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It’s always helpful to be familiar with the types of questions you’ll see on a test and the TSI Assessment is no exception. If you want to attend college in the state of Texas, you’ll need to take this test unless you’ve secured a TSI exemption. Doing well on it will save you college time and money, so take advantage of our FREE practice test for the TSI Assessment.
The Texas Success Initiative Assessment, or TSI/TSIA, is a state-required assessment test developed by the College Board® that college applicants must pass before enrolling in classes, unless they have been deemed exempt. The assessment is part of the Texas Success Initiative enacted by the Texas State Legislature to measure prospective college applicants’ academic readiness.
Exemptions from taking the TSI Assessment are granted for:
There are three sections in the TSI Assessment: Reading, Mathematics, and Writing. The TSI Assessment consists primarily of multiple-choice questions, although the Writing section also includes an essay question. The assessment is computer adaptive, meaning that the difficulty level of the questions changes according to your performance. It is not a timed test, although it takes most students between three and five hours to complete the exam. Students may opt to complete the entire test in one day or take the sections individually.
The Mathematics section of the TSI Assessment contains 20 multiple-choice items covering these math concept areas:
If a certain score level is not achieved on any one of these areas, you may be asked to take one or more diagnostic tests of 10 questions each. These tests help to determine a plan of remediation that your placement test scores indicate is necessary before tackling college-level math studies.
The TSI Assessment Reading test is composed of a placement test of 20 to 24 questions. If you do not score well enough on all content areas covered, you may be asked to take a diagnostic test of 10 to 12 questions in one or more of those areas. The diagnostic tests pinpoint specific skills on which you’ll need to work in some sort of remediation program that may include paid remedial classes in college.
The reading content areas assessed on this test are:
The TSI Assessment Writing test contains two parts:
If you do not achieve a certain score on the multiple-choice (placement) test, you may be given one to four diagnostic tests (10-12 questions each) to determine your specific learning needs and to help map out the course of remediation necessary before you can register for college-level courses requiring writing.
Areas of study covered on the TSI Assessment placement and diagnostic tests in writing are:
Your essay is scored by an electronic system that compares the quality of your writing (content and mechanics) with over 500 student essays that have been scored by human scorers and assigns a score based on similarity to a level of those essays. Your essay score report states your achievement level in each of the four categories above and assigns you a total essay score of between 1 and 8.
Taking any exam can cause anxiety for many individuals, although you can ease some concerns by knowing exactly what to expect on your test day and ensuring that you have prepared for it adequately. Be sure to check the local TSI Assessment Schedule or call your local testing site for more detailed information close to your test date.
If you take the exam at a testing center, it’s always a good idea to arrive early so that you have extra time in case you encounter difficulties in finding the testing site or registering for the exam.
When testing at a testing center, you only need to bring two items with you—a valid government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license, passport, or military ID, and a test referral form from your selected college’s admissions office.
All electronic devices are prohibited in the testing room, including calculators. Additionally, you may not have any study materials or reference materials with you to use during the exam.
Taking TSI practice tests is one of the best study methods available to you. These practice tests help you to gain familiarity with the types of questions you will encounter and the content matter that is covered. They can also help you identify what areas you should spend extra time studying. TSI practice tests are an essential study tool that can help you achieve the score you need.
While practice tests are crucial, some students find that they can retain information better by switching up their studying routine with alternative materials. flashcards for the TSI and study guides for the TSI can also be incredibly helpful at ensuring you are prepared to perform your best on exam day!
Prepping for the exam also means understanding what the testing experience will look like and how it will feel when you take the entire exam in one sitting. Since the TSI Assessment is computer adaptive, it is harder to truly simulate the testing experience, although it is still a good idea to complete each section in its entirety in one sitting to gauge how long it will take you and how well you perform taking such a long exam all at once.
The essay portion will require you to take a stand on an opinion-based issue. To get an optimal score in this section, you should not argue all sides of the issue. You should take a strong stance and back it up with your argument. Arguing all sides weakens your primary argument and appears indecisive.
Unlike most standardized exams, the TSI Assessment is not timed. This means you can take as much time as you need to answer each question. Sometimes it helps to read the questions through several times and eliminate the answers you know or think are wrong. While this process is time-consuming, it will also improve your ability to guess the correct answer from the remaining choices. And since there is no rush, feel free to use that time wisely.
You do not have to take the entire exam in one day. If, while simulating the test, you found that it hampered your performance, or if you think it would benefit your score to study and take the sections individually, then schedule each section for a different day.
The TSI Assessment is scored immediately after you have completed the exam. You will receive an unofficial copy of your scores through email. You can have an additional copy of your test results emailed to you anytime by completing the TSI Score Search Request.
To pass the TSI Assessment you must get a score of at least 351 in Reading, and 350 in Mathematics. The writing section requires a score of at least 4 on the essay portion combined with 340 on the multiple choice portion. If the multiple choice section is lower than 340, you may still pass with an ABE diagnostic level of at least 4 and an essay score of at least 5.
The fees associated with the TSI Assessment vary depending on where you take it. They generally range from $20 to $32 per section.
Yes, you may take the test again at any time. You will need a referral form from your advisor or college testing center. The cost to retake the exam is $10 per section.
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