Compass Exam at Delta College


San Joaquin Delta College requires new students to take placement tests.

Since the Exam was introduced recently to campus many students have a misconception of its importance.

At Delta, the test is now known as Compass.

This Compass Exam is divided into three subjects: mathematics, reading and the writing.

For each section, students are given a separate score which will determine the classes the student will have to take at Delta.

Although the exam isn’t not based on passing or failing and is only intended to see what academic level each student stands, it will determine the entire path the student will take in college.

How fair does that sound?

A large number of new students when starting college overlook the importance of this exam because many have the notion it’s not important because it isn’t based on “passing or failing.” It’s only to see where the student stands academically.

What are the flaws of this system? A major flaw of this system is that it sets many students behind.

For instance, if a student does well on the reading and writing section but doesn’t do well in the mathematics section and gets a Level 2 on the section, the student is now placed in Pre Algebra. Now, for the student to be able to get into a basic college math class the student first has to take three classes to be able to get there.

The student has two alternatives, one is to challenge themselves by retaking the exam, improving the score and the other is for the student to accept the score gotten as well as falling behind.

The flaws of retaking the exam is that most of the time students when retaking the Compass they don’t have enough time to well prepared themselves.

Many students who retake the exam want to do it as soon as possible or otherwise the student won’t be able to add the courses needed if the student is able of receiving a higher score in the exam.

For instance, English and Math courses as many other courses filled up quickly or simply many professors aren’t willing to add students late because most professors don’t want to deal with pain or patience of waiting for students to catch up with the lectures and worked missed.

College should challenge us.

But testing low on Compass could set students three semesters behind, certainly this is a huge discouragement.

If the student had the goal of transferring to a four- year institution or getting an Associate’s Degree in two years that is unlikely to happen now.

Reality is that most students won’t be motivated by having to take a bunch of remedial courses. Yes, maybe at the beginning the students are motivated because it’s all for a better future, to reach our goals in life.

For the long term this doesn’t worked because many of this students have other responsibilities such as family, and worked, that in many cases is to pay for all the courses the student is taking. But as a student one needs to always keep in mind that one is able to retake the Compass Exam to improve our score and move to a higher level.

Even if it means putting a lot of effort and time studying for a few days it is better than falling a few semesters behind and not being able to reach your goal in the period desire.

It is always better to attempt and give it the best than to sit their and fall behind in accomplishing our goals or never being able to reach them.

Ultimately the Compass Exam may be seen as simply a discouragement for many students that leads a numerous amount of college students to not accomplishing their goals or dropping out of college.

Delta college students need to looked passed that and be able to challenge themselves by considering retakes when scoring low in the Compass Exam and hopefully being able to reach a higher score.

Remember the Compass Exam is important and it will determine the courses you take in your college career at Delta.