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COMPASS Placement Exam Review

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Background Information and Frequently Asked Questions

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Why do you have to take these tests anyway? 1. We just like to make you suffer. 2. The state Board of Regents requires that all incoming students must be placed in the appropriate course according to ACT scores or the COMPASS exam. 3. We don’t want you to fail by enrolling in a course for which you aren’t prepared.

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Do you have to take the COMPASS exam? 1. You haven’t taken the ACT test within the past 5 years, and you haven’t passed a College Algebra course. You must take the math portion of the exam if you fall into either of the 2 categories below. 2. Your ACT math score was 25 or higher. (if your ACT score was 24 or less, that score will be used to place you in the appropriate course)

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What math subjects are covered in the test? 1. Analysis of complex variables 1. Basic Algebra through College Algebra 2. Trigonometry

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So, what kind of test is it, true-false, multiple choice, essay? The test is computerized and multiple choice. You have unlimited time to take the test. Calculators are allowed, but if you don’t bring one, a calculator is available on the computer. You must answer each question before you can go on to the next one.

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Testing Procedures The test is currently given at all state colleges. Starting in fall 2003 testing will also be available at some other testing sites via the web. Contact Academic Services at SDSM&T for more information about testing via the web. (605) 394-2400 or 1-800-544-8162 Ext. 2400 You can take the COMPASS exam during orientation, or you can take it individually at other times during the year by request.

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What should you bring to the exam? Your social security number A calculator A pencil for working out problems

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How will you find out your results? A form will be printed out as soon as you’re done taking the test. This form will tell you which course you should enroll in based on your test results.

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If the COMPASS is your first placement exam and you’re not satisfied with your results, you may retake the COMPASS exam, but only once more and you will be charged a fee for the retake. If you took the ACT exams, these scores are used to place you into Math or English. If you wish to challenge this placement, you may retest one time using the COMPASS exam and will be charged a retest fee.

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Mathematics Placement at SDSM&T ACT ScoreCOMPASS Score (%)Mathematics Course Placement 1 to 17Pre-Algebra: 0 to 100 OR Algebra: 0 to 32 MATH 021 Basic Algebra 18 to 19Algebra: 33 to 44MATH 101 Intermediate Algebra 20 to 24Algebra: 45 to 100 OR College Algebra: 0 to 52 MATH 102/102L College Algebra/Lab > 24: must take COMPASSCollege Algebra: 53 to 100 OR Trigonometry: 0 to 39 MATH 120/120L Trigonometry/Lab > 24: must take COMPASSTrigonometry: 40 to 64Enroll in MATH 120/120L Trigonometry/Lab, may enroll in MATH 123 Calculus I concurrently > 24: must take COMPASSTrigonometry: 65 to 69May enroll in MATH 123 Calculus I ( It is strongly recommended to also enroll in MATH 120/120L Trigonometry/Lab) > 24: must take COMPASSTrigonometry: 70 to 100MATH 123 Calculus I

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As you can see from the chart, at Tech, in order to enroll in Calculus I, receive a satisfactory score on the COMPASS exam in Algebra and enroll in Trigonometry concurrently with Calculus I. You must receive a satisfactory score on the COMPASS exam in both Algebra and Trigonometry or receive a satisfactory score on the COMPASS exam in Algebra and enroll in Trigonometry before enrolling in Calculus I or

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How should you prepare for the exam? Use this CD to brush up on your algebra and/or trigonometry skills. Spend more time on your own covering any trouble spots. Check out the following web page for some sample questions and links to the official COMPASS web site http://www.act.org/compass/sample/math.html Another web page with links to more sample problems is the ACT site http://www.act.org/news/student/

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How should you use this CD to prepare? Look at the list of topics to find subjects of concern and go to that location. Each section contains a brief review of the material and one or more sample problems with solutions. A copy of all the problems covered in the review is also included on the CD as a separate document for you to print out.

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Disclaimer This review is intended to represent a sample of the types of problems and subjects which you might expect to see on the placement exam. We do not claim to give you a total representation of the placement exam. The actual exam may contain material not presented here, and we will not be held responsible if you receive a poor score on the exam. The material presented in this review may produce side effects in some participants, including sleepiness, boredom, yawning, frustration, confusion/agitation, and in some rare cases, constipation. Do not operate a moving vehicle while using this CD.

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