Welcome to the Hostos information website for the Compass Mathematics Examination. The City University of New York requires its students to be proficient in reading, writing and mathematics. To this end, it assesses the skills levels of applicants to its colleges as part of the admissions process. Hostos offers a wide array of instruction to those students who need some assistance in one or more skills. Through this program of assessment and instruction, the University seeks to insure that students have the basic skills they will need to do well in their college courses. One of the resources it makes available to students is this website.

Here you will find a description of the University's mathematics testing program, as well as an interactive web-based tutorial package that will allow you to become familiar with both the format and content of the mathematics component of this examination.


The COMPASS Mathematics Test is an untimed, multiple-choice, computer-based test composed of four sections: numerical skills/pre-algebra, algebra, college algebra, and trigonometry. Students' need for mathematics remediation is based on results of the first two sections of the test: numerical skills/pre-algebra and algebra. Students must achieve scaled scores of 30 or above on each of these two sections to satisfy the basic skills requirement in mathematics.

The test then covers progressively advanced topics with placement into more advanced mathematics courses based on results of the last three sections of the test. Minimum scores for entrance into these courses are set by the Department of Mathematics.

Students are not permitted to use calculators while taking the test.


Entering students are considered proficient in mathematics if they can document any one of the following:

  • SAT I math score of 480 or higher
  • ACT math score of 20 or higher
  • N.Y. State Regents score of 75 or higher in one of the following: Math A, Math B, Sequential II or Sequential III
  • Satisfaction of the requirement at another CUNY institution
  • Completion of an earned baccalaureate degree.

Candidates for freshman admission to an associate program do not have to show they are skills proficient to be admitted. However, entering students who are not proficient based on the criteria above must take the appropriate CUNY assessment tests. Once enrolled in an associate program, students will be required to take one or more remedial courses or workshops to build their skills in any areas in which they have not met the University standard. Students usually cannot begin a full program of college-level work in an associate program until they have achieved proficiency in math.

All students who wish to transfer from a CUNY associate program to a CUNY bachelor's program must demonstrate skills proficiency to be admitted to such a program.

No student may be placed in a college-level mathematics course who has not passed or been exempted from the first two levels of the COMPASS Mathematics Test.

If you have any questions after you have reviewed this material, feel free to contact an admissions advisor or the testing coordinator at your first-choice college (if you are applying to CUNY) or the college you are attending.