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Sign up for COMPASS® by appointment

(COMPASS testing will end on 11/01/16)

North Central offers COMPASS® by appointment at each of our sites.

Petoskey  (231) 348-6682 | Gaylord (989) 705-3775 | Cheboygan (231) 597-0322

COMPASS® measures the level of ability in reading, writing and math. North Central uses COMPASS® to determine the correct level each person needs to begin with when taking the courses assessed.


When should the COMPASS® or a Placement Assessment be taken?
COMPASS® is needed for students who do not have a high school transcript and ACT score.

  • For Math placement, both COMPASS® Reading and Math are needed.
  • For English placement, highest scores from high school transcripts or ACT are used.  If you do not have a high school transcript or ACT score, a NCMC writing assessment can be taken at LSS.

Your placement on the COMPASS® determines the starting level in specific content areas.  Preparation courses may be necessary prior to taking credit bearing courses.  To prepare yourself you can view sample questions and test-taking tips at the official COMPASS® site: --


Additional preparation may be found at:

Online Tutorials


Any person with a disability may request accommodations by calling Learning Support Services in Petoskey at (231) 348-6817.

COMPASS® subjects are assessed individually and consist of Reading, Math and Writing.  Required assessments are determined on an individual basis.  The average testing time for any section is approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour, however, unlimited time is allowed for reading and math.  A picture ID is required. 

Results: The test administrator provides a printout of the results and explains the placement when COMPASS® is finished.  The Writing Placement is hand scored and requires a 24 hour business day processing period.

Retesting: If you decide the placement does not reflect your skill level, you may retest any portion of COMPASS® for $10 after a 24 hour waiting period; but not more than 3 times in a 30 day period.


COMPASS® is required of all entering students except the following:

  • Students who have ACT or COMPASS® scores on file at North Central.
  • Guest students from other colleges.
  • Pursuing “personal Interest” PE 116 OR 216 and not taking math or English. 
  • Students who have on file at North Central proof of 15 or more transfer credit hours, including appropriate English and mathematics credits, & a 2.0 or higher GPA.
  • Prior College experience is evaluated on an individual basis.