Placement Testing

Placement testing is designed to assess your skill levels in English, reading and mathematics so that you can enroll in the appropriate coursework. Waubonsee uses ACT's COMPASS exam, which is an untimed, computer-adaptive test, with questions that increase or decrease in difficulty depending on your skill level. While taking the right courses in high school is the best way to prepare, there are also some other testing tips and tricks that can help you do well. The full battery of tests takes about two hours to complete.

Placement testing is available on a walk-in basis at the Sugar Grove, Aurora Downtown and Plano Campuses (see testing center hours). You will need an X-number to test. Read more about our testing policies.

Testing Components

  • Mathematics — includes a variety of items from pre-algebra to geometry to advanced mathematics. You will be asked to select a correct answer from a list of choices. You are not allowed to bring in your own personal calculator. Calculators are provided. Note: If you earned a “C” or better in high school geometry (proof-based) and have your high school transcript on file with Waubonsee's Registration and Records, you will not be required to take the geometry placement test.
  • Reading — asks you to highlight (using a computer key) the main idea of the passage. This measures vocabulary and comprehension skills.
  • Writing — asks you to edit text that has a variety of errors. Skills include grammar, punctuation and sentence structure, as well as strategy, organization and style.

Students will receive their results as they leave the testing center, and their scores will also be posted to their personal mywcc portal. To see the scores you need to place into college-level coursework, view our Placement Testing Interpretation Guide (pdf). Testing scores are valid for 24 months.

You may retest only ONCE, so you may want to take advantage of our test preparation resources before doing so. After waiting at least one week from your original test date, you may retest on a walk-in basis, space permitting. To be allowed to retest, you must arrive at least one hour before the Learning Assessment and Testing Services closes and pay all applicable fees. 

Retest Fees:

  • English (Writing Skills) $10.00
  • Reading $10.00
  • Math $10.00
  • Geometry $10.00

COMPASS Score Request

If you completed COMPASS placement testing at Waubonsee Community College within the past 24 months and wish to have an official copy of your scores sent to another institution, please complete the Placement Test Score Release Form and either bring it in to one of our campuses or mail it to the address listed on the form. There is a $10 fee for this service. Please contact the Learning Assessment and Testing Services at (630) 466-5700 for questions.


Prepare for Placement

Read more about the tips, tools and programs Waubonsee offers to help you do your best on our placement tests.