Placement Testing for English

Placement in the Writing Program

Office of Academic Services and Testing

Located in Hudson Hall Room 315, the Office of Academic Services and Testing administers all placement testing, coordinates campus peer and professional tutoring, and provides supplemental and computer-assisted instruction in the Learning Center, H312.  Students are welcome to work with materials in writing and grammar, ESL, reading, mathematics, and study skills.  Many of the services and programs available in Academic Services and Testing are replicated at DCCS.  For more information, see:

Academic Services and Testing

When students enroll, full-time or part-time, at DCC, they are required to take the COMPASS placement test in reading and writing, and mathematics. The test is free and is designed to measure students’ basic skills before they enroll in freshman courses. COMPASS is offered on a year-round schedule. Full-time students take COMPASS by appointment and are scheduled by the Admissions Office. Part-time students are served by an ongoing schedule posted on the DCC home page.

The writing portion of COMPASS is a computerized multiple-choice test of students’ vocabulary, usage, and grammar. It is brief, but students should give it their best effort, as the results will determine which writing class they will go into—English 101, English 092, or English 091.

A COMPASS writing score of 71-100 is necessary for placement in English 101. Examination scores between 37 and 70 result in a placement in English 092; however, a student who scores between 56 and 70 has the option of taking an additional essay examination—the Writing Appeal—to  determine placement. A score of 1-37 places the student in English 091. Students with a score of 20-37 may appeal this placement, as well, by taking an additional essay examination. Both appeals are evaluated by an English professor. The COMPASS test is graded right after a student takes it, and it is important to note that the student can only take the essay examination before the semester begins. Students cannot appeal their placement once they have begun attending the English class into which they have been placed. In addition, students may not  retake COMPASS.

Students who speak English as a second language are required to take the ESL placement test. All ESL examinations are offered year-round, by appointment, by the Office of Academic Services and Testing. Students with any questions should visit the office in Hudson Hall Room 315 or call at (845) 431-8090.