Assessment and Placement
The Cowley College Mandatory Assessment
and Placement Policy states that students who want to
enroll in any course that does not include English or math must take
the English reading assessment. Students who want to enroll in any
English course must take the English reading and English writing
assessment. Any student who wants to enroll in any math course must
take the English reading and math assessment.
Cowley College uses COMPASS and ASSET placement tests. Compass is a
computerized adaptive testing system that helps place students into
appropriate courses. Since the test is adaptive, the number of questions
will vary depending on skill level. This test measures students’ mathematics,
reading and writing skills and reports results immediately. The test
is not timed, but generally takes 1 ½ to 2 hours.
The test is administered in Student Services on the Arkansas City
campus and any of
our enrollment centers. Students can locate the nearest enrollment center by
visiting our site at www.cowley.edu/about/campuses.html.
Students who have adequate ACT scores (taken within the last three years) may be
exempt from all or part of the assessment test. ACT score exemptions are as
18 Reading = exempt from Compass Reading Test (no reading skills class required)
20 English = exempt from Writing Skills Test (places student directly into Comp I)
19-20 Math = exempt from Compass Math Test (places student into Intermediate
21 Math = exempt from Compass Math Test (places student into College
For more information on ACT cut scores or other assessment information,
see the Mandatory Assessment and Placement Policy.
The ACT Asset test is a paper/pencil test that is an alternate for the
The Asset test might be used if 1) a student has no computer skills
or 2) the student is being tested off campus where the Compass computer
program is not available.
STUDENTS MUST ARRIVE AT LEAST TWO HOURS PRIOR TO CLOSING TO ALLOW TIME TO TAKE ALL PARTS OF THE ASSESSMENT TEST AND ENROLL.
Cowley College offers courses to students with a variety of skill levels. The Cowley Course Placement Guidelines Table lists the mathematics, reading and English courses students will take based on their assessment scores.
Students wishing to review their skills prior to taking the assessment
may obtain study guides at any of our testing locations or review a study
guide online. Any student who has not taken math for
over a year is strongly encouraged to study before testing. Students
may retest one time at the beginning of their course sequence if they
feel their initial assessment results do not adequately reflect their
ability for a $5 fee. Contact Student
Services for more information on the assessment process.
High school students taking Cowley classes must also take the placement test prior to enrollment in any college course. Concurrent high school students should read the CAPSS guidelines for additional requirements.