Assessment: ACT Compass®

Department of Counseling and Testing Services

Campus:  Blountville
Office:  Testing Services
Room:  C2101, General Studies Building
Office Hours:  8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday
Address:  2425 Highway 75, P.O. Box 246, Blountville, TN 37617
Phone:  423.354.2587
Fax:  423.323.0240

Blountville Testing Center   
Room:  C2106, General Studies Building, Northeast State at Blountville
Address:  2425 Highway 75, P.O. Box 246, Blountville, TN 37617

Elizabethton Testing Center  
Room:  E120, Northeast State at Elizabethton
Address:  386 Highway 91 N, Elizabethton, TN 37643 

Johnson City Testing Center 
Room:  J1011, Northeast State at Johnson City
Address:  101 E. Market Street, Johnson City, TN 37604

Kingsport Testing Center  
Room:  BWH135, Blazier-Wilson Hall, Northeast State at Kingsport
Address:  222 W. Main Street, Kingsport, TN 37660

Please read all of the following information before scheduling a test date.

All prospective students must submit a Northeast State Application for Admission before scheduling any assessment tests.

Degree-seeking students applying for admission to Northeast State undergo assessment testing in English, Reading, and Algebra to ensure that each student is academically prepared to enter his or her chosen field of study. Students are assessed by either the ACT/SAT test or by the ACT Compass® test. ACT and SAT scores must be within five years of the first day of class in order to be valid. Students who did not take the ACT or SAT or whose scores are invalid or do not have college transfer credit in English, Reading, and/or Math from a regionally accredited college or university will take the ACT Compass test.

ACT test scores in English, Reading, and Math are used to determine if students are college ready or if further assessment is needed.

  • Students with an ACT English score of 17 or less are required to take the Compass Writing Skills test.
  • Students with an ACT Reading score of 18 or less are required to take the Compass Reading test.
  • Students with an ACT Math score of 18 or less will take the Compass Algebra test.

Compass is a computerized test and provides assessment in three areas: Writing Skills, Reading, and Algebra. It is user-friendly and computer skills are not required to take the test. A test administrator is always available to assist students with accessing the test. Score results are printed immediately after testing is completed.

Compass tests are not timed. However, after 3 1/2 hours students will need to reschedule to complete testing. Students are encouraged to bring their own calculators. Calculators up to a TI-84 are permitted. 

Writing Skills  
Score: 1-76, Placement: Learning Support ENGL 0870 
Score: 77-99, Placement: College-Level

Score: 1-82, Placement: Learning Support READ 0870 
Score: 83-99, Placement: College-Level

Score: 1-37, Placement: Learning Support MATH 0030, 0530, or 0801       
Score: 38-64, Placement: College-Level Math 1010, 1050, 1100, and 1530 
Score: 65-99, Placement: College-Level Math 1010, 1050, 1100, 1530, and 1710; CHEM 1110 and PHYS 2010

The University of North Georgia has created online practice tests for Writing Skills and Reading. Northeast State students have access to some, but not all, of the practice tests. Students may take eight practice Writing exams and four practice tests for Reading. The practice exams are modeled after the actual ACT Compass test. Students who complete them will have a better understanding of how to take the tests. Completion of the practice tests does not ensure placing college-level on the Compass Writing Skills and/or Reading tests.

A PDF version of the Compass Algebra test with sample questions may be downloaded and printed. EdReady also provides a very useful resource for students preparing for the Compass Algebra test.

Students with a disability who need accommodations for testing must meet with the Center for Students with Disabilities, Room C1102 of the General Studies Building, prior to taking the Compass. Contact 423.279.7640 for more information. Children are not allowed in the Testing Center during testing and must have adult supervision while on campus.

The ACT Compass test is available on the Blountville, Elizabethton, Johnson City, and Kingsport campuses. Testing in Blountville is available several days each week. Testing is available in Johnson City and Kingsport twice a month, but is limited in Elizabethton to once a month during peak months. There is a $5 testing fee for first-time test takers. A ll test scheduling is completed online. A reminder of your scheduled test date will be sent to your email account. Northeast State also proctors Compass for non-Northeast State students who will attend other colleges. The testing fee is $25 for non-Northeast State students.

Schedule Now

  1. Obtain a Visitor’s Pass from the Welcome Center or Campus Police Office at your campus location. Place the Visitor’s Pass on your car dashboard to avoid receiving a parking ticket.
  2. PAY the $5 Testing Fee if you have not already done so. The $5 Testing Fee may be paid in cash in the Cashier’s Office (Room P203A) on the second floor of the James Pierce Administration Building on the Blountville campus or at the other Northeast State locations with Testing Centers the same day as the scheduled test.

  1. A valid photo ID (driver’s license, work or school ID) is required for testing.
  2. Food or beverages are not allowed at the computer stations and must be stored while in the Testing Center.
  3. Cell phones must be turned on silent and collected prior to testing. Students will not have access to them during testing or breaks.   
  4. Children are not allowed in the Testing Center and must be under adult supervision while on campus. 
  5. Students who are ill with coughing, high fever, or other contagious symptoms are encouraged to reschedule their tests.  
  6. Honesty is the best policy! The use of unauthorized aids, copying, or any other form of cheating will result in being dismissed from the Testing Center and appropriate action for that test will be taken. 
  7. Students whose behavior is a disturbance to other students will be asked to leave the Testing Center.
  8. Scratch paper must be turned in before leaving the Testing Center. 
  9. Students who require accommodations (extended time, etc.) must first contact the Center for Students with Disabilities at 423.279.7640.
  10. Students will be seated as soon as a computer station becomes available.

Students are allowed one retest. Retesting is free of charge. A minimum two-week waiting period is required between tests. 
Retesting is not allowed once a student has been enrolled in the required course and attended class.

ACT Compass® is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc.