Proficiency Testing Information
The LEC coordinates testing in the areas of reading, writing, and mathematics. Computerized testing is conducted each semester by appointment. Student test scores are compiled and maintained in the LEC and forwarded to the Office of the Registrar. Additional information about the proficiency testing process can be obtained by calling (626) 815-3849.
Reading proficiency is assessed using the COMPASS Reading Test which is an untimed, computerized test of reading comprehension which consists of approximately seven paragraphs, each of which is followed by multiple choice questions. Skills assessed include identification of main idea and major details, making inferences, sequencing, identifying cause-effect relationships, and other higher level critical reading skills. Students whose score on the COMPASS Reading Test does not meet the university standard must enroll in a college-level reading class. This class is required during the first semester at APU and does not count toward graduation degree units.
|Recommended Course||SAT I Verbal||ACT Reading||COMPASS Test|
|ENGL 099||470 and below||19 and below||Appropriate Placement|
|Reading Course Waive||480 and higher||20 and higher||Not required with appropriate SAT or ACT score|
The COMPASS Writing Test is an untimed computerized test of sentence and paragraph skills and writing style. Skills assessed include standard use of grammar, punctuation, usage and style. Students are asked to identify and correct errors in essays, then edit and revise each essay by choosing words to fit meaning and function, while maintaining the established level of style and tone. Students whose score on the COMPASS Writing Test does not meet the university standard are required to write an essay in response to a writing prompt. Evaluation of this essay determines a student’s placement in either Basic Writing (ENGL 100) or Freshman Writing Seminar (ENGL 110).
The COMPASS Math Test is an untimed, adaptive computerized test of math skills, ranging from basic mathematical functions through college-level algebra. A nongraphic calculator is allowed with this exam. The number and type of problems each student receives depends upon the student’s performance on each problem. COMPASS test scores in mathematics are valid for two years. If a student does not complete the recommended course(s) within two years then a retest is required to ascertain current skill levels. The score on the COMPASS Math Test determines a student’s eligibility for either introductory mathematics (which is not offered at APU), Elementary Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, or College Algebra level courses. Students whose score in the College Algebra domain of the test shows competence at this level may waive the mathematics general studies requirement.
|Recommended Course||COMPASS Test||ACT Math||SAT I Math|
|Elementary Algebra (MATH 090)||Appropriate Placement||18-20||430-490|
|Intermediate Algebra (MATH 095)||Appropriate Placement||21-22||500-530|
|College Algebra (MATH 110) or |
Analytic Inquiry (MATH 115) or
Contemporary Math (MATH 120)
|Waive Math Requirement||Appropriate Placement||26 and higher||600 and higher|
Note: To register for math classes at APU, students are required to present a signed Verification of Math Course Eligibility or COMPASS Report Form. COMPASS Reports are given to each student at the completion of testing. It is the only copy that a student will receive and should be retained. Verification forms may be obtained from the Learning Enrichment Center or the Department of Mathematics and Physics.