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Exam information

What you need to know about the TSIA2

If you are looking for TSI test prep, you are in the right place! Please, read on!

The TSI Assessment was created by the College Board® in response to college success improvement efforts mandated by the Texas legislature. It is given to prospective college students in Texas and measures their level of preparedness for college-level study. Beginning on January 11, 2021, a revised form of the TSI Assessment called the TSIA2 will be used.

The TSIA2 covers the same content as the previously used TSI Assessment, although some concepts are rearranged and may be referred to differently. Instead of separate Reading and Writing sections, these are combined into one section, called English Language Arts and Reading (ELAR). Evaluation in math is also combined into one test instead of being separated into several separate tests.

Important Note: While reading and writing are combined in the actual ELAR tests, we have divided our ELAR preparation into two sections: ELAR Reading and ELAR Writing. Likewise, our math preparation is divided into four sections (Algebraic Reasoning, Geometric and Spatial Reasoning, Probabilistic and Statistical Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning), even though all of these areas of math will be combined in math tests. See below for further information about how many ELAR and Math tests you may have to take.

The procedures and implications of this new test are slightly different.

  • You will now take two shorter tests than before to determine college readiness, called the College Readiness Classification (CRC) tests.

  • Only if you are not deemed “college-ready” by the CRC test will you move on to the Diagnostic tests.

  • Instead of requiring prior “developmental” classes (for students exhibiting weakness on the test), the new procedure is to try to steer most students toward “co-requisite” supportive classes in which they can enroll while they take college-level classes in that subject.

The TSIA2, as its predecessor, is computer-adaptive—the computer chooses the next question based on your response to the previous question. Test results are available immediately after testing.

Modifications are available for students with disabilities, but you need to contact the disabilities office at the college or university to apply for these before testing. This process involves a review of your situation according to institution and federal regulations, so allow plenty of time before you need to take the test. Non-computer forms of the test are available, but they will not be computer-adaptive, meaning they could take additional time to complete.

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Exam facts

Answers to all your questions about the TSIA2

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What are the costs?

Some institutions cover the cost of the TSIA2 or it is included in other fees, while some charge $20 or more per unit. Check with your testing institution for more information.

What should I bring?

On test day, bring a valid ID and the testing fee or a receipt for pre-payment, whichever is required by the testing site. Arrive about 15 minutes before the start of the test to take care of check-in procedures. Test-takers who are later than the scheduled test time may not be admitted.

How is it scored?

Scores obtained from testing at one institution may be used at any other institution in Texas and TSIA2 results are valid for five years after the test date. (Scores from a previous TSI Assessment will continue to be valid for five years from that test date.) Your results may be different in different subjects, so your suggested course path may be different.

Here are the steps in the basic testing procedure and the paths that will be defined by your scores:

Step 1: Take the College Readiness Classification tests (CRC) in both Mathematics (20 questions) and ELAR (English Language Arts and Reading—30 questions plus essay). The essay is scored by an automated scoring system.

Step 2: Your CRC score will be between 910 and 990. Receive your scores and proceed to the path they indicate:

  • To be deemed “college-ready” in ELAR, you must score between 945 and 990 on the ELAR CRC and achieve a score of 5 to 8 on the essay.

  • To be identified as “college-ready” in math, you must score between 950 and 990 on the Mathematics CRC.

Achieving the above score levels means you are finished testing in that subject area and no co-requisite classes will be suggested or required.

Step 3: If you do not achieve the required score in either or both subjects, you will move on to the Diagnostic Test for that area.

Scoring for the Diagnostic Tests yields a level of between 1 and 6 for either subject.

Diagnostic Test ELAR Paths:

  • If you earned 944 or less on the ELAR CRC and you achieve a level of 4 to 6 on the ELAR diagnostic test, you will be asked to write an essay.

  • If you earned 944 or less on the ELAR CRC and you achieve a level of 1 to 3 on the ELAR diagnostic test, you will not be required to write the essay.

  • Note: There is a second path to “college-ready.” Even if you did not earn at least 945 on the ELAR CRC but you score 5 or better on the essay, you can prove yourself “college-ready” by achieving a level 5 or 6 on your ELAR diagnostic test. (No co-requisite class will be required.)

Diagnostic Test Mathematics Paths:

  • There is also a second chance to prove yourself “college-ready” in math. Even if you scored below 950 on the Mathematics CRC, you can get the “college-ready” designation if you score at a level 6 on the Math Diagnostic test.

If you don’t achieve “college-ready” status in one or more subjects, you will be set up with a Diagnostic Profile that will entitle you to many free online resources and extra help so that you can improve and be successful in college classes. You’ll also get a Learning Locator Code to access customized resources that are specifically designed to help you in areas where the diagnostic test identified weaknesses. So, you’ll only practice in areas of need, based on your personal performance.

What kind of job can I get?

In today’s world, an increasing percentage of jobs require post-high school education and/or training. Even if it’s not absolutely required for employment, a college degree can give you more choices and more opportunities for gainful employment as an adult.

Am I eligible?

You can take or retake the TSIA2 at any time. If you are not satisfied with your score(s), it is highly recommended that you seek additional practice and assistance before attempting a retake. This test is required of every student entering a college or university in the state of Texas.

There are TSIA2 exemption possibilities, including those as a result of armed forces service and results from other national and Texas-based tests. You can find extensive information about this by going to this page of the Texas Administrative Code.

Why does it matter?

To succeed in college, you must be ready to learn college-level material and this is what the TSIA2 assesses. It is important to do your very best on this test so that the scores truly reflect what you can do.

If you demonstrate weakness in any sections, the college may suggest or require you to take additional (corequisite) courses while you are enrolled in college-level classes. You will probably pay the same fees for these corequisite courses, but they will probably not count as college credits toward any degree. So, it’s really important to take these courses if they are recommended or required to have the best chance of succeeding in college. But, if you can prove that you don’t need them, you can save some tuition money.

What salary can I expect?

A salary survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reveals an average annual salary for college graduates of $50,000. This, of course, can vary a bit depending on the field of work, with math and health sciences reporting the highest range of salaries, up to $71,000 per year. A college education can also put you ahead in line for promotions and advanced training opportunities, which can lead to even higher salaries.

When is it available?

Institutions vary as to when the TSIA2 Assessment is offered. Some offer it on a walk-in basis at a testing center on campus, while others require pre-registration for specific testing sessions and locations.

A Pre-Assessment Activity (PAA) is required before TSIA2 testing occurs. Contact your guidance counselor, college advisor, or TSIA2 test administrator for more specific information.

How much time is allowed?

The TSIA2 is not timed, so its length may vary widely. You are encouraged to do your very best and not to rush, so plan to allow a wide window of time for testing. Estimates from our sources range anywhere from three to eight hours, depending on the number of diagnostic tests required due to placement test scores. Time also depends, in part, on the type of worker you may be: thorough but quick or slower and reflective.

In any case, be sure to check with your testing site before test day to determine any specific testing provisions or regulations. Some institutions may have a provision for stopping an unfinished test and restarting it, with a delay of “up to 48 hours” to “anytime within 14 days.” The only section you must complete in one sitting is the essay, if it is required. Also, inquire about any fees assessed for resuming at a later time.

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