Southeast Missouri State University

COMPASS Math Placement

Information for Math Placement

Southeast Missouri State University uses the ACT Math subscore to determine a student's placement in the appropriate math course. This measurement is an indicator of the student's math ability and helps to identify the appropriate beginning math course to maximize the student's chance to be successful.

The following are the ACT score ranges used for course placement:

ACT Math Subscore COMPASS Test & Required Score Math Course Placement

Pre-Algebra Test

MA050 Basic Math Skills
Logical Systems with Lab or
15 - 21 Algebra Test
Logical Systems with Lsab or
Logical Systems
22+ College Algebra Test
Logical Systems
MA139 Applied Calculus
24+ College Algebra Test
MA139 Applied Calculus
26+ College Algebra Test
Trigonometry Test
MA140 Analytic Geometry
and Calculus I

NOTE: Students who do not have an ACT Math Sub-Score or SAT Math Score on file will automatically be placed into MA050. Students can take the appropriate COMPASS Test ONCE to attempt to place into another math course

Please visit the Department of Mathematicsweb site for information on the MA101 - Beginning Algebra course or for information about the MA050 - Basic Math Skills course.

Optional Math Placement Exam

As a service to students, Southeast Missouri State University offers an optional math placement test for:

  • Students without ACT Math subscores who want to qualify for a math level above MA050
  • Students with ACT Math subscores that do not meet placement requirements
  • Students who want to demonstrate the ability to qualify for a higher-level math course

Testing Services administers the ACT COMPASS exam as an option for determining math placement. Like the standard ACT Math subscore, the COMPASS Math score is an indicator of a student's math ability and can be used to identify the appropriatecourse placement. Immediately after testing, the student will receive a report containing the score and an explanation of the corresponding math course placement.

The COMPASS exam is an untimed computer-based test. It must be taken in person at a certified, proctored location as detailed below.

Pre-registration for the COMPASS optional math placement test is required for both on-campus and remote testing locations.

Registration, Fees and Location

Students can register to take the COMPASS administered by Testing Services at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau or at one of the Regional Campuses in Kennett, Malden or Sikeston.

Test takers must use their Student ID number to register. Early registration increases the likelihood of receiving preferred date and time.There is a $20 fee for the exam that will be charged to the student's account.

Cape Girardeau Campus Testing

-Register for a specific test date and time.

Regional Campus Testing

-Register for a specific regional campus test date and time.

Testing at Other Certified Locations

Students who are not located near one of the Southeast Missouri State University campuses may find it more convenient to take the COMPASS optional math placement test at another certified remote testing site. The process for locating another test site is described in the following steps:

To locate and register for a remote test location, please click on the registration link below.

When the blank registration form appears, please select:

'12/31/2099: Remote Testing Session;

Complete the online form and submit it for processing.

To locate a remote test center, go to ACT COMPASS Remote Test Locator.

If there is a specific test center you would like to take the COMPASS Math Placement, please forward the test center name and address to Testing Services at Please remember to complete the online registration.

Within a few days, Testing Services may contact the student to verify the request. They will then authorize the remote math test to be taken at the certified location nearest the student's address.

Once the test has been authorized, the student will receive an e-mail from containing instructions on how to finalize the math placement test session at the testing site. Please print and take the confirmation email to the testing session. This is important as it contains the required Southeast test authorization numbers. NOTE: It may take several days to receive this e-mail. Please check for the e-mail daily.

Register for a remote location at

Preparing for the Math Placement Test

It is to the student's advantage to review for the math placement test. Practice questions are available through ACT COMPASS

The math placement test could cover the following areas:

  • Numerical skills/pre-algebra
  • Beginning algebra/intermediate algebra
  • College algebra
  • Trigonometry

Additional resources are available through Brazosport College.

Test day: When to arrive and what to bring

  • Arrive 15 minutes before the test time.
  • Bring the printed test confirmation email
  • Bring a Photo-ID (i.e., driver's license, student ID, etc.)
  • Have available the test taker's University ID number (S########) if known
  • Calculators are not-permitted, test takers will have access to a built-in calculator

For questions and help with online registration, please call Testing Services at 573-651-2836.