March 7, 2015

COMPASS® Practice Test Questions

Many colleges, especially community and junior colleges, use the COMPASS test to help them determine how prepared for college level work their incoming students are. (The name comes from Computer Adaptive Placement Assessment and Support System.) This is vitally important because people who enroll in college classes that are too advanced for them often struggle to make good grades. They may have to repeat some classes, or even worse, they may get discouraged and drop out of college altogether. By properly matching new students with the right level of classes, colleges help them lay a foundation for success in college and eventually a career.

In the vast majority of cases, there is no such thing as a passing score on the COMPASS. For some majors or courses it might be necessary to achieve a certain minimum score on the test, but in most cases the colleges are simply trying to identify a new student’s strengths and weaknesses. By doing so they can determine if the student should start with one or more remedial courses or is ready for standard college level classes immediately.


There are five possible sections on the COMPASS – Reading, Writing, Math, Essay Writing, and English as a Second Language. In most cases, the student will take only the three main sections – Reading, Writing, and Math. On the standard three part test, all questions are multiple choice. The test is taken on a computer, and is adaptive. That means that not everyone sees the same questions on the test. The first question will be one that’s considered somewhat difficult. If someone answers it incorrectly, the computer will give them an easier question. If they answer it correctly, they get a harder question. This process continues for the entire test – the computer is constantly adjusting the difficulty level of the questions. There is no time limit on the exam.

The COMPASS is not an admissions test and doing poorly on it won’t prevent a person from being accepted into college, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. Many students don’t take the test seriously and don’t bother setting aside study time or using study guides to prepare for the exam, and they don’t achieve a high score. This means they have to spend a lot of time (and money) during the first couple of semesters sitting in remedial classes that they could have avoided with a little study. With proper preparation, many students can get a high score on the COMPASS and get their college education off to a great start.

COMPASS Study Guide

Start learning how to be successful on your COMPASS exam. Our COMPASS study guide is guaranteed to help you get the results you deserve on your COMPASS test. Some test takers prefer to study using flashcards and so we have created the best COMPASS flashcards that cover everything you need to know for the COMPASS exam. Note that using multiple study aids will help you maximize the benefit from your study time.

COMPASS Study Guide
COMPASS Flashcards

COMPASS Practice Test

The Coins of Ancient Greece

We don’t usually think of coins as works of art, and most of them really do not invite us to do so. The study of coins, their development and history, is termed numismatics. Numismatics is a topic of great interest to archeologists and anthropologists, but not usually from the perspective of visual delectation. The coin is intended, after all, to be a utilitarian object, not an artistic one. Many early Greek coins are aesthetically pleasing as well as utilitarian, however, and not simply because they are the earliest examples of the coin design. Rather, Greek civic individualism provides the reason. Every Greek political entity expressed its identity through its coinage.

The idea of stamping metal pellets of a standard weight with an identifying design had its origin on the Ionian Peninsula around 600 B.C. Each of the Greek city-states produced its own coinage adorned with its particular symbols. The designs were changed frequently to commemorate battles, treaties, and other significant occasions. In addition to their primary use as a pragmatic means of facilitating commerce, Greek coins were clearly an expression of civic pride. The popularity of early coinage led to a constant demand for new designs, such that there arose a class of highly skilled artisans who took great pride in their work, so much so that they sometimes even signed it. As a result, Greek coins provide us not only with an invaluable source of historical knowledge, but also with a genuine expression of the evolving Greek sense of form, as well. These minuscule works reflect the development of Greek sculpture from the sixth to the second century B.C. as dependably as do larger works made of marble or other metals. And since they are stamped with the place and date of their production, they provide an historic record of artistic development that is remarkably dependable and complete.

1. What is the purpose of this passage?

a. To attract new adherents to numismatics as a pastime.
b. To show how ancient Greeks used coins in commerce.
c. To teach the reader that money was invented in Greece.
d. To describe ancient Greek coinage as an art form
e. To show why coins are made of precious metals.

2. What is meant by the phrase “most of them do not invite us to do so”, as used in the first sentence?

a. Money is not usually included when sending an invitation.
b. Most coins are not particularly attractive.
c. Invitations are not generally engraved onto coins.
d. Coins do not speak.
e. It costs money to enter a museum.

3. What is meant by the term numismatics?

a. The study of numbers
b. Egyptian history
c. Greek history
d. The study of coins
e. The study of commerce

4. According to the text, how do ancient Greek coins differ from most other coinage?

a. Simply because they were the first coins.
b. Each political entity made its own coins.
c. They were made of precious metals.
d. They had utilitarian uses.
e. They were designed with extraordinary care.

5. What is indicated by the fact that the artisans who designed the coins sometimes signed them?

  1. They took pride in their work.
  2. They were being held accountable for their work.
  3. The signature certified the value of the coin.
  4. The Greeks had developed writing.
  5. The coins that were signed were the most valuable.

 

question6compasstest7. Which of the following is the sum of the polynomials 5x2-4x+1 and -3x2+x-3?

  1. 8x2-5x-2
  2. 2x2+3x+2
  3. 2x2-3x-2
  4. -8x2-3x-2
  5. -2x2-3x-2

8. What is the value of f(g(6)) if f(x)=2x+6 and (x)=x2+5?

  1. 40
  2. 45
  3. 88
  4. 263
  5. 38

 

 

10. A sailor observing a distant lighthouse measures the angle between the base and the top of the lighthouse as 5°. He knows that the lighthouse is 350 feet tall. What is the approximate distance from the sailor to the top of the lighthouse, in feet?

  1. 3000
  2. 4000
  3. 5000
  4. 10,000
  5. 1000

11. Item 1

  1. People have always color fabrics with dyes.
  2. People always did color fabrics with dyes.
  3. People have always colored fabrics with dyes.
  4. People have always colored, fabrics with dyes.
  5. People always color fabrics with dyes.

12. Item 6

  1. gained by lengthy apprenticeship
  2. gained by longer apprenticeship
  3. gaining a long apprenticeship
  4. for which one gained a long apprenticeship
  5. and gained lengthy apprenticeship

13. Item 11

  1. Lots of species of three different plant families
  2. Many species of three different plant families
  3. Lots of species in three different plant families
  4. Lots of different plant families
  5. Every species of three different plant families

14. Item 16

  1. but over time they turned to dyes
  2. but, over time they turned to dyes
  3. but over time they used dyes
  4. but over time, they turned to dyes
  5. but over time they turned into dyes

15. Item 20

  1. large pieces of cloth for domestic use and fabrics needed for manufacturing began to be dyed by professionals
  2. large pieces of cloth, for domestic use, and fabrics, needed for manufacturing, began to be dyed by professionals
  3. large pieces of cloth for domestic use, and fabrics needed for manufacturing began to be dyed by professionals
  4. large pieces of cloth for domestic use, and fabrics needed for manufacturing, began to be dyed by professionals
  5. large pieces of cloth for domestic use and fabrics, needed for manufacturings began to be dyed by professionals

Answers & Explanations

1. D

2. B

3. D

4. E

5. A

6. A:The order of operations dictates that any computations within parentheses be first calculated. Thus, the expression can be rewritten as 1/3+2/152/15. The additive inverse property reveals that the last two terms in the expression sum to 0, leaving 1/3 as the answer.

7. C: The sum of the polynomials can be written as: 5x2-4x+1-3x2+x-3, which reduces to 2x2-3x-2.

1)People have always color fabrics with dyes. (2)People use to get dyes (3)from those plants they found around them. Different regions had different plants (4)and variously techniques for dyeing. In colonial days, (5)dyeing in Europe were craft skills (6)gained by lengthy apprenticeship. The men who practiced these arts knew biology and chemistry to understand their (7)materials which came from plants, minerals, and animals.(8)Manufacturing natural dyes required much skill, especially for complicated dyes like indigo.

(9)Indigo is maybe the oldest natural dye. The indigo plant stands three feet tall and (10)the dye comprises only 1/2% of the plant’s weight. (11)Lots of species of three different plant families, widely scattered over the world, contain enough dye to be worth cultivating, (12)but tropical were especially prized for the quality of color they produced. (13)From India and Africa, for example, came the best indigo.

(14)Native Americans were for long expert dyers before the arrival of Europeans. The American colonists (15)used their dyes and methods they brought from Europe, (16)but over time they turned to dyes made from native plants, as well, (17)to supplant those imported from Europe. During the early 19th century, (18)dyeing becomes a specialized skill and (19)sometimes moved outside the home to a special site. While most women continued to dye many fabrics at home, (20)large pieces of cloth for domestic use and fabrics needed for manufacturing began to be dyed by professionals.

11. C

12. A

13. B

14. A

15. A