Placement Testing

Wallace Community College Selma Placement Test (COMPASS EXAM) is administered by the Office of Student Services. The test consists of three sections and assesses a student’s achievement level in sentence skills, reading comprehension, mathematics, and algebra. The COMPASS is not a timed test and it is administered via computer.

The COMPASS is given daily. Applicants must have an application on file and make an appointment to take the COMPASS exam by calling (334) 876-9295. There is no fee for the test. A picture ID is required for identity purposes.

Study guides are available in Student Services or at What I need to know about the COMPASS.A practice version of the Math portion of COMPASS can be accessed go going to MathCOMPASSPreparation.


General Information about Placement and Placement Retesting

If the scores place the student into developmental course work, the student must complete the developmental course work before enrolling in college level English, and/or math courses (courses numbered 100 or higher)

Credits earned in developmental courses do not count toward the required number of semester hours for graduation. Accommodations for testing are available for students with disabilities. Contact the Coordinator of ADA (Shelia Theiss at 334-876-9294) in advance if accommodations are required.

After testing, the student will meet with a member of the Student Services staff to discuss test results. For each section of the COMPASS failed, one retest for each section will be permitted. After a one-week period of reviewing the basic skills for those sections, the student may request a retest. Applicants must make appointments to retest by calling (334) 876-9295.

The COMPASS cut-off scores are as follow:

Writing Skills

  • ENG 092: 0 – 37
  • ENG 093: 38 – 61
  • ENG 101: 62 – 100

Reading Skills

  • RDG 085: 41 – 64
  • Not required: 65+

Numeric Skills

  • MTH 090: 22 – 37
  • MTH 098: 38 – 46
  • MTH 116: 38+

Pre-Algebra General

  • MTH 090: 0 – 35
  • MTH 098 or MTH 116: 36 – 100

Algebra General

  • MTH 090 or MTH 116: 0 – 27
  • MTH 100: 28 – 62
  • MTH 110 or MTH 112: 63 – 100


Placement Testing Exemptions

Students may receive full or partial placement testing exemptions if they comply with the following criteria:

Successful completion (grade of C or better) of English and/or mathematics courses from an accredited college or university.

1. ACT or SAT scores within two years of high school graduation that meet the following minimums:

  • English ACT – score of 20
  • SAT – verbal score of 480
  • Mathematics ACT – score of 20
  • Mathematics SAT – score of 526

2. Transient Students — Any student in good standing from another college may attend WCCS as a transient or visiting student during any semester. Such a student must submit a completed application for admission and an official Letter of Transience.

Official documentation must be provided for verification of exemptions.


Placement Testing for Non-High School Graduates

The College admits students without a high school diploma or a GED Certificate into programs and courses not creditable toward an Associate Degree when the student demonstrates ability-to-benefit prior to enrollment. Students admitted under these provisions will be classified as “Non-Degree Eligible” students.

Students without a high school diploma or GED Certificate who wish to enroll in designated ability-to-benefit programs and courses must take an Ability-to-Benefit test. The student must achieve a minimum score to enter one of the designated ability-to-benefit programs including the following:

  • Cosmetology*
  • Masonry Building Trades
  • Nursing Assistant
  • Welding

*Each Cosmetology Program student must have completed the tenth (10th) grade. This is an Alabama State Board of Cosmetology mandate.

If a student does not obtain the minimum scores to satisfy ability-to-benefit requirements, he/she can sit for the CPAT Test.

The Ability-to-Benefit cutoff scores are as follow:

  • Writing Skills: 32
  • Reading Skills: 62
  • Pre-Algebra General: 25



The CPAT Test (Test for non-graduates of high school) is given by appointment only after a student has taken the Compass Test. The student will receive a Clear to Test Pass and will be tested when an appointment has been scheduled with Ms. Karen Brown at (334) 876-9262.

Please Note:

  1. Space is limited; first come, first serve.
  2. The dates are subject to change. Contact (334)876-9295 for current testing times.
  3. You must have a picture I.D. to take the test.

The CPAT cutoff scores are as follow:

  • Language Skills: 42
  • Reading Skills: 43
  • Numerical Skills: 41


Compass Study Guides

Sample questions, a guide for students and parents:

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George Corley Wallace State Community College (Wallace Community College Selma)
3000 Earl Goodwin Parkway   P.O. Box 2530   Selma, Alabama 36702-2530  
Phone: 334-876-9227
(c) 2014 Wallace Community College Selma

It is the official policy of the Alabama State Department of Education, including postsecondary institutions under the control of the Alabama Community College System and Board of Trustees, that no person in Alabama shall, on the grounds of race, color, handicap, sex, religion, marital status, creed national origin, or age, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program, activity, or employment.

George Corley Wallace State Community College (Wallace Community College Selma) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, and Associate in Applied Science Degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the status of Wallace Community College Selma.

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