The COMPASS college placement test helps educators:

  • quickly evaluate incoming students’ skill levels in Reading, Writing Skills, Writing Essay, Math and English as a Second Language.
  • place students in appropriate courses.
  • connect students to the resources they need to achieve academic success.

Applicants to Perimeter College at Georgia State University must take the COMPASS unless exempted by Admissions. In order to determine if a student needs to take the placement exam, Admissions must have all official records, including transcripts, from previously attended colleges and/or technical colleges. Students who previously attended Perimeter College also should have their records sent to Admissions.

The COMPASS may be taken at any of the Perimeter College at Georgia State University campuses (Alpharetta, Clarkston, Decatur, Dunwoody and Newton) or at an off campus site for online students who live beyond commuting distance to one of the campuses. Students requesting test sites outside of the Atlanta perimeter must contact Testing Services to schedule a testing site prior to testing. Students must test at a University System of Georgia institution in Georgia, or if out of state, an approved testing site. All sites must be submitted on the COMPASS Placement or Exit Request Form and submitted to the Testing Services in a timely manner. The COMPASS test is not offered online.

Retesting is available for applicants as long as they have an active application. COMPASS retesting does not apply to COMPASS English as a Second Language placement testing. Immediately after testing, an applicant may choose to take a placement retest, subject to the following stipulations:

  • A COMPASS retest is allowed, no earlier than one day after the initial placement test, in all subject areas where college-level placement was not achieved.
  • After the first retest, students may retest again only after 30 days have passed from the last retest.
  • Applicants who choose to retest must do so in one sitting for all subject areas in which they wish to retest.
  • The fee for retesting is $20.
  • Test scores in subject areas where college-level placement was not achieved are no longer valid after one year.
  • Placement or admissions will be determined by the combination of the best valid scores between the placement test and placement retest(s).
  • Once coursework is started, a student is no longer eligible for a placement retest. Students who start coursework may start the testing cycle over after one year from their last semester of attendance.

Requirements for COMPASS
In order to take the COMPASS, a student needs the following:

  • A test fee of $20 (for one, two or three areas) for both an initial placement test and retest at Perimeter College campus testing centers. Fees at other locations will vary.
  • An appointment with a testing center.
  • Valid government issued photo identification

Previous COMPASS Placement Test
First time applicants to Perimeter College at Georgia State University who have taken the COMPASS placement test at another University System of Georgia school should immediately request that school to send their scores to Admissions. Admissions will match these records with the application for admissions and determine if the student should test again.

Former Perimeter College students will have their records reviewed by the Records office after their application to determine if they need to test again.

Students who have attended another college must have their transcripts sent to Admissions to have them evaluated. It is possible to exempt testing via course work (or test scores from a SACS-COC Accredited Technical College System of Georgia school attended).

Placement into Learning Support Coursework
Learning Support classes are designed to build foundational skills necessary to complete college classes. They are required for students who place into them but may be taken by students not required to take them if they feel they need work on their foundational skills. Learning Support courses are taken for institutional credit and do not count towards the student’s GPA but do factor into financial aid calculations and full time or part time status. For more information on Learning Support, please refer to Learning Support.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Testing information, including COMPASS scores, is not part of the Directory Information, as set forth in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act