Georgia Highlands College

Compass Placement Test

COMPASS Placement Test Policy

The COMPASS Placement Test: 1) assesses ellgibility for admission to GHC and 2) determines the level of college courses a prospective student is academically prepared to handle.

  • The COMPASS Test is taken on a computer
  • The COMPASS Test is not timed. Most taking all three parts of test finish in about two hours
  • The COMPASS Test has three sections: Algebra (Math), English (Writing), and Reading
  • Only those applying to GHC may take the COMPASS test at GHC. We do not test for other schools
  • Sign up for COMPASS through the link found on Check Admission Status page
  • Compass initial Test fee is $20 and is paid at the business office. Bring paid receipt to check in at test center
  • A valid photo ID card is required for check in
  • Only one Compass Placement Test + one retest can be taken in a 12-month period Starting July 1st, 2015 there will be a $20 fee for a retest
  • Applicants who took Compass at another institution within the past 12 months should have scores sent to GHC admissions office. Admissions office will determine whether previous Compass scores can be accepted by GHC.

    Preparing for the COMPASS Test (click link to visit the Tutorial Center's resource page)

Applicants with high SAT or ACT scores may exempt COMPASS Placement testing if they do not have Required High School Curriculum (RHSC) deficiencies. SeeExempting the COMPASS Placement Testfor details or contact an Enrollment Management specialist in the admissions office.

Students with COMPASS Placement Test scores below the scores listed below are required to enroll in Learning Support classes for those subjects.

Special Accommodations requests. Students who need disability accommodations should use the following link ( Requesting Disability Accommodations for COMPASS Placement Testing ) to contact a disability support specialist before registering for the test. If accommodations are granted, the DSS office will schedule the appointment and will administer the test in a special accommodations setting.

Minimum COMPASS Placement Scores Required for Admission

Georgia Highlands College requires minimum COMPASS Placement scores in at least one area, Language Arts (English/Writing and Reading tests) or Mathematics (Algebra/Math tests). Students who score below the minimum scores in both areas will not be allowed to enter the college. However, students are allowed ONE COMPASS RE-TEST (an additional $20 Re-test Fee applies after June 30, 2015).

COMPASS Area Minimum Score*
Algebra/Math 20
English/Writing 32
Reading 62

COMPASSPlacement Retesting at Georgia Highlands College

COMPASS Placement Retesting at GHC is open to all GHC applicants who take the placement test by the application deadline set by admissions. Starting July 1st a $20 is required for a retest. The following rules apply to the retest option:

  • Students may not retest once they have registered for courses;
    Attending the learning support class immediately terminates the retest option, with no exceptions
  • Only one retest is allowed per area (Math, English, Reading)
  • After an admissions deadline, placement testing for that term continues for only a limited time
  • Students register for a retest in the same way that they register online for the initial test
  • Transfer Compass Score - applicants who took initial test at another institution and are approved by admissions for only a retest at GHC will be charged a $20 transfer student retest fee.

Students will be placed into Learning Support for any score that is high enough to permit admission but not high enough to exempt Learning Support requirement for that area. The chart below explains score ranges and exempting scores.

FALL 2015 Changes to Learning Support Requirements are listed below.

Compass Area

If you scored here,

You placed here:

Scores that Exempt Learning Support


Below 32


Depending on Program of Study:

MATH 0987 or MATH 0989

Depending on Program of Study:

MATH 0997 and MATH 1001 or

MATH 0999 and MATH 1111

40 or above


Below 45


ENGL 0989

ENGL 0999 and ENGL1101

60 or above


Below 77

ENGL 0989

77 or above

IMPORTANT NOTE: Students placing below minimum scores in both Math and English or Math and Reading will not be eligible for entry into the college.

All students are eligible for ONE RE-TEST in each area of the COMPASS Placement Test. (The additional $20 Retest fee applies after June 30, 2015, regardless of the number of areas you test in.)

A limited number of retest sessions are offered shortly after the application deadline. These sessions are intended for those who took first Compass attempt by the application deadline.

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