Paine College uses a computerized testing system called the COMPASS test for placement in English, reading, and mathematics. This standardized test is prepared by ACT and is used by colleges and universities around the world.

After a student has been accepted to Paine College and has confirmed his or her intention to attend Paine, he or she can arrange to take the placement tests. The Admissions Office can tell the student which tests (English, reading, and/or math) must be taken. Each student must have a Paine College student ID number in order to take the tests. The student can ask the Admissions Office for that number.

Who has to take placement tests?

  • In general, first-time freshmen and college transfer students who have not yet taken the core courses have to take the placement tests. For exceptions, see the next section.

Who is exempt from taking one or more of the tests?

  • Presidential Scholars
  • College transfer students who have received a C or above in a regionally accredited college level course comparable to our Math 122 and English 101 courses.
  • High school graduates who have scored 450 or above on the Critical Reading, Math, or Writing sections of the SAT I test do not have to take the placement test in the area.
  • High school graduates who have scored 19 or above on the English, Reading, or Math section of the ACT test do not have to take the placement test in that area.

What are the tests like?

  • Students will take each of these tests on a computer.
  • The tests are untimed, so each student may work at his or her own pace.
  • The computer randomly generates each test based, in part, on the student’s previous responses. Therefore, no two students will have exactly the same set of questions.
  • Students should estimate that they will spend an hour to complete each test, although actual times will vary depending on the student’s skills and the complexity of the test.
  • Each test uses multiple choice questions.
  • The computer will offer a short tutorial before each test so that students can learn how to mark their answers and move through the test.

What does the student need to bring to the testing session?

  • When students take the placement testing, they will need to have a Valid photo ID (driver’s license, state ID card, etc.). Students will not be allowed to take the test if they do not have photo ID.
  • Students must know their Paine College student ID # in order to log on to the test.
  • A few other important rules to remember during testing:
    • Students will not be able to use their own cell phones or other electronic devices in the testing room. All electronic devices should be turned OFF during the testing session to avoid distracting themselves and others. In fact, students should not even bring those devices to the testing room if at all possible.
    • Students will not be able to use any paper they bring into the testing room, so the best plan is not to bring any paper, books, or backpacks to the testing room. The proctor will provide paper and pencil to use during the test.
    • Students are not allowed to bring food or drinks of any sort into the testing room.
    • If students are going to take more than one placement test during the testing session, arrangements may be made for the student to leave the room briefly between tests. However, students will not be allowed to leave the testing room while they are taking a test.

When will students find out the results?

When the student meets with his or her advisor to confirm course selection, the advisor will share the results of this testing. These results will help the student and the advisor determine the best course placement.

Specific information about each test is available by clicking on the links below:


When is placement testing going to be administered for students who are admitted for the Fall 2013 semester?

On Campus


Placement testing is administered free of charge for Paine College students. Students planning to enter Paine College for the Fall 2012 semester will have 4 opportunities to take the placement tests on campus. Three of these dates allow for early testing during the summer for students who live in the area or are able to visit the campus on one of these days. The last date coincides with New Student Orientation when the students arrive on campus at the start of the school year.

Day Date Time * Reservation Required
Friday June 21, 2013 Starting the tests at 9:00 AM or 1:00 PM MUST call Tutorial and Enrichment Center to reserve a space: 706-821-8345
Monday July 15, 2013 Starting the tests at 9:00 AM or 1:00 PM MUST call Tutorial and Enrichment Center to reserve a space: 706-821-8345
Thursday August 15, 2013 Starting the tests at 9:00 AM or 1:00 PM MUST call Tutorial and Enrichment Center to reserve a space: 706-821-8345


Off Campus


For students who are planning to enter Paine College for the Fall 2012 semester but who are not able to come to the campus during one of the summer testing periods listed above, COMPASS provides a “remote testing” option. This option allows students to take Paine’s placement tests at a testing site near their homes. Many of these testing sites charge a small fee for testing; the students will be responsible for paying that fee at the time of testing. Remember that students will be able to take the placement tests for free on the main campus on one of the dates listed above.

If you are an incoming student and want to use this remote testing option, you will have to call the Paine College Tutorial and Enrichment Center to set up the testing. When you call, you will have to provide the following information:
  • Name
  • Paine College student ID number*
  • Tests needed*
  • Address
  • Birthdate
  • Phone number
  • Email address so we can send confirmation of your appointment
  • Desired testing city (we will check the list of available sites near the area you desire; you will be able to select the site you prefer)
  • Desired date/time of day you want to take the test

* Available from the Paine College Admissions Office.

Remember: You will be responsible for paying any testing fees if you use this remote testing option. We will be able to tell you what those fees will be at the time you make the appointment. Some sites may charge you even if you do not keep the appointment, so schedule your test date carefully.

After you take the test(s) at the location you selected, your results will be sent to Paine College electronically. When you meet with your Paine College advisor, he or she will share the results with you as you discuss your course selection.

To schedule a remote testing session or to ask questions about the placement testing, please call the Dr. Mack Gipson, Jr., Tutorial and Enrichment Center at Paine College at 706-821-8345.