Matriculation Services Unit
Assessment & Testing
PRACTICE for the English and math placement tests (Sample Questions):
For sample test questions visit the following website and click on desired test in bold: http://www.act.org/compass/sample/index.html
ENL: Writing Skills & Reading
ESL: Listening, Reading & Grammar/Usage
*Use of calculator is not allowed during placement test
ENGLISH/ESL & MATH PLACEMENT TEST(S):
Prior to registration, new matriculating students who have submitted an application to attend LAHC are required to make an appointment to take the "ACT-COMPASS" assessment test. Any returning or continuing matriculating student who has never taken an assessment test is also required to take one (unless previously waived). Admissions & Records Office may waive this requirement for students who have an Associate Degree or higher. Students who have been assessed in English and/or Math at another college, or who have taken English or Math coursework at another college may have already met Harbor's Assessment requirements. These students can bring a copy of their assessment results, transcripts and/or grade reports to a counselor. High school transcripts are not acceptable for Math courses. English as a second language assessment is also available.
HOW LONG ARE THE TESTS?
The English/ESL and Math tests are computerized and are not timed. The average time per section is 32 minutes. Before the tests the student fills out demographics questions regarding personal information such as name, address, major, etc. This is the only time students have to type any information as the actual test is all multiple choice. The English test is composed of two sections Writing and Reading; the average time for the assessment is 1.5 hours. The ESL test is composed of three sections, Listening, Reading and Grammar/Usage; the average time for the assessment is 2 hours. The Math test takes an average time of half an hour. After taking a test students will go through an orientation which is followed by a quiz, which will take approximately half an hour. Students should never rush through these tests and should give themselves enough time in their schedules to complete them.
If eligible, students may test once per cycle. The cycles run from January to June and from July to December each year. Their assessment results will be valid for two years from the assessment date. Once a student enrolls in an English/ESL and/or Math class and receives a letter grade (or CR/NCR), the student is no longer eligible to re-test in that subject and must then follow the English/Math sequence (see pages 138 & 152 in the 2010-2012 LA Harbor College Catalog).
The (COMPASS) test is adaptive. Adaptive testing is a process where test items are dynamically selected from a collection of test items. These items are based on student's response to previous questions.
If a student is presented with a question and answers it incorrectly he/she will be presented with a less difficult question. Conversely, if a student answers a question correctly, he/she will continue to receive questions each with increasing difficulty.