student working with lab equipment
Female reading on bench
Male in graduation attire

Entrance Testing


In order to be successful in college-level courses, students must have adequate foundational knowledge and skills. Pellissippi State provides learning support in reading, English and math to assist students in developing college-level skills in each of these areas. Students are placed into these courses based on the results of a placement test. First-time degree-seeking students who are under 21 years of age must present valid ACT or SAT scores for placement decisions. First-time degree-seeking students who are over 21 years of age must provide valid ACT or SAT scores or take the COMPASS test. Transfer students who have not successfully completed equivalent English and mathematics courses at another approved higher education institution also must provide valid ACT or SAT scores or take the COMPASS test.

First Time Degree Seeking Students:

  • Students with reading score below 19 will take the reading placement test.
  • A student who does not score at a college levl on the reading section of the COMPASS test will take the reading placement test.

Re-admit Students:

  • Students will be placed based on their previous levels.
  • Students that have been out more than three years are strongly encouraged to take the COMPASS test if they still have outstanding developmental competencies to meet.

ACT Minimum College Level Scores
English            18
Reading          19
Mathematics    19

SAT Minimum College Level Scores
(English & Reading taken from critical reading score.)

English              450
Reading            460
Mathematics      460

COMPASS Minimum College Level Scores
Writing            77
Reading          83
Mathematics    36

What is the COMPASS Test?

The COMPASS test is a computer based test that is administered to help the college determine if you are on college level or if you need to take the Placement Test. The test is not a pass/fail test. It is a tool used to assess your current skills. The COMPASS test assesses your skills in writing, reading, and mathematics.

COMPASS Sample Test Questions

What is the Placement Test?

The Placement Test is used to help the college accurately place you into your classes so that you will be successful at Pellissippi State.

Who needs to take the COMPASS Test?

Those who are 21 years of age or older and do not have transfer credit in English or math or those who do not have valid ACT/SAT scores.

Who needs to take the Reading Placement Test?

Those who score below college level on the Reading portion of the ACT/SAT or COMPASS test. Refer to the scores above.

How long is the test?

All parts of the COMPASS test are untimed. Most students can complete the Compass test in about 2 hours.
The reading placement test is also untimed.

What do I need for the test?

Photo ID
Pellissippi State student ID number
Paper
Pencil
Calculator (not a TI89 or TI 92)

When is the test offered?

We offer the test by appointment and walk-in.

If you have spoken with someone at the Information Center to obtain the password required to make your appointment please click on the link below to make your Entrance Test appointment.

However, if you have not called 865-694-6400 to speak with the Information Center to determine which test you need to take, please do so as soon as you can to obtain the information and password you need to register for the test.

Sign-up for Entrance Test Online

If you choose to do walk-in testing please call 865-694-6400 to receive instructions on how to attend the walk-in sessions. Below are the dates and times for walk-in testing.

***Students who may need testing accommodations, please contact Services for Students With Disabilities at 865-539-1753.