TSI Testing

What Is the TSI Assessment?

 The TSI Assessment (TSIA) is part of the Texas Success Initiative program designed to help your college or university determine if you are ready for college-level course work in the general areas of reading, writing, and mathematics. This program also will help determine what type of course or intervention will best meet your needs to help you become better prepared for college-level course work if you are not ready. If you are an incoming college student in Texas, you are required to take the TSI Assessment — unless you are already exempt (read below) — to determine your readiness for college-level work. Based on how you perform, you may either be enrolled in a college-level course that matches your skill level and/or be placed in the appropriate developmental course or intervention to improve your skills and prepare you for success in college level courses. 

Do I Have to Take the TSI Assessment?

Not all incoming students need to take the TSI Assessment. There are many ways you can be exempt. Qualifying for a TSI Assessment exemption means that you can enroll in any entrylevel college course without restrictions. In other words, there are no prerequisites for enrollment in the entry-level college courses. In certain cases exemptions are subject-specific, which means you may qualify for an exemption in one area such as reading but not in another area like mathematics or writing. You may be exempt if you: Have met the minimum college readiness standard on the SAT®, ACT, or a statewide high school test; Have successfully completed college-level English and math courses; Have enrolled in a Level-One certificate program (fewer than 43 semester credit hours); Are not seeking a degree; or Have been, or currently are, in the military. If you think you may be exempt, please contact an adviser at your college or university. For more information, visit our website at www.thecb.state.tx.us/DE/TSI (See #2 and click on TSI/Exemptions). 

All Juniors at Coronado will take the TSI in FEBRUARY 2017 unless they have met the minimum college readiness standards on the SAT or ACT or are currently enrolled in a dual credit class.

 All students that wish to be placed in a dual credit course for the first time in the 2017-2018 school year will take the TSI in April 2017. There will be a Dual Credit information meeting for parents and students in Late January or early February.


How Does the TSI Assessment Work?

 If you are not exempt from taking the TSI Assessment, you will be asked by your college or university to take three tests: one in mathematics, one in reading, and one in writing. Where necessary, you may be given an additional diagnostic test in a particular subject. This diagnostic test is designed to provide more detailed information regarding your academic strengths and weaknesses. These assessments include multiple-choice questions that are aligned to the Texas College and Career Readiness Standards. For the writing assessment, it’s likely that you will be asked to write an essay. Here are more details about how the TSIA works: The assessments are computer adaptive, which means that questions increase or decrease in difficulty level depending on how you respond. The assessments are untimed, which means there is no time limit on how long you can take to complete the assessment; however, it is important to allow yourself enough time to complete each test because the results are a key factor in determining the course or courses in which you can enroll. In most cases, this assessment provides immediate results upon completion. When you complete the assessment, you immediately receive information on your score and your skill or proficiency levels. You may start and stop anytime during your test session by using the “save and finish later” option, except during the essay, which must be started and completed in the same session. If you select this option, you must return and complete the remaining assessment within fourteen (14) calendar days. 

Students with Disabilities

 Students with disabilities who would like to request accommodations for testing must contact the disabilities services office at the college or university to identify themselves and provide necessary documentation as requested by the institution. Submitted documentation will be reviewed to determine the appropriate accommodation(s), according to institutional policies and federal/state laws. Accommodated test versions include Braille and large-print options. 

Mandatory Pre-Assessment Activity

 Before you take the TSI Assessment, you must participate in a Pre-Assessment Activity (PAM). The college or university at which you take your test is required to provide the Pre-Assessment Activity as well as document your participation. It is a requirement that you complete this activity before you take the test. The activity includes the following: An explanation of the importance of the TSI Assessment and how the assessment works; Practice test questions and feedback; An explanation of all your developmental education options, if you don’t meet the minimum passing standard; and Information on campus and community resources that will help you succeed as a college student. Contact the college or university at which you plan to take the test for details on dates and times to complete this mandatory Pre-Assessment Activity. 

The Pre-Assessment Activity (PAM) will be administered in March to all students taking the TSI test in April.


What Does the Assessment Cover?

The TSI Assessment in Mathematics is a multiple choice assessment that covers the four content areas listed below. There are approximately 20 items on the TSI placement test and 10 items in each section of the DE Diagnostic Test.

 Elementary Algebra and Functions measures your knowledge of linear equations, inequalities, and systems; algebraic expressions and equations; and word problems and applications.

Intermediate Algebra and Functions measures your knowledge of quadratic and other polynomial expressions, equations, and functions; expressions, equations, and functions involving powers, roots, and radicals; and rational and exponential expressions, equations, and functions.

 Geometry and Measurement measures your knowledge of plane geometry; transformations and symmetry; and linear, area, and three dimensional measurements.

 Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability measures your knowledge of interpreting categorical and quantitative data, statistical measures, and probabilistic reasoning.

The TSI Assessment in Reading is a multiple choice assessment that covers the four content areas listed below. There are approximately 24 items on the TSI placement test and 10 to 12 items in each section of the DE Diagnostic Test.

 Literary Analysis measures your skill in identifying and analyzing ideas in and elements of literary texts.

  Main Idea and Supporting Details measures your skill in identifying the main idea of a passage and in comprehending explicit textual information in a passage.

 Inferences in a Text or Texts measures your skill in synthesizing ideas by making a connection or comparison between two passages and in making an appropriate inference about single passages.

  Author’s Use of Language measures your skill in identifying an author’s purpose, tone, organization or rhetorical strategies, and use of evidence in determining the meaning of words in context. 

The TSI Assessment in Writing is an assessment that contains a multiple-choice section and an essay section.

Multiple-Choice Section

The multiple-choice section of the TSI Assessment in Writing measures your skills in the four content areas listed below. There are approximately 20 items on the TSI placement test and 10 to 12 items in each section of the DE Diagnostic Test.

 Essay Revision measures your ability to provide coherence, organization, and good word choice and your ability to achieve rhetorical effectiveness and use evidence.

Agreement measures your ability to perform subject–verb agreement and pronoun agreement as well as your ability to determine verb tenses.

Sentence Structure measures your knowledge of topics like comma splices and run-on sentences; improper punctuation; fragments and parallelism; and subordination and coordination.

Sentence Logic measures your ability to correctly place modifying phrases and clauses and your ability to use logical transitions.

 Essay Section

You may be asked to write a five-paragraph persuasive essay (approximately 300–600 words) on a controversial issue or one of current interest. You will be expected to clearly state a main idea and provide specific examples and details to back up your main idea, as well as follow conventions of standard English. You will not be allowed to use a dictionary or other outside resources, but you may use plain scratch paper (provided at the testing center) to plan your essay and write your rough draft(s). 

Can I Retake the Test?

If you are not satisfied with your performance, you may retake the TSI Assessment at any time. However, before you attempt to retest, it is strongly recommended that you set aside time for additional study. Check with the testing center at the college or university at which you plan to retest for information concerning retesting and review workshops.