COMPASS

Posted on June 30, 2015

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Welp, I heard the Compass test is going away… but I had an appointment so I took it anyway.

Reading test — they haven’t changed much.   I did *not* take the advice on the screen and read the questions before I read the passage for the answers.   Takeaways:   remember that it’s asking what the *article* says, not what you already know about something. Some vocabulary — all words with multiple meanings but pretty clear what the word meant in context (words like “refuse”).   One “narrative story about a person from another culture” but you didn’t have to be familiar with the other culture but mostly the “passages about things most people don’t already know about so of course they’re boring” with literal and inferential questions… a fair amount of “which does NOT” … so read carefully!   The “interpret the graph” required no math or inferential thinking; just literal reading.

I thought the writing test would be nastifying but I think I only had to edit 3 passages, so clicking On Every Single Line wasn’t *that* tedious.   (Yes, I placed into honors English and have college level reading…) Some “this could be worded better” stuff and lots of “their, they’re, there” and run-on sentence things.

oh, the math, my reason for taking it?   I purposely tanked the “algebra” — but it had lots of algebra.   Not much in the “story problem” category; sprinkled with variable manipulations and fractions,negative integers and powers and absolute value (if I’d gotten more right I’d have gotten harder stuff… I didn’t get much stuff about radicals even).  So definitely … studying would be in order. Review those basic probability rules, too.

I had the privilege of taking the pre-algebra … boing! integers and fractions and lots of layers of brackets. Lots more “story problems” — things like ratios (but lots of “trick” ones where you had to know to add the parts to get the whole to make a proper ratio).   Now, I expect I got to the hardest ones of those (since I was’t trying to tank it)… that story problem about fractions of fractions of fractions — know your parts and wholes!

And… you can’t sit at the computer like you’re sitting at the Internet.   It’s not a GUI designed for speed.   You need to Read. The. Directions.

Also — it’s a secure setting… think airports.  Your stuff?   You’ll get a key to a locker to put it in.  No, you can’t wear your jacket and they will supply laminate write-on-wipe-off “scrap paper” for the math… I suggested they give a grid one and a blank one.   And — there *is* a calculator — use it 🙂

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