How to Pass College of DuPage Placement Tests

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Placement tests assess students' skills before they start classes.
Placement tests assess students' skills before they start classes. (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, with six regional centers, DuPage is a community college that educates approximately 31,000 students every semester. The school has an open enrollment policy, which means all high school graduates and adults over the age of 18 can take classes. Placement tests in reading, writing, math and English as a second language are required for some students who must earn a certain score in order to meet the prerequisite for certain classes.

Speak with a general adviser in the Counseling and Advising Center on the Glen Ellyn campus. The adviser will give you information on the placement tests you are required to take according to your program, course selection and educational history. The center is located in Room 2044 of the Student Resource Center.

Review the test and score requirements you need to enroll in your preferred courses. For example, to enroll in Math 1108: Perspectives on Mathematics, you must obtain an algebra score of 40 and a geometry score of 30 on the Compass test. For many courses, several test scores will suffice. For example, the requirements to enroll in Math 1108 can also be satisfied by completing Math 0481: Foundations for College Mathematics 1 and scoring 23 on the Math ACT test.

Review the study guide "Chart Your Success on the Compass Test," which is available at the Center for Independent Learning on the Glen Ellyn campus and at every off-campus Learning Commons Center. Also review online test resources, which provide overview information of the Compass test.

Complete the sample Compass test questions at http://www.act.org/compass/sample/ and the sample questions on the official ACT website: http://actstudent.org/sampletest/index.html.

Purchase the official ACT online prep course at http://actstudent.org/onlineprep/index.html if you feel you could benefit from the additional instruction. The online prep includes content review as well as actual ACT tests.

Take the test when you feel confident you will achieve the score you require to pursue your educational goals. The College of DuPage permits students to take the reading placement test only twice in the space of a single year. Students who wish to retake the math test can do so only once and only within the 28 days following the first attempt. There is no limit on the number of times a student can take the writing placement test and essay.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you do not obtain the score you need to register in a particular course, DuPage may have other courses available that will satisfy the prerequisites to register for that course regardless of your placement test scores.
  • Calculators are not permitted by DuPage in the math placement test.

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