# COMPASS/ESL

®

**Sample Test Questions— A Guide for Students and Parents Mathematics
**

Numerical Skills/Pre-Algebra Algebra

An ACT Program for Educational Planning

Once you are ready to take the actual COMPASS test. you will answer just a few questions and you won’t receive a real test score. The answer key follows the sample questions.Note to Students
Welcome to the COMPASS Sample Mathematics Test! You are about to look at some sample test questions as you prepare to take the actual COMPASS test. Since these questions are only for practice. and we wish you success as you pursue your education and career goals!
Note to Parents
The test questions in this sample set are similar to the kinds of test questions your son or daughter will encounter when they take the actual COMPASS test. Since this is a practice exercise. The aim of this booklet is to give a sense of the kinds of questions examinees will face and their level of difficulty. they do not produce a test score. students answer more questions on the actual test. There is an answer key at the end. The examples in this booklet are similar to the kinds of test questions you are likely to see when you take the actual COMPASS test. you may work at your own pace. After you complete the test.
. you can get a score report to help you make good choices when you register for college classes. you need to know that the test is computer delivered and untimed— that is. We hope you benefit from these sample questions.

Students are permitted to use calculators on all current Windows® and Internet versions of COMPASS Mathematics Tests.COMPASS Mathematics Tests
The COMPASS Mathematics Tests are organized around five principal content domains: numerical skills/prealgebra. COMPASS includes mathematics items of three general levels of cognitive complexity: basic skills. algebra. meet ACT’s specifications. Calculators must.act.
. To ensure variety in the content and complexity of items within each domain. These specifications are updated periodically and can be found at ACT’s website at http://www. which are the same for COMPASS and the ACT Assessment. An analysis item requires students to demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the principles and relationships relevant to particular mathematical operations. geometry. Items in each of the content domains sample extensively from these three cognitive levels. college algebra.html
© 2004 by ACT.org/aap/taking/calculator. application. All rights reserved. and trigonometry. and analysis. Inc. A basic skills item can be solved by performing a sequence of basic operations. An application item involves applying sequences of basic operations to novel settings or in complex ways. however.

Square Roots. 2. 4. Inc. the Algebra Placement Test includes items from more than 20 content areas. and intermediate algebra. 6. 7. Medians. Each of these three areas is further subdivided into a number of more specific content areas. The Numerical Skills/Prealgebra Placement Test includes items from more than a dozen content areas.
© 2004 by ACT. All rights reserved. 8. Operations with Integers Operations with Fractions Operations with Decimals Positive Integer Exponents. Substituting Values into Algebraic Expressions Setting Up Equations for Given Situations Basic Operations with Polynomials Factoring Polynomials Linear Equations in One Variable Exponents and Radicals Rational Expressions Linear Equations in Two Variables
Sample items for each of these categories are presented later in this section. and Scientific Notation Ratios and Proportions Percentages Averages (Means. 3. 5. 4. however. 3. coordinate geometry. 5. a majority of the questions come from the following categories: 1. 6. and Modes)
Sample items for each of these categories are presented later in this section.Numerical Skills/Prealgebra and Algebra Tests
Numerical Skills/Prealgebra Placement Test Questions in the Numerical Skills/Prealgebra Placement Test range in content from basic arithmetic concepts and skills to the knowledge and skills considered prerequisites for a first algebra course.
Algebra Placement Test The Algebra Placement Test is composed of items from three curricular areas: elementary algebra. 2. 7.
. however. Overall. the majority of test questions fall within the following eight content areas: 1.

By how many degrees Fahrenheit did the temperature increase? A. All rights reserved. 6 24 27 30 57
1. what is the 4 3 2 3 denominator of the resulting fraction? A. E. 8° C.
The lowest temperature on a winter morning was –8°F. B. 24 B.
© 2004 by ACT.
2. D. C. 24° E. 3
1+ 2 ÷ 3 − 4 × 5 2 3 4 5 6
3. D.
1
.Numerical Skills/Prealgebra Placement Test Sample Items
Numerical Skills/Prealgebra 54 – 6 ÷ 2 + 6 = ? A. 12 C. 32° If ( 3 − 2 ) + ( 1 + 1 ) is calculated and the answer reduced to simplest terms.
(
) (
1 16 17 27 13 18 7 9 5 6
) =?
A. 4 E. 16° D. C.
4. Inc. 3° B. B. Later that same day the temperature reached a high of 24°F. E. 6 D.

13 D.10 E. 0 < x < 65 C. 16 < x < 81
6. 3. 20. 2<x< 3 D.42 × 107 D.25 D. 31.
8.000 = ? A. Inc. 3. 3. Brown buy? A. He bought 7 3 pounds of hamburger.60 × 1012 Saying that 4 < x < 9 is equivalent to saying what about x ? A.400. All rights reserved. $12.00 E.00. Brown went grocery shopping to buy meat for his annual office picnic. $10.31 C.42 × 106 B.50 B.60 × 107 E.50 In scientific notation. 0<x< 5 B. $ 1. 21.
2
.
Mr.50 C.10 Four students about to purchase concert tickets for $18. $ 3.Numerical Skills/Prealgebra Placement Test Sample Items
5.60 × 106 C. 3.10 B. and 6 1 pounds of steak. 26.
© 2004 by ACT. How 4 2 many pounds of meat did Mr. 22. 4<x< 9 E. How much would each of the 4 save if they can get a fifth person to join them and the 5 people equally divide the price of the 5-ticket block? A.85 pounds of chicken.
7. 17. 3. 32.000 + 3. $ 2.50 for each ticket discover that they may purchase a block of 5 tickets for $80.

16 C.Numerical Skills/Prealgebra Placement Test Sample Items
9. D. 12 students earned an A. E. 15% D. E. 30 E. B. in cents. 15 B. B. C. of y apples? A. 48 12.
51 3 63 4 10 1 2 11 12
10. What percent of the graduating class had taken fewer than 6 math courses? A. 75% of the graduating class of Harriet Tubman High School had taken at least 8 math courses. Inc. This year. 21 D. D. 30% E. what is a general formula for the cost. Of the remaining class members. 45%
© 2004 by ACT.
What value of x solves the following proportion?
9 6
=
x 8
A. All rights reserved. 0% B. 10% C. 60% had taken 6 or 7 math courses. On a math test.
3
. How many students are in the class? A.
b xy x by xy b by x bx y
11. If the total cost of x apples is b cents. This number is exactly 25% of the total number of students in the class. C.

98 14.Numerical Skills/Prealgebra Placement Test Sample Items
13. which yielded 84. 76 D. The 35 juniors attained an average score of 80 while the 15 seniors attained an average of 70. 77 E. 75 C. He mistakenly divided the correct sum of all of his test scores by 6. A total of 50 juniors and seniors were given a mathematics test. 84 D. 73 B. Inc. All rights reserved. 96 E. Adam tried to compute the average of his 7 test scores. What is Adam’s correct average test score? A.
4
. 72 C. What was the average score for all 50 students who took the test? A. 70 B. 78
© 2004 by ACT.

5
. Inc. All rights reserved.Numerical Skills/Prealgebra Placement Test Sample Items
Correct Answers for Sample Numerical Skills/Prealgebra Items
Item Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Correct Answer E E B C A B A E E D E B B D Content Category Operations with Integers Operations with Integers Operations with Fractions Operations with Fractions Operations with Decimals Operations with Decimals Exponents Exponents Ratios and Proportions Ratios and Proportions Percentages Percentages Averages Averages
© 2004 by ACT.

Doctors recommend exercising 3 or 4 times each week for at least 20 minutes with your heart rate increased from its resting heart rate (RHR) to its training heart rate (THR). This relation is expressed by which of the following formulas? A.Algebra Placement Test Sample Items
Algebra
1. E. C. what is the value of A. E. All rights reserved. D. 197 169 162 134 80
3. If x = –3.75h 220 = = = = = .75a 220 – a .
Doctors use the term maximum heart rate (MHR) when referring to the quantity found by starting with 220 beats per minute and subtracting 1 beat per minute for each year of a person’s age.75(220 – a) . B. D. h h h . C.65(MHR – RHR) Which of the following is closest to the THR of a 43-year-old person whose RHR is 54 beats per minute? A. E. B. D. –4 –2 2 32 3 5
x2 − 1 x +1
?
2.
6
.75(h – a)
© 2004 by ACT.
When getting into shape by exercising. where THR = RHR + .75(220) – a 220 – . Inc. C. the subject’s maximum recommended number of heartbeats per minute (h) can be determined by subtracting the subject’s age (a) from 220 and then taking 75% of that value. B.

E. E x x 8x 8x 8x + + – + + 325 7(325) 7(325) 7(325) 7(325) = 2(350) = 15(350) = 350 = 2(350) = 15(350)
5. (x (x (x (x (x + 2) – 6) – 3) – 2) – 1)
© 2004 by ACT. B. If the average airspeed for the entire flight was 350 mph. Inc. B.
What is the sum of the polynomials 3a2 b + 2a2 b2 and –ab2 + a2b2 ? A.
Which of the following is a factor of x2 – 5x – 6 ? A. C. C. 16ab –3a –3a 9a 9a + + + + b 7b b 7b
6. C.Algebra Placement Test Sample Items
4. and for 7 more hours at 325 mph. C. 3a2 b 3a2b 2a2b 2a2 b3 –3a3b3 – – + + + ab2 + 3a2b2 ab2 + 2a2b2 3a2b2 2a4b4 2a4b
7. B. E. x–5 x–4 x+2 x+5 x + 10
8. D. D. B. E. C.
Which of the following is a factor of the polynomial x2 – x – 20 ? A.
7
. All rights reserved. D.
An airplane flew for 8 hours at an airspeed of x miles per hour (mph).
Which of the following is equivalent to 3a + 4b – (–6a – 3b) ? A. which of the following equations could be used to find x ? A. D. E. D. B.

8
. – 4z 2 2 – –
3
=?
r t 4r 2 z 3 t2 4 rz t
–4r4t4z7 –4r2t2z3
x 3 x−
12. C. C. E. E. B. B. E. C. For all nonzero r. B. D. For all x > 0 and y > 0. D.Algebra Placement Test Sample Items
9. C. t. D. D. E. – 21 2 –8 – 11
2
–3 –1
4 5 2
10.
If 2(x – 5) = –11. Inc.
3 x − xy 9x + y 3 x − xy 3x + y 3 x + xy 9x − y 3 x + xy 3x − y x 3x − y
y
is equivalent to:
© 2004 by ACT. B. the radical expression A. All rights reserved. A. If
3 + ( − 10 ) = x + 1 1 . and z values.
2 1 –1 –2 –10
16 r 3tz 5 −4rt 3 z 2
11. then x = ? A. then x = ? 2
A.

D. (–4. C. E. –2 3 E.y) coordinate plane. B. Point A (–4. (–2. (–4. –2 D.
2 3
16. Which of the following is a simplified expression equal to A. C. 1)
© 2004 by ACT.
9
. For all x ≠ –4. ( 8. 3x x+3 x–3 –x + 3 –x – 3
for all x < –3 ?
15. What must be the coordinates of point B so that the line x = 2 is the perpendicular bisector of AB ? A. (–6. 3) D.1) is in the standard (x. 1) E. 1) B.–1) C. D. What is the slope of the line with the equation 2x + 3y + 6 = 0 ? A. –6 B. which of the following is equivalent to the expression below?
x 2 + 12 x + 32 x+4
A. Inc. All rights reserved.Algebra Placement Test Sample Items
13. –3 C. B.
x+ 3 x+ 8 x + 11 x + 16 x + 28
9 − x2 x −3
14. E.

10
.Algebra Placement Test Sample Items
Correct Answers for Sample Algebra Items
Item Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Correct Answer A D A E E A A B E C B C B E D E Content Category Substituting Values into Algebraic Expressions Substituting Values into Algebraic Expressions Setting Up Equations for Given Situations Setting Up Equations for Given Situations Basic Operations with Polynomials Basic Operations with Polynomials Factoring Polynomials Factoring Polynomials Linear Equations in One Variable Linear Equations in One Variable Exponents Exponents Rational Expressions Rational Expressions Linear Equations in Two Variables Linear Equations in Two Variables
© 2004 by ACT. Inc. All rights reserved.