Testing Services Department
Placement Exams (con't)
ACT/SAT test scores determine a student's initial placement into LSSU English and Mathematics courses.
Students may challenge their course placement by taking placement exams, prior to beginning coursework at LSSU . These placement exams are standardized exams provided by ACT and named COMPASS^{®} and eWrite^{®}. (read more below)
Placement Chart
Click here to view chart (PDF)
About the Placement Exams (COMPASS^{®})
 COMPASS^{®} is a comprehensive computerized adaptive testing system.
 The exam tests the basic skills needed to succeed at LSSU and is used to place students properly in classes. This is not a "pass/ fail" test.
 Much more than a series of tests on a network of computers, COMPASS^{®} is a complete course placement and diagnostic assessment system.
 The test from ACT helps place students into appropriate courses and maximizes the information to ensure student success.
COMPASS^{®} FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Question 
Answer 
How long will it take? 
The test is untimed. Most students will take about an hour per test. Students taking the Writing Skills Test are required to also take the COMPASS^{®} eWrite exam. 
How much will it cost? 
The cost is $5.00 (USD) per test. You may pay by US cash, check or money order, payable to Lake Superior State University. You may also add the fees to your student account. 
How do I sign up for the test? 
Please call testing services at 9066352027 and schedule an appointment. Come to LBR, room 253 to take the test(s). 
What do I need to bring? 
You will only need to bring a government issued picture ID. The COMPASS^{®} software provides a dropdown calculator and the Testing Office will provide a calculator, pencils and scratch paper. 
When do I get my scores? 
Immediately after the test. 
COMPASS^{®} Test Components
The Writing Skills is an untimed test based on 2  4 small articles. Questions include:
 Usage and Mechanics: punctuation, basic grammar and usage
 Rhetorical Skills: strategy, organization, style of standard written English
 Suggestion:
Go to the ACT website and review two sections: C. Writing Skills and Writing Skills (7 page PDF file).
The Numerical Skills Test is a 1115 item, untimed test. It measures basic numerical skills and basic problem solving skills. Questions include:
 Operations with whole numbers, decimals and fractions
 Ratio and proportion
 Conversion of fractions and decimals
 Percentages
 Number theory
 Exponents
 Order concepts with fractions and decimals

 Prime numbers and prime factorization
 Averages
 Absolute value of numbers
 Multiples and factors of integers
 Square roots

The Elementary Algebra Test is a 1115 item, untimed test. It tests skills commonly learned in a firstyear high school algebra course. Questions include:
 Evaluation of algebraic expressions
 Setting up equations for given situations
 Linear equations in one variable
 Operations with polynomials

 Integer exponents
 Formula manipulation and field oxims
 Factoring of polynomials
 Solutions of linear equations

The Intermediate Algebra Test is a 1115 item, untimed test. It tests skills commonly learned in a second year high school algebra course. Questions include:
 Simplification of radicals
 Polynomial equations
 Graphs of linear equations
 Solutions of the distance formula

 Operations with radical and rational expressions
 Exponents
 Rational Expression
 Solution of linear inequalities

The College Algebra Test is a 1115 item, untimed test. It will assess skills commonly acquired in a precalculus course. Questions include:
 Exponential functions
 Factorials
 Operations with complex numbers
 Complex numbers

 Composition of functions
 Roots of polynomials
 Functions
 Matrices

Trigonometry is a 1115 item, untimed test. It will cover:
 Right angle trigonometry
 Trigonometry equations and inequalities
 Special angles

 Functions and identities
 Graphs of trigonometric functions

COMPASS^{®} Sample Tests
To take sample tests for the writing, reading and math components, go to ACT's Website  http://www.act.org/compass/sample/index.html.
Preparation Resources for COMPASS^{®}
While we, at LSSU, do not assume any liability or responsibility for the content of these Web sites, students may find the practice tools helpful when preparing for this exam.
Online resources:
Math help: http://www.math.com/students/practice.html
Grammar help: http://webster.commnet.edu/grammar/index2.htm
Books:
Basic Mathematics, 7th Edition, by Bittiner and Keedy (Numerical Skills)
Introductory Algebra, 5th Edition, by Bittenger and Keedy (Elementary Algebra)
Intermediate Algebra, 5th Edition, by McKeague (Intermediate Algebra)
Precalculus, 4th Edition, by Sullivan (Precalculus)
Prewriting, Response, Revision, Copyright 1982 by Wilbert J. Levy (Composition)
An Expository Workbook, 3rd Edition, by Huizenga, Snellings, and Francis (Basic Composition for ESL)
Vocabulary Foundations for the College Student, Copyright 1981, by Levine and Levine
Grammar in Context, Book Two, by Sandra N. Elbaum
Ten Steps to Improving Reading Skills, 6th Edition, by John Langan
For more information on placement testing, contact Cindy Doornbos, Testing
Specialist at (906) 6352027.
