Testing Because the tests are untimed, you should not rush through any test. You may scroll through passages to help you answer questions. In the writing test, it is important that you force yourself to click on any sentence or sentence part you believe contains an error. If an area of text becomes highlighted, you will have five options for revising the sentence. The first option will contain the original wording and thus represents a NO CHANGE option. You should examine all five possibilities carefully and then make your selection.

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Restrictions During Testing All electronic devices (cell phones, Ipods, pagers) should be turned off and out of sight during the test session. Bathroom breaks may be taken between, not during, any of the three tests. You may not leave the room unless you have been given permission by a testing proctor.

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Retesting Options You are allowed to retest one time only on any or all parts of the test. When you opt to retest, your first score is discarded and the retest score determines placement. You should not retest unless you feel very confident that the score you have received does not reflect your ability. Review is recommended before any retest.

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Closing Thoughts These tests help us make your experience here more successful. If you have questions at any time while you are testing, please raise your hand so that a testing proctor can assist you.

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