Top of Page

PLACEMENT TESTING IN HILO

photo of testing centerAll University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges, including Hawaiʻi Community College, use the COMPASS placement test to assess students' current skill levels in mathematics, reading, and writing. Your scores will determine the courses in which you are eligible to register.

 

(Note: Testing for ESL students is under development. Please contact the testing center for more information.)

You MUST take the test if...

  • you are a new student with no prior college experience.
  • you took a COMPASS placement test more than two years ago, and have not completed English and/or math courses in the University of Hawaiʻi System.

You MAY NOT have to take the test (or all parts of the test) if...

  • you have valid (unexpired) COMPASS placement test scores in your STAR account (scores expire after about two years).
  • you took reading, writing, or math classes from a UH system school and earned a “C” grade or higher.
  • you have transferable reading, writing or math credits from another institution.
  • you have a prior Associate's degree or higher from an accredited institution in the United States.
  • you took the ACT or SAT college entrance exam and meet or exceed minimum scores for placement into a writing class. Call Hale Kea for more info.
  • you meet all eligibility requirements of the Algebra II End-of-Course Exam for placement into a math class. Call Hale Kea for more info.

About the test

(Note: Testing for ESL students is under development. Please contact the testing center for more information.)

  • COMPASS is a computer-based test that has three sections: math, reading, and writing.
  • There is no time limit, and each section of the test is adaptive. This means the answers you give (right or wrong) will determine the following questions and that your test will be different from everyone else’s. The test will automatically stop when your skill level has been determined. However, the average time to complete each section is approximately 45 minutes.
  • You may retake any or all sections at anytime for a fee (see retake section below).

Scheduling a COMPASS test

  • Tests are scheduled by appointment only.
  • Tests are normally offered throughout the week
  • Depending on the day of the week, testing begins at 8:30 a.m. and/or 1:00 p.m.
  • In order to schedule an appointment, call or come in to Hale Kea. You will need to provide your eight digit UH Student ID number, as well as other personal information. (See below for information about UH Student ID numbers.)
  • For testing in West Hawaii, call 322-4858.

Information about UH Student ID numbers

  • All current and most former UH students have UH ID numbers. If you have attended any UH campus (i.e. UH Manoa, Kapiolani CC, UH-Hilo, Hawaii CC), chances are you already have a UH ID number in the system. Your ID number may be printed on your student ID card, or you can look it up by logging on to MyUH and clicking on the "My Profile" tab.
  • If you have been newly accepted, an ID number has been assigned to you and should be printed on your acceptance letter.
  • If you know you have a number but cannot locate it, come in or call Hale Kea for assistance.
  • If you need to take the COMPASS test for a Hawaii CC non-credit program such as the CNA program, contact Hale Kea for more information.
  • Community members (with our without UH ID numbers) who need to take the COMPASS test for a non-UH institution may do so for a $25 fee (per test appointment). Contact Hale Kea for more information.

Information About Retaking the Test and Retake Fees

  • If you want to retake a section of the test for which you have unexpired test scores (taken within the last two years), you will be charged $25.
  • The retake fee is non-refundable/non-transferable.
  • The retake fee is a flat rate of $25 per appointment, regardless of how many sections you choose to retake.
  • The retake fee must be paid prior to scheduling an appointment. Pick up a retake fee payment form at Hale Kea (Manono campus, Building 387) or call 934-2540 to have a form sent to you.

On test day

You MUST bring...

  • a Photo ID. If you do not have your photo ID with you when you come to test, you will be asked to reschedule your appointment.

Do NOT bring…

  • a calculator. You may not use a personal calculator, but there is a calculator feature on the computer during the math test.

Notes:

  • Scratch paper and pencils will be provided.
  • All personal items brought with you (including, purses, bags and cell phones) will be stored in a locked cabinet during testing.
  • The testing room is air conditioned; you may want to bring a light sweater or jacket.