Help! Having to take COMPASS Math placement test

HELP! 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 prereq. 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 handson 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 fulltime) so I can pass the COMPASS test and eventually, math 109!!!! Thank you in adavance!

Jun 24, '10Don'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, '10 
Jun 24, '10When 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.

Jun 25, '10Don'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 prereqs from 20 years ago. Most schools where I am from won't take any transfer credits that are more than 10 years old. 
Jun 25, '10Don't worry they aren't using the test to deny you of college classes, only to place you in the appropriate math class.

Jun 25, '10One 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.

Jun 25, '10Like 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!

Aug 3, '10However 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 )

Aug 6, '11this 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

Aug 6, '11I made a 19 on the inititial compass test, and after my remedial classes I ended up with a 95 on the compass exit exam!!!

Aug 6, '11hi there, you can try testprepreview.com and purplemath.com both give you tons of practice uestions you can use

Aug 7, '11Don't sweat it too much, and don't psych yourself out. I'm 43 and am just starting my prereqs in a couple weeks. I took the Compass this past spring, and did much better in the Algebra and PreAlgebra sections than I expected to, especially since I haven't had any schooling since HS graduation 25 years ago. But I did study for the Compass. I bought a book  I think it was called "Math for Standardized Tests"  found some online worksheets to do, and finally spent a lot of time watching videos at http://www.khanacademy.org . I did it at 43... you can, too.

Aug 8, '11I'm living proof to say you'll do just fine! I had to retake the entire COMPASS before I began my prereqs, and I had been out of school for a little over 5 years when I had to. I had an anxiety about the COMPASS that was insane. ESPECIALLY the Mathematics portion. I'll go ahead and tell you, I suck at math. I made F's in math. I took remedial math in high school, and still barely got through it. I passed the math portion with a significant score...more significant that I felt I was going to do! It's a lot of basics for the most part. Take your time. They give you plenty of time to relax and stare at the equation or word problem. There were some I'd take up to 5 minute on, just staring, until I figured out what the most logical answer MIGHT be. I think that paid off. Time is on your side! You'll do just fine! Good luck!