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Placement Testing


The purpose of the placement test is to provide students and counselors with necessary course placement information. The Triton College Placement Test does not restrict entry to the college but identifies student needs so that appropriate services and courses can be assigned. The total testing time will be approximately 2-1/2 hours. The tests are administered daily in the Learning Resource Center (A Building), Room A-126. Appointments are not necessary and there is no cost. 

To review for the test, click on the following link:

What you need to know about the placement test: CLICK HERE.


Students who plan to take the placement test are encouraged to attend a workshop. Improving your results on the COMPASS test could save you from having to take extra coursework in your program which can save you tuition money!

We are offering COMPASS workshop on the following dates:


No reservations needed.

All testers are required to present valid photo identification before testing. The ID presented must be original, not a photocopy or reproduction. Students must have their Triton College Student ID number before testing in addition to the valid picture ID.

The placement test consists of the following:

Mathematics Assessment
The COMPASS Math Placement exam, developed by ACT, is designed to place students into the math level appropriate to their skill level. All students will receive questions in Algebra. Depending on the Algebra score, students will then be routed into either Pre-Algebra questions or College Algebra and Trigonometry questions. The COMPASS Math placement exam is an untimed exam and the number of questions on the test varies with each individual taking the test.

Students are permitted to use approved calculators. An online calculator is available for those students who wish to access it. Students also may use their own calculators as long as they meet the calculator-use guidelines specified by ACT or use the calculators available at the Testing Center.

Link for Calculator-use Guidelines:

Reading Assessment
The COMPASS Reading Placement exam, developed by ACT, is a computer-based and untimed examination. Students will be asked to read a series of passages and respond to the accompanying multiple-choice questions. The questions may refer to a section of the passage or an entire passage.

Writing Assessment
The COMPASS Writing Skills Placement exam, developed by ACT, is designed to help determine whether a student possesses the writing skills and knowledge needed to succeed in a typical entry-level college composition course. Test results can also indicate that a student may benefit from taking a developmental or remedial writing course prior to a standard college-level course.

The test simulates an editing task by presenting students with a passage on the computer screen and requiring them first to find errors in grammar, usage, and style. Students will then correct the errors by selecting the appropriate text segment from among five alternatives. The Writing Skills exam is scored by a computer, providing students with immediate feedback.

Placement Test Waiver:

Students may be exempt from the placement test if they meet any of the following requirements:



Writing Skills

ACT Math– A score of 23 or higher and score obtained within the last two years

ACT Reading – A score of 20 or higher and score obtained within the last two years

ACT English – A score of 20 or higher and score obtained within the last two years

Earning a “C” or higher in a college-level Math course

Earning a “C” or higher in a college-level English/Rhetoric course

Earning a “C” or higher in a college-level English/Rhetoric course

Review Materials

Triton College strongly encourages students to explore placement testing review in mathematics, reading, and writing before taking the COMPASS placement exam. Review materials are available online and through the Academic Success Center (located in A-106). Additionally, the Library has a copy of the book, "Chart Your Success on the COMPASS Test," and a study guide, "Triton College’s Placement Test Review Guide," on reserve.

Review materials may be found online at the following links:

An online practice test is available at

Math Review:

Reading Review:

Writing Review:  

Additional review materials:

Retest Policy

All students who wish to retake all or a portion of the COMPASS placement exam will be assessed a retesting fee. The fees are as follows:

Subject Area

Retesting Fee









Students must pay the appropriate fees in the Cashier’s Office PRIOR to taking the placement exam. They must present the pink copy of the receipt along with their photo identification for admission to the exam.

Please Note: Students are allowed to retake the placement test once each year; they must allow a one-week waiting period from the date of the first examination before completing the first retest. Fees are non-refundable. For additional information, call (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3252.