# Help! Having to take COMPASS Math placement test

- 0Jun 24, '10 by S. BradenHELP! I am 43 and have decided to go back to school to be an RN. I am enrolled at the local community college. To my horror, they want me to take the COMPASS math placement test. I have all my english/writing courses out of the way from 20+ years ago but before I can take the pre-req. Math 109 and my bioscience courses, I have to take this test. I am absolutely terrified. I graduated high school without passing Algebra 1...I do not know the first thing about Algebra, geometry, etc. I have been a medical transcriptionst for 12 years plus had hands-on experience (unfortunately) caring for my first child who was terminally ill so I have placed feeding tubes, given injections, taken care of a central line, you name it so the fact that this math thing could keep me from becoming an RN is giving me an ulcer. Can someone please give me some advice on what I can do to learn this math (while working full-time) so I can pass the COMPASS test and eventually, math 109!!!! Thank you in adavance!
- 28,131 Visits
- 1Jun 24, '10 by mangopeachDon't sweat it too much. I don't know if your school does what mine does, but they use the Compass to place you in the appropriate level of Math - so its a good thing, even if you don't pass the Compass. Your basics will be an introductory class that will get you ready for the Compass and College Level Algebra. Don't know if its the same everywhere, but you have more than 1 chance to take the Compass. If you don't pass it the first time, you will be placed in a beginner's class. If you need to go back to basics, it will be good instead of jumping right into College level math. You could brush up on your math skills to try to pass the Compass but will you be ready for College Algebra?

In any event, check out this site. Great site for math help. If you want to pass the compass and not have to take a beginner or remedial class, this might help.

http://www.khanacademy.org/Last edit by mangopeach on Jun 24, '10Blue Felt Fedora likes this. - 0Jun 24, '10 by sk8inghunnyWhen I went in to take the placement test the math looked like a foreign language to me. I just guessed and ended up being placed in Math 97 and then Math 99 before moving on to College Algebra. I am SO grateful for this. In Math 97 I made almost all 100's on my tests, ended up making 1 or 2 high A's. Now I'm working through a summer Math 99 course, and I've made a 97 and a 100 so far. I have a much better understanding of algebra now, where I would've been lost if I started right into College Algebra. In fact I had several adults tell me to just go ahead and take Math 97 and 99 even if I tested into college algebra. My mom did that and so did several friends, it helped them grasp the concepts they had forgotten since being in highschool. I do not regret the extra time spent in these 2 classes, I know that it has prepared me for College Algebra in the fall, and surely it will be much easier to pass it with an A.
- 0Jun 25, '10 by mamacashewDon't stress the test too much. It's there to help. You won't be placed in a math that is over your head.

I would also recommend you check about your pre-reqs from 20 years ago. Most schools where I am from won't take any transfer credits that are more than 10 years old. - 0Jun 25, '10 by sk8inghunnyDon't worry they aren't using the test to deny you of college classes, only to place you in the appropriate math class.
- 0Jun 25, '10 by sk8inghunnyOne school here won't take transfer credits more than 5 yrs old, so you might want to double check the nursing schools you want to attend.
- 0Jun 25, '10 by moonchild86Like the others have said, the compass is a tool used to place you in the correct math class. If you don't score well, they will place you in remedial math classes. The does not prevent you from taking other college level courses, you just have to take prerequisite math classes before moving up to high level math courses. I had to take 3 remedial math classes and took lots of my other classes at the same time. It's not a big deal!
- 0Aug 3, '10 by dinkeygirlHowever if you have to take remedial maths and have to get to college algebra before the college lets you in biology or the nursing school lets you in, you're in for a whole year longer. meaning you'll have to complete those before getting into nursing school. ( at some colleges )
- 0Aug 6, '11 by sriffeythis is very helpful..i just took the placement test and know i have to take some remedial math wont know how much till go to advisor but i have been really stressing over it i just dont want to take forever to get prerequists done..but i know better off doing remedial just glad to know im not the only one..i am 37 and has been 19yrs since high school so really nervous
- 0Aug 6, '11 by sk8inghunnyI made a 19 on the inititial compass test, and after my remedial classes I ended up with a 95 on the compass exit exam!!!