Nursing Entrance Testing

In order to assess a student's current skills, entrance testing is implemented. There are two (2) tests, the COMPASS and the Admission Assessment (A2), that nursing students should be aware of when making application to Northeast State Community College and to the Nursing Program at Northeast State.

The first test students may experience is the COMPASS, which is a computerized assessment program required for students without college English and/or math credit or valid ACT Scores This test is used to determine current skills in writing, reading, and algebra. COMPASS places students into learning support or college-level courses in each subject area. COMPASS is user-friendly and does not require computer skills to take the test.

The second test is the nursing entrance test. The entrance test is required to be completed in the spring or early summer the year the student makes application to the Nursing Program. Currently, the Admission Assessment (A2) is the chosen nursing entrance test. This test assesses student's basic knowledge in the areas listed below. 

  1. Math: 50-item exam. Focuses on math skills needed for health care fields, including basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, fractions decimals, ratio and proportion, household measures, and general math facts that are useful, for example, when calculating drug dosages and solutions. A calculator is included in the software. No other calculator is allowed. Recommended Time: 50 minutes.
  2. Reading Comprehension: 47-item exam. Reading scenarios are health related and will measure reading comprehension, including: Identifying the main idea, finding meaning of words in context, passage comprehension, making logical inferences, etc. Recommended Time: 60 minutes
  3. Vocabulary and General Knowledge: 50-item exam. Contains basic vocabulary that is often used in health care fields. Recommended Time: 50 minutes
  4. Grammar: 50-item exam. Contains basic grammar, including: parts of speech, important terms and their uses in grammar, and commonly occurring grammatical errors. Recommended Time: 50 minutes
  5. Anatomy and Physiology (A&P): 25-item exam. Provides coverage of general terminology and anatomical structures and systems. Recommended Time: 25 minutes
  6. Biology: 25-item exam. Covers biology basics, water, biological molecules, metabolism, cells, cellular respiration, and photosynthesis. Recommended Time: 25 minutes
  7. Learning Styles: 14-items assessment of preferred learning style. Recommended Time: 15 minutes
  8. Personality Style: 25-items assessment of personality related to preferred learning style. Recommended Time: 25 minutes

For more information about COMPASS or the Admission Assessment (A2) contact Counseling and Testing Services at 423.323.0211, email at, or click here.

To register for either test, click here.