COMPASS is the computerized reading, writing, and math placement exam at NIC. No previous computer experience is necessary. The Testing Center will provide a calculator, scratch paper and pencil.

You must apply for admission to North Idaho College before testing. Appointments are necessary to test.

  • First-time COMPASS - please click here to schedule your appointment.
  • COMPASS retest - please call Advising Services at (208) 769-7821 for a re-testing authorization.
  • COMPASS for another school - please call your school first and arrange for a remote COMPASS test registration. Then call us at (208) 676-7203 or (208) 676-7207 for an appointment. Please do not sign up online.
  • Dual Credit COMPASS retest - the Dual Credit Coordinator, your NIC Advisor, or your high school counselor may approve retesting. Students must bring a signed Retest Authorization form with them in order to be allowed to retest. Students will be assessed a $10 retest fee to be paid by cash or check (payable to North Idaho College) at the time of the test.

A Photo ID Must Be Presented Before Testing!

  • You will be given an instruction sheet with your Student ID # on it. Center staff will go over all instructions and assist in getting you started.
  • There is no time limit for the COMPASS test. You may take as much time as you need; it will not affect your scores in any way. If you do not finish in one sitting, the test session can be suspended and you can return to finish within 30 days. The average testing time is one to 1.5 hours, however, individual times will vary.
  • It is your responsibility to know which part of the COMPASS test you need to take. If you are not taking the entire test, contacting an advisor prior to the test is the best way to determine what is appropriate for you.
  • The math test will start at the Algebra level and the program will move up or down the scale depending on your answers. 
  • The COMPASS test is interactive in that the difficulty of the questions progresses automatically based on the accuracy of your responses, i.e.: correct responses will result in more difficult problems.
  • You will receive your test scores immediately after completing the test.
  • Sample tests can be found at and Study items for the math portion can be found at,

Sending your COMPASS scores to another institution

  1. Print the Release Authorization form.
  2. Fill out the form, being sure to sign at the bottom. It is a Federal regulation that requires the Testing Center to keep your signature on file for a year verifying permission to release your scores.
  3. Send the form to the Testing Center in one of two ways:

             Scan and email it to   or Fax it to  (208) 676-7206

    4.  The Testing Center will locate your scores and fax it to the number provided on the form.