Assessment & Testing

COMPASS Assessment

COMPASS (The Computerized Adaptive Placement Assessment and Support System) is designed to help you identify your academic strengths and to plan for success in the educational program you choose at Hawkeye. Specifically, you will learn about your skill areas in reading, mathematics, and writing.

The COMPASS assessment is:

  • administered on the computer with easy to follow directions
  • adaptive to your skill level
  • not timed
  • free the first time you take it

After you complete the COMPASS assessment we will interpret your scores for placement into specific Hawkeye courses. See the course recommendations.

COMPASS Testing Locations, Remote Testing, and Registration

Over 550 supervised COMPASS testing centers are available that provide the Remote Testing option. You can quickly and conveniently arrange to have your COMPASS placement exam administered at one of these locations across the country or internationally.

Hawkeye offers the COMPASS Assessment at the following locations:

You may retake the test once. As of August 1, 2012, retesting fees will be $5 per section, for a total of $15 if retesting in reading, writing, and math.

Photo identification is required to test.

Registering to Test at Hawkeye Community College

COMPASS assessment sessions are scheduled at various times of the day, evenings, and occasional Saturdays. Space is limited for each COMPASS session.

Contact the testing center you wish to test at to register.

See the COMPASS Assessment schedule for the Main Campus location.

If you will be attending another college
Hawkeye can proctor a Remote COMPASS Test for you. To set up a Remote COMPASS test:

  1. Contact your college for a registration number.
  2. Once you have received the registration number and confirmation email, contact Hawkeye's Assessment and Testing office to schedule an individual appointment (indicate you need Remote Testing).
  3. Once you are done with your assessment your scores will automatically go back to your college.

To have your COMPASS scores mailed or faxed to another college or university, complete the online Request for Release of Placement Test Scores form and submit payment to our office. We will send your scores to the college of your choice within two business days.

There is a $25 charge to have your COMPASS scores sent to another college.

Registering to Test at Another Remote Location

If you will be a Hawkeye Community College student but are unable to visit one of our test locations you may locate a participating test center close to you and request a Remote Compass Test. Once you have found a testing location near you, contact Hawkeye's Assessment and Testing office for a registration number.

When you contact us, we will ask for the following information:

  • name (first, middle initial, last)
  • address (including zip code)
  • phone number with area code
  • email address
  • date of birth
  • school where you want to test
  • which parts of the test you need

Shortly after, you will receive an email from ACT/COMPASS with your registration number and all the information needed to schedule the exam at the school of your choice. You will receive your scores at the end of testing and the scores will automatically be routed to Hawkeye Community College.

Preparing for the COMPASS

If you would like to prepare for the COMPASS assessment or study to retest, you can use the COMPASS Study Guide: Chart Your Success on the COMPASS Test by Carol Callahan.

Several copies of the study guide are available for one week check out at the Hawkeye Library.

You can also view examples of questions online similar to those in the COMPASS test.

Accommodations for Compass

All students have access to the following:

  • The COMPASS assessment is untimed.
  • All students are provided with scratch paper and pencils.
  • Students are provided a calculator or may bring their own.
  • A student may request earplugs to block out noise distractions.

Students with documented disabilities have the option to work with the Special Needs Coordinator to arrange for further accommodations. Documentation must be pre-approved and testing arrangements made in advance. All accommodated testing must take place on the main campus.

Applying for COMPASS accommodations

To apply for COMPASS accommodations you must turn all of the following into the Special Needs Coordinator at Hawkeye Community College:

  1. Student Reasonable Accommodation Request and Release Form for COMPASS Testing [pdf]
  2. documentation of your disability

The student and the Testing Managers will be notified by email within 10 business days of any approved accommodations. Once notified, arrangements for accommodated COMPASS Testing, can be completed by contacting the Testing department.

COMPASS Assessment Test Dates

Location: Main Campus—Hawkeye Center, Make-Up Testing Center, 212
Registration: Call Hawkeye's Assessment and Testing office to register. Appointments cannot be made via email.

COMPASS Walk-in testing is available while classes are in session, 9:00am–7:30pm Monday–Thursday and 9:00am–4:30pm on Friday. You must be done testing by the time Make Up Testing closes.

Check-in at Make Up Testing, Hawkeye Center 212.

Assessment & Testing

Student Services
Hawkeye Center 208
Email us

Mon–Fri 8:00am–4:30pm
Occasional evening and Saturday hours

* Closed July 4