Format of the Compass Reading Test
If you want a Compass reading test online, we have example reading test questions on this page.
You will find links directing you to further reading comprehension materials at the bottom of this page.
There are two types of reading comprehension questions on the Compass reading test: reasoning and referring.
Compass Reading Test - Referring Questions
For the referring type of reading test questions, you need to refer to main ideas or specific details in the passage to see if they support or contradict the question you are being asked.
You may be asked how the main idea relates to a specific point. You may also be asked to identify different of conflicting points of view in a passage.
You should not just have the attitude that the reading test will be easy for you because you simply have to identify facts in the passage.
It is very common for passages on the referring test to be written in a round-about manner than makes it difficult to understand the sequence of events, for instance.
Here is an example of a referring question:
In Southern Spain and France, Stone Age artists painted stunning drawings on the walls of caves nearly 30,000 years ago. The artists utilized ochre and manganese as engraving tools in order first to etch their outlines on the walls of the caves. Before removing their lamps and leaving their creations to dry, they painted the walls with brushes of animal hair or feathers. Archeologists have also discovered that ladders and scaffolding were used in higher areas of the caves.
What was the last step in the process of Stone Age cave drawings?
A. The paintings were etched.
B. The paint was applied.
C. The lamps were removed.
D. The artwork was left to dry.
E. The scaffolding was erected.
Reading test referring question - answer
D is the correct answer.
We need to have a look at the second and third sentences of the paragraph.
Be sure to read sentences like these very carefully.
The etching is the first step. The application of the paint is the second step. Removing the lamps is the third step, while leaving the paint to dry is the final step.
We do not have enough information from the passage to know when the scaffolding was erected.
Compass Reading Test - Reasoning Questions
For reasoning type questions, you will be asked to make inferences about information that is implied, but not explicitly stated, in the passage.
In other words, for reasoning questions you will need to read between the lines of the passage in order to draw your own conclusions about the information.
You may also need to identify cause and effect relationships in the passage or identify the author's assumptions or audience.
Reasoning questions will include questions about vocabulary, especially about higher-level academic vocabulary or words that may have an ambiguous meaning in the context of the passage.
Here is a sample of a reasoning question:
Highly concentrated radioactive waste is lethal and can remain so for thousands of years. Accordingly, the disposal of this material remains an issue in most energy-producing countries around the world. In the United States, for example, liquid forms of radioactive waste are usually stored in stainless steel tanks. For extra protection, the tanks are double-walled and surrounded by a concrete covering that is one meter thick. This storage solution is also utilized the United Kingdom, in most cases.
Which of the following assumptions has most influenced the writer?
A. The threat of a radioactive leak is exaggerated by the public.
B. The storage of radioactive waste in stainless steel tanks is extremely dangerous.
C. The United Kingdom normally follows practices that the United States has adopted.
D. The underground storage technique which uses concrete materials is a risky procedure.
E. A radioactive leak would have disastrous consequences around the globe.
Reading test reasoning question - answer
E is the correct answer.
The author implies that a radioactive leak would have dire consequences.
We can surmise this viewpoint since she opens the passage with the sentence: "Highly concentrated radioactive waste is lethal and can remain so for thousands of years."
Our Compass Reading Test Downloads
Please note that the examples above are for illustration purposes only.
Reading comprehension passages on the Compass are generally 300 to 500 words in length, and each passage is typically followed by 5 to 10 comprehension questions.
The tests in our practice reading download are in the same format as the actual Compass reading comprehension test.
To see a free sample of our Compass reading tests, please click on the links below.
Our Compass Practice Reading Tests are on a variety of academic topics, just like the actual test.
For a list of subject areas included in our practice reading tests, please click on the link below.