Reading Placement

The statewide, college readiness standard in college reading is a 20 ACT Reading sub score. In compliance with state law, the university requires that all university first-year, degree-seeking students with less than 24 credit hours who are admitted with reading deficiencies participate in placement testing and course registration as determined by their placement test results. Students with an ACT Reading sub score of less than 20 or an SAT Critical Reading (Verbal) score of less than 470 MUST take the Reading COMPASS exam. The exam serves as a second predictor of college reading readiness.

The Reading COMPASS exam is available to take by appointment at the UofL Testing Services at any time before course registration.  It is highly recommended that local students contact Testing Services and schedule an appointment for this exam prior to orientation. The Reading COMPASS exam may also be available at a testing center near your place of residence through remote testing. For more information on this option, please contact UofL’s Testing Services at 502-852-6606.

If you have already taken the COMPASS exam through a Kentucky high school, you can verify that we have received your scores by logging into ULink, clicking on the Student Services tab, then clicking to View My Undergraduate Application Status. Received scores are listed near the bottom of the screen. If no scores are listed, your school can fax the results to 502-852-1871. If we do not receive scores prior to orientation, you may be required to test again.

Students who subsequently score below an 85 on the COMPASS reading placement will be required to register for GEN 105, “Special Topics in Supplemented College Reading.” Advisors working with students are required to assist them in developing an individual schedule of classes that meets this state mandate and university requirement.

  • GEN 105 provides an intervention for college reading. Students who enroll in this course will receive 2 hours each week of supplemented instruction in college reading, critical thinking, and study strategies. Students receive 1 hour of college credit (elective credit only) for GEN 105.  Students will receive 3 hours of college credit for successful completion of the general education course section linked to GEN 105.
  • Students enrolled in GEN 105 will attend the general education lecture course for 3 hours each week and will attend GEN 105 for 2 hours each week.  Students will attend a total number of 5 hours of class each week for these linked courses.


You may view sample COMPASS reading questions at