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HCDS (Medical Transcription) Pre-Admission Exam

HCDS (Medical Transcription) Pre-Admission Exam

Once you have been admitted to the College and submitted the Allied Health Science application (selecting Healthcare Documentation Specialist (Medical Transcription) as the Planned Course of Study), your next step is to take the COMPASS and the HCDS (Medical Transcription) Pre-Admission Exam.

What is the COMPASS

COMPASS is an untimed, computerized test that helps your college evaluate your skills and place you into appropriate courses. 

You are required to take the entire COMPASS; however, only the reading and writing portions of the COMPASS are used in the Medical Transcription Program admissions process. The math portion of the test is not used in the admissions process.

All Medical Transcription applicants are required to take the COMPASS with the following exceptions: Applicants who have taken prior college-level English courses or who have an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college may be exempt from the COMPASS test.

What is the HCDS (Medical Transcription) Pre-Admission Exam

The HCDS (Medical Transcription) Pre-Admission Exam consists of 3 parts:

  • Timed writings (typing test) used to assess typing speed (a minimum typing speed of 45 wpm is required). A warm-up session and three 3-minute timed writings are included in this part of the test.
  • A basic computer skills test.
  • A very short transcription test.  The dictation utilized for the transcription test is very easy to hear and includes English words that might be encountered in dictated medical reports, i.e., words like medial, lateral, persistent, etc. You will listen to the dictation and type the words/sentences you hear.  This portion of the test is used to assess the applicant’s grammar, punctuation, and spelling capabilities.

All HCDS applicants are required to take the Pre-Admission Exam.


  • There are no fees for either the COMPASS or the Pre-Admission Exam.

Registering - COMPASS

  • Please visit our COMPASS webpage for instructions on how to register for a testing date. The COMPASS is given periodically throughout the entire school year. The above-mentioned webpage will provide information on COMPASS dates/times, campus locations, and other valuable information.

Registering and Exam Dates - HCDS (Medical Transcription) Pre-Admission Exam

Oak Ridge Campus Testing Center (F-103)

Date Time
Friday, May 29, 2015 1:30 PM
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 9:30 AM
Thursday, June 4, 2015 1:30 PM
Thursday, June 11, 2015 9:30 AM

To register, have your R# (Roane State Identification Number) and click below.

Register Online Now!

If you have any problems with the scheduling system, please contact the Oak Ridge Branch Campus Testing Center.

Preparing - COMPASS

  • Online Practice Tests questions are available at Compass Prep Test.
  • Study guides are available online: Search for "COMPASS Test" from any web browser.

Preparing - HCDS (Medical Transcription) Pre-Admission Exam

  • Practice timed writings are available online: Search for "typing test" from any web browser.
  • You will find some fun exercises and keyboarding tips at Nimble Fingers.

Bring on the Day of the Exam

  • Government-issued photo ID (Drivers License)
  • Your R# number are required for your testing appointments.
  • A calculator will be provided by the Testing Center for the COMPASS.
  • All other materials are provided.
  • You are not allowed to use a dictionary or any other personal items for either exam.
  • No cell phones are allowed during either exam.

Results - COMPASS

  • You will get the COMPASS results as soon as the test is completed.
  • If the COMPASS identifies deficiencies in reading or writing, the appropriate learning support courses must be completed prior to enrollment in transcription practice class (MDT 104). Learning support courses must be completed with a grade of C or better.

Results - HCDS (Medical Transcription) Pre-Admission Exam

  • You may contact Linda Marsh at 865-481-2012 approximately one (1) week after your test date to inquire about your test results.


Roane State Community College allows applicants to re-take the timed writing portion of the pre-admission exam if the first timed writing wpm (words per minute) was in the 35-44 range.  Otherwise, applicants will be advised to enroll in the appropriate keyboarding classes.

After completing the COMPASS and the HCDS (Medical Transcription) Pre-Admission Exam

Admission/Acceptance Procedure: Acceptance of students into the HCDS Program is based on being admitted to the College, a submitted Allied Health Science application with HCDS as the Planned Course of Study, results of the COMPASS, Pre-Admission Exam scores, and approval from the Allied Health Science Admissions Committee. Students will be notified electonically via Raidernet email of acceptance or denial to the program. Applicants should read all of the admission requirements located on the HCDS Program webpage before applying.

Late applicants are permitted to test and are considered for admission into the program if positions are still available after the June 15th application deadline.

Roane State Community College
276 Patton Lane
Harriman, TN 37748-5011

(865) 354-3000 or toll free 866-462-7722
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