A photo I.D. is required for ALL testing.
All cellphones MUST be turned COMPLETELY Off.
1. What is the New (TSI) Assessment?
The New TSI Assessment is a new placement examination that is the first of its kind in the county. It is a placement test that helps determine if students are ready for college-level course work in the areas of Reading, Writing and Mathematics. If you are new to college in the state of Texas, you are required to take the TSI Assessment unless you are exempt.
2. If a student completes the Pre-Assessment Activity (PAA) but answers “No” to the question on whether they’ve completed it, can the student log back into the TSI Assessment and then select “Yes” to test? Or will the student be locked out from taking the test?
After a student “No” to the TSI Assessment background question (No 1), that student is locked out and will not be able to continue. The test will have to be reset by a test administrator for the student to log back in. The student might have to provide documentation that he or she did indeed complete a (PAA) before the test can be reset. The (PAA) must include this information for the students.
3. Must institutions have verification that a student completes the Pre-Assessment Activity (PAA)? Or is it possible for a student who has not completed the (PAA) to respond “Yes” – that he or she has completed it?
An institution must document participation in a (PAA) for all students taking the TSI Assessment at that institution. While this documentation will not be submitted to Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, it must be available for audit purposes. Institutions must ensure that students do not “slip through the crack” and take the TSI Assessment at their institution without participation and documentation of that participation, in the PAA. Institutions may assume that students who took the TSI Assessment at another institution were administered the PAA at that other institution, and the receiving institution is not required to contact the other institution for verification. In cases where a student was administered the TSI Assessment in a school district, the receiving institution of higher education must verify the PAA was administered and documented, usually through a memorandum of understanding or other agreement between the school district and institution.
4. Must I take the Pre-Assessment Activity prior to taking the test?
If you are not exempt, the Pre-Assessment Activity is mandatory and must be completed prior to taking the TSI assessment exam.
5. Where do I go to take the Pre-Assessment?
To complete the Pre-Assessment Activity students can:
1. Go to econnect.dcccd.edu. Click on Current Credit Student Menu.
2. Select Pre-Assessment Video.
3. Select Mountain View College.
4. Press Play! Upon completion of the video, select Continue to assessment
5. You will now be required to log into your eConnect account to complete the Pre-Assessment Quiz.
6. Once you’re logged in, you will certify that you watched the Pre-Assessment Video and Submit.
7. Last but not least, make sure to SUBMIT your responses! Also, note that eConnect will time-out with prolonged inactivity.
6. When should I be prepared to take the TSI Assessment?
After you complete your Pre-Assessment Activity you will be provided a testing referral from your Academic Advisor. You will then report to the Testing Center located in S-2101 and present them with your testing referral depicting what test should be administered. See the Testing Center Website for test session times.
7. Do I have to take the TSI Assessment Exam?
Not all incoming students will be required to take the TSI Assessment. There are many ways you can be exempt if you have:
· Met minimum college readiness standards based on SAT, ACT, TAKS or a statewide high school exit (STARRS, EOC) exam;
· Have successfully completed college-level English and Math course;
· Have enrolled in a Level-One Certificate program with (fewer than 42-43 semester credit hours);
· Non-Degree Seekers
· Active Duty and/or Retired Military Service
· Earned an Associate’s or Bachelors Degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education.
For more detailed information related to exemptions and/or waivers you can visit; www.thecb.state.tx.us/DE/TSI, go to statement # 1 and click on TSI/Exemptions.
8. What are exemptions?
As related to the TSI status, students qualifying for an exemption as defined in TSI rule 4.54 must be allowed to enroll directly in entry-level coursework without further demonstration of college readiness. For example, the exemptions relating to students with prior college credit allows transfer students with college credit in ENGL 1301 (or its non-Texas equivalent) to be exempt from both reading and writing at the receiving institution.
In 2008 and 2009, the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) were established and compared to TEKS requirements (as required by TEC, 28.008. Gap analyses were conducted in all four content areas (Math, English, Science and Social Studies), and the TEKS in those four areas were revised as needed to align with the CCRS. The STAAR assessments are designed to measure knowledge and skills relative to TEKS requirements.
9. Can other test scores be used to place students?
10. How are ESL (English as a Second Language) students who need developmental education in language arts identified?
All students not exempt from the TSI must be assessed for college-readiness with a Texas higher Education Coordinating Board-approved TSI Assessment instrument. Institutions are encouraged to consider additional factors to appropriately place ESL students not college ready. Additionally, an ESOL waiver that institutions may temporarily grant until completion of up to 15 hours of ESOL developmental education coursework or prior to enrollment in a credit-bearing course, whichever comes first.
The state is evaluating the ESL practices and might establish new or amended policies regarding the assessment and placement of ESL students.
11. Will a centralized database allow access to TSI scores?
Yes. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is working with The College Board to allow a testing director at an institution to access test scores for students who took the TSI Assessment at another institution. More information regarding this issue will be provided by the availability date.
12. How and where is TSI information available and accessible?
Announcements regarding major changes in policies and/or legislation are typically emailed to the president, chancellor, chief academic/instructional officer, TSI contact, EDPS contact, and community college liaison at each institution. Information is also available at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s developmental education website at http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/ (use P-16 Initiatives link). In addition, an Austin Community College website includes assessment updates, information about webinars and related documents at http://irt.austincc.edu/IDS/THECB/.
13. When will the TSI Assessment be available for review? When must testing begin?
The TSI Assessment was made available to institutions on August 1, 2013, allowing testing directors’ time for setting up implementation.
14. What’s the difference between the implementation date and availability date for the new TSI Assessment?
The implementation date was each institution’s first day of classes for Academic Year 2013-2014, and marks the first day on which institutions may administer the new TSI Assessment. On this date, currently approved assessments (ACCUPLACER, THEA, COMPASS and Asset) can no longer be used for TSI purposes, and institutions no longer have the authority to make the cut scores more stringent.
15. When are current assessments (ACCUPLACER, THEA, COMPASS and Asset), invalid?
The currently approved assessment (ACCUPLACER, THEA, COMPASS and Asset), approved for previous periods, cannot be used for TSI purposes on or after the institution’s first class day of Fall 2013 – the implementation date. A student who takes one of the four currently approved assessments (ACCUPLACER, THEA, COMPASS, Asset) must be enrolled by a higher education institution’s first class day for fall 2013. A student who is not enrolled on that date and enrolls on or after this date must take the new TSI Assessment.
16. Are institutions of higher education allowed to raise cut-scores minimums?
No. Institutions of higher education cannot raise standard cut scores for the new TSI Assessment or for TSI exemptions (SAT, ACT, TAKS, STAAR EOC).
Developmental Education Programs
17. Is it recommended/required that students retest after completing NCBO (Non-Course Competency Based Operations)?
All courses and interventions, including NCBOs, should include an end assessment (i.e., final exam) to help determine if the appropriate learning outcomes have been achieved. The TSI Assessment results can be compelled to enroll in developmental education coursework or interventions.
18. May institutions set developmental prerequisites for Level I certificate courses?
No. Students enrolling in a Level I certificate program are exempt from the TSI statute and may enroll in any course in such a program without further demonstrating of college readiness. Requiring students to test prior to enrollment in effect nullifies this exemption. Only students who have not met the college-readiness standard as demonstrated through TSI Assessment results can be compelled to enroll in developmental education coursework or interventions.
19. Can students place in both developmental and ABE courses during the same term?
Yes. Placement of non-exempt students is based on the results of their TSI Assessment by subject area. Students can be college-ready in one area but not in the other two, for example; A student’s performance and placement in each subject area are independent of the others. Placement is based on meeting a student’s needs in each subject area.
20. If a student enrolls in a course that begins in the fall, but then is dropped from enrollment for non-payment prior to the beginning of the course, must this student retest?
If a student tests on one of the four currently approved tests for TSI purposes (Accuplacer, THEA, COMPASS or Asset) and is enrolled in at least one course prior to the institution’s first class day of fall 2013, the student will not have to retest on the new TSI Assessment, even if the student is temporarily dropped for various reasons, provided the student is re-enrolled and takes the course in Fall 2013 semester.
21. If a student took a summer class and met TSI on COMPASS, but doesn’t attend classes in the Fall 2013 semester. Must the student test again on the new test?
No. This student has met TSI requirements and do not need to take the new exam nor retest for TSI purposes.
22. If an exempt student takes the test and fails a section of the test, is this student required to enroll in developmental coursework?
The exemption for that student is still valid. Choosing to take the TSI Assessment does not override the current exemption, and the student cannot be compelled to take developmental coursework.
23. What about the “exemption” for students who are enrolled in a Level I certificate Program? Some institutions have at least a reading prerequisite on these classes and consider these students “waived” but not exempt.
A) A student enrolling in a Level I certificate program is exempt from all three parts of TSI testing (reading, writing and mathematics) and should be able to enroll in any courses within the Level I program. Placing a reading prerequisite on a course within the Level I certificate program requires, in effect, the student to test on the TSI Assessment to determine if this prerequisite has been met. Requiring the student enrolled in a Level I certificate program to test on one or more parts of the TSI Assessment nullifies the Level I certificate exemption.
24. Must students with STAAR EOC (End Of Course) exemption scores but don’t enroll in the Fall 2013 semester after graduating from high school take the new TSI exam?
No. The score qualifying a student for a STARR EOC exemption is valid for five years from the date of testing. The student can claim this exemption if he or she enrolls within the five year period.
25. Within developmental math, will there be a cut-off score between beginning and intermediate algebra?
A) No. The minimum cut score standards required by the state only address whether or not a student is college-ready and if not, whether the student is performing at the developmental or ABE level. Any determination of the point at which the student is performing within that level is still made by the institution, as is current practices. However, it is recommended that institutions establish a “bubble-score” range within which students who are nearly ready for the next level are given the opportunity to enroll in coursework at that next level.
Exp: The statewide college-readiness standard for mathematics is 350 (Phase I). If a student scores 347 (or another score within the institution’s “bubble-score range), then this score, along with consideration for other holistic factors (e.g., motivation level, high school GPA, work and family responsibilities, etc.) would enable an advisor to recommend enrollment in MATH 1314 along with required enrollment in a DE math NCBO to provide the additional support.
26. Regarding developmental education, how can an institution determine the cut-off between an upper-level and a lower-level developmental education course?
A) Placement data can be reviewed to determine the approximate percentage of students who have been placed, using current assessment instruments (ACCUPLACER, THEA, COMPASS, Asset), into upper-level versus lower-level courses. For example, based on assessment instrument results, 64 percent of students have been placed in upper-level math and 34 percent in lower-level math. Institutions could apply those percentages for placement until enough data from the new TSI Assessment are gathered, during the first year of implementation, to make adjustments if needed.
27. How will out-of-state transfer students, non-traditional students, and international students be assessed for college readiness?
A) All students not exempt from the TSI should be assessed for college readiness with a Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board-approved TSI instrument. Students demonstrate college readiness in a subject area when applicable courses are accepted for transfer by a receiving institution, as per TSI rule 4.59.
Exp: If the institution accepted a transfer course such as Engl 1301-equivalent, the transferring student with that course credit has demonstrated college readiness in reading and writing and is therefore exempt from testing for TSI purposes in those two subject areas.
28. What does the TSI Assessment cover?
The TSI examination covers the areas of Reading, Writing and Math.
Reading includes 24 questions, set-up in a multiple choice format. This portion of the exam measures; Literary Analysis, Main Ideas, and Supporting Details, Inferences in a Text(s), and the Author’s use of language.
Writing includes 20 items that measures; Essay revision, Agreement, Sentence Structure and Sentence Logic. The essay portion of the exam asks you to write a five paragraph persuasive essay that should consist of (approximately 350 – 500 words) covering a controversial issue or one of current interest. The format begins contains both multiple choice and essay sections.
Math includes a 20 item multiple choice test that measures; Elementary Algebra & Functions; Intermediate Algebra & Functions; Geometry & Measurements; and Data Analysis, Statistics & Probability.
Computer Skills Placement is the portion of the exam that measures students’ skill in computer literacy. This portion of the exam is a 70 question test that includes seven competency areas which includes:
1. Basic Concepts
2. File Management
3. Word Processing
7. Information and Communication
29. How do I prepare for the test?