About the Placement Test

COMPASS Placement

The COMPASSŪ computer-adaptive college placement test helps educators:
  1. quickly evaluate incoming students' skill levels in Reading, Writing Skills, Writing Essay, Math, and English as a Second Language
  2. place students in appropriate courses
  3. connect them to the resources they need to achieve academic success

Applicants must take the Placement Test unless exempted by the Office of Enrollment Services/ Admissions.

Request that all your official records, including transcripts from previously attended colleges and/or technical colleges; be sent to Admissions as soon as possible so that your Placement Test status can be determined. If you are returning to Georgia Perimeter College, records should be sent to the Office of Enrollment Services/ Admissions.

The test may be taken for admissions to Georgia State University Perimeter College at Alpharetta, Clarkston, Decatur, Dunwoody, and Newton Campus or at an Non-GSU, off-campus site for online students who live beyond commuting distance to one of our campuses. Students requesting test sites outside of the Atlanta perimeter must contact Online Testing Services to schedule a testing site prior to testing. Students must test at a USG institution in Georgia, or if out of state, an approved testing site. All sites must be submitted on the COMPASS Placement Request Form and submitted to the Online Testing Coordinator in a timely manner.

Please Note: If you are taking the Placement Test for admissions to a 4-Year Program, please consult GSU's Testing center

The COMPASS test is not offered online

COMPASS Placement Retesting

As of January 18, 2013:

Goal of Retesting: To increase the likelihood that students are correctly placed into both Learning Support and college-level courses. Placement retests are available for applicants as long as they have an active application

COMPASS Placement Retesting does not apply to COMPASS ESL placement testing.

Immediately after placement/admissions testing, the applicant to GSU Perimeter College may choose to take a placement retest, subject to the following stipulations:

  1. A COMPASS retest is allowed, no earlier than one day after the initial placement test, in all subject areas where college-level placement was not achieved.
  2. After the first retest, students may retest again only after 30 days have passed from the last retest.
  3. Applicants who choose to retest must do so in one sitting for all subject areas in which they wish to retest.
  4. The fee for retesting is $20.
  5. Test scores in subject areas where college-level placement was not achieved are no longer valid after one year.
  6. Placement/admissions will be determined by the combination of the best valid scores between the placement test and placement retest(s).
  7. Once coursework is started, a student is no longer eligible for a placement retest. Students who start coursework may start the testing cycle over after 1 year from their last semester of attendance.

What do I need?

The test fee at Georgia State University Perimeter College for prospective students is $20 (for 1, 2, or 3 areas) for both initial placement test and retest. Fees at other locations will vary.

You must make an appointment to test with the testing center of your choice.

Valid Government Issue photo identification is required for placement testing for GSU locations.

Have you taken the COMPASS before?

If you are a first time applicant to Georgia State University - Perimeter College but have already taken the Compass Placement Test at another University System of Georgia school you should immediately request that school send your scores to the Admissions Office. Admissions will match your records with your application for admissions and determine if you should test again.

If you are a former Georgia State Univeristy - Perimeter College student, the Records Office will review your records after you apply and determine if you need to test again.

If you have attended another college you must have your transcripts sent over and evaluated; it is possible to exempt testing via course work (or test scores from a SACS-COC Accredited Technical College System of Georgia School attended),

You may want to look at Admission's Placement Testing Wizard to find out if you may be able to exempt placement testing.

Placement into Learning Support coursework

Learning Support classes are designed to build foundational skills necessary to complete college classes. They are required for students who place into them but may be taken by students not required to take them if they feel they need work on their foundational skills. Learning Support courses are taken for Institutional Credit, they do not count towards the student's GPA but factor into Financial Aid calculations and Full-Time/Part-Time Status.

For More information on Learning Support, please refer to Learning Support Website


Testing information - including COMPASS scores - are not part of the "Directory Information", as set forth in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act