What is Compass ESL?

Compass ESL Preparation Materials

For practice materials for the COMPASS ESL test, please visit our partner website at the link below.

ACT Compass - ESL Prepation Materials

The Compass ESL is a special version of the examination for students who do not have English as their first language.

The Compass ESL test is slightly different in format that the version of the exam for native speakers of English.

The ESL exam has three parts: listening, reading, and grammar.

ESL Listening

The first part is a listening test, which assesses the student's ability to understand spoken English.

Students listen to recordings of conversations and lectures and take notes during this part of the exam.

These notes can then be used to answer the questions.

Lower-level students may be presented with pictures on the ESL listening test as a comprehension aid.

ESL Reading

The ESL reading test has two main types of questions: reasoning and referring.

Both of these types of reading questions are similar to those on the other version of the exam for native speakers.

Reasoning questions are those that ask the student for information that is explicitly stated in the passage.

Questions in the reasoning category are normally those that ask the student to determine the main idea of the passage or to find a specific detail mentioned in the text.

Referring questions demand a higher level of reading skills because they require the student to make a conclusion or inference based on what has only been suggested by the passage.

ESL Grammar

The ESL grammar part of the exam assesses two English language skills: grammar usage and sentence construction.

Sentences in the grammar usage category test aspects of the English language such as correct verb forms and tenses, as well as subject-verb agreement.

The sentence construction part of the exam focuses primarily on word order and correct placement of clauses and phrases within sentences.

The student may also be asked to prepare an essay as part of the Compass ESL assessment.

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