COMPASS is the assessment tool used for placement of students planning to take degree credit classes at the College of Western Idaho.

COMPASS Assessment and
ESL COMPASS

  • COMPASS is a computerized assessment exam based on writing skills, reading, and math that serves as a placement tool for credit classes.
    • In addition, we offer the English as a Second Language (ESL) COMPASS exams including: Grammar, Reading, and Listening for those not yet fluent in English..
  • There is a $5 charge for each section of COMPASS ($15 for the full set).
    • This fee is waived for CWI or College of Southern Idaho (CSI) students who have paid the $25 application fee.
  • Calculators, pencils and paper are provided. We do not allow anyone to bring in pens, mechanical pencils, or their own scratch paper.
  • Test are not timed, but take approximately 45 min to an hour per section.
    • You may take the three COMPASS assessments together or separately.
  • COMPASS placement tests must be started at least one hour prior to closing. At closing time, all tests will be paused (suspended), but students may return to the Assessment Center at a later date to finish.
  • Your scores are available from the proctor as soon as you have completed the assessment.
  • One retake in each section is allowed for all students, and a second retake may be approved if a student is within five points of being placed into a higher course or with the approval of an enrollment specialist or faculty member.
    • Testers must wait 24 hours between COMPASS retakes.
    • Any additional retakes will require authorization from an enrollment specialist or faculty member and be subject to a $5 fee per assessment.
    • Students who are currently enrolled in math or English classes at CWI will only be allowed to retake COMPASS for the related course placement with the permission of a department chair over that discipline.
    • Students who have taken COMPASS in the past and have not been enrolled for two semesters may also retake COMPASS at no charge to demonstrate current skill levels.
    • Students who do not intend to enroll at CWI may also take COMPASS at CWI by paying a $5 fee per assessment.

Score Placement Chart - This guide is meant for helping to interpret your scores.

Please contact the One Stop for any additional help or placement options.

COMPASS Testing Services for High Schools

CWI will provide COMPASS testing for schools who meet the following requirements:

  • If the high school is currently part of a grant program through the CWI.

CWI will provide accommodations for students who are eligible:

  • Accommodations for COMPASS will only be administered at a CWI Assessment Center.
  • Students should go through CWI’s disability services process and must be able to provide current documentation. Please note that IEPs and 504 plans may not be sufficient for accommodations. For more information, please visit the CWI Student Disability Services page.

CWI will not:

  • Provide COMPASS testing to high school students in order to meet State of Idaho testing requirements.

High School COMPASS Testing Information Sheet