ACT Compass

An untimed, computerized test that helps colleges evaluate students’ skills and place them into appropriate courses.


The Future of ACT Compass

Since 1983, the ACT Compass® program has been instrumental in helping educators place students in college-level courses. During this time, course placement needs among students and the institutions who serve them have shifted significantly. A thorough analysis of customer feedback, empirical evidence, and postsecondary trends led us to conclude that ACT Compass is not contributing as effectively to student placement and success as it had in the past. Based on this analysis, as part of the ACT commitment to continuous improvement, we have made the difficult decision to phase out all ACT Compass products (ACT Asset, Windows Compass, and eCompass) by December 31, 2016.

ACT eCompass:

  • ACT eCompass will be available for testing through November 30, 2016. Data will be available via ACT eCompass through December 31, 2016.

ACT Asset, ACT Windows Compass:

  • ACT Asset and Windows Compass versions will be available for testing through November 30, 2016.
  • ACT Asset materials will be available for ordering until November 1, 2016.

Unit Pricing:

  • All unit pricing will remain at the FY15 rates through November 30, 2016, at $1.55 per unit (volume discounts available).

The ACT Compass Team will share more information with you as it becomes available. We will do our very best to assist you through this transition. 

Evaluating Incoming Students 

Benefits to postsecondary institutions

ACT Compass offers postsecondary institutions:

  • Fast and accurate assessments to guide optimal course placement decisions.
  • Customization of test packages, cutoff scores, and placement messages to ensure results that meet the specific needs of your institution.
  • Comprehensive reporting at the student and program level, allowing for optimal student advising and program evaluation decisions based on empirical data.
  • High school outreach for early intervention and dual-enrollment programs in feeder high schools.
  • Remote testing to meet the assessment needs of your students anywhere in the country. 

Administering ACT Compass

Resources for test administrators

Learn more about ACT Compass technical specifications and requirements, installation, and troubleshooting to help you implement the program at your institution.  


Training and Resources

Tools to help you make the most of ACT Compass

Information about becoming an ACT Compass test site, tutorials to help use the program, and reference materials to help you understand and use test data. 


Comprehensive Reporting

Meeting the needs of students, advisors, faculty, and institutional researchers

Multiple reporting options and services to assist institutions in evaluating outcomes of course placement practices and to provide information for setting and refining cut scores. 


The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2015

The number of ACT test takers continues to grow and be more diverse each year. In 2015, 59 percent of the US graduating class took the ACT. This report offers our annual look at college and career readiness and education plans for those students.

Measuring Your Skills 

Benefits to students

ACT Compass helps your college evaluate your skills and place you into appropriate courses. It offers tests in reading, writing, math, writing essay, and English as a Second Language (ESL). You will receive your results immediately upon completion of testing, and your score report will include placement messages informing you which courses you should take and how to register.

How Can I Take the ACT Compass Tests?
Most institutions give ACT Compass during orientation to incoming freshmen who have already applied and been admitted to the school. Some institutions may require you to take one or more of the ACT Compass tests before enrolling in a particular program or course. Talk to your advisor, counselor, or office of student services to determine the requirements and recommendations of your institution. 

Preparing for ACT Compass

Tips and strategies to help get ready for test day

As with the ACT, you’re already preparing to take ACT Compass with what you learn in school. But for some extra help, we have sample questions, test-taking tips, and insights about what to expect on the test. 



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