In this blog post, we’ve partnered with PrepTerminal to help test takers prepare for the TSI test!
If you’re an incoming Texas college student, then it is very likely that one of the many things that you’re worried about right now is the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Assessment.
Although people may say otherwise, it is not all that too far off from the truth that the TSI test is a major roadblock for many hopeful students as failing any of the subtests would require them to take additional classes, described as ‘developmental courses or interventions’, for them to improve their skills.
To make things worse, failing any of the subtests also bars the student from taking certain classes until they take these developmental courses.
Fortunately, however, you can retake the TSI test as many times as you can until you satisfy the passing score requirement.
The only caveat here is that you will have to pay for EACH of the sections that you need to retake.
This means that it would be in the best interest of students to pass TSI test scores expectations the first time around so that they won’t have to worry about having to pay for retakes plus the online test convenience fee if they choose to use online payments.
To make your TSI assessment experience go more smoothly, here are several top tips to help you pass.
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1. Don’t overshoot the essay writing test
The TSI essay writing subtest is seen by many as a ‘free source of points’, and for good reason.
Unfortunately, a lot of students tend to show off or get too passionate about their stance on the provided topic or subject since it usually involves a recent or current social or controversial issue.
While there is nothing wrong with putting forth your stance, you have to remember that this is still an exam, which means that you will be scored in other areas instead of just how good your argument is.
Optimally, your essay should be around 500-600 words or 5 paragraphs for those who can write really good essays.
Ideally, you should write your essay with an introduction showing your stance, provide three relevant examples to defend your argument, and a conclusion.
Knowing this, you can focus on improving the quality of your argument instead of relying on trying to get more points by making it as long as possible.
2. Focus on making your essay as grammatically flawless as possible
On the possibility of you not knowing the supplied topic well enough, this doesn’t mean that you’re going to fail the essay writing test of the TSI assessment immediately.
If for some reason that you cannot make a compelling argument or stance, then you should focus on making sure that your essay has at least perfect grammar, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.
This will at least net you some points that may be enough to make you pass the writing subtest.
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3. Take full advantage of the fact that there is no time limit!
It is not uncommon for test-takers to feel pressured into answering the TSI test as fast as possible because they feel like they’re being ridiculed by others at the testing centers.
However, this mindset is something that you shouldn’t bring at all when taking this particular exam because there is no time limit and you won’t be penalized even if you’re the last student left in the room.
If someone finishes their TSI exam before you, then good for them. You, on the other hand, should take this at a pace that you are most comfortable with and analyze which of the choices carefully so that you can figure out which of them is the correct one.
Due to how expansive the math subtest of the TSI assessment is, you should take your time to make all the necessary calculations needed with your scratch paper as needed.
For the TSI reading test, use this to fully understand the provided passage and before tackling the question. Read it once again if you need to confirm a detail that was mentioned in the question or if you didn’t get its message the first time around.
4. Double-check the questions!
If there’s one thing that can cause a student to lose a lot of points, it would be their misunderstanding or misreading the question.
This is prevalent in the TSI reading and writing tests where sometimes the question will instead ask which of the choices is the INCORRECT one or has a mistake on it.
More often than not, they will look at the first choice, find that it is grammatically correct and properly punctuated and capitalized, and then select it as their answer when they were supposed to look for the one with an error.
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5. Don’t be afraid to use online practice tests!
The TSI, like many other tests out there, can be prepared for using any review materials that contain its subject matter.
This means that if you think you can benefit from them, then it might be a good idea to look up and use online TSI practice tests so that will get familiar with the topics and subjects included in the actual exam.
Since most of these mock tests contain questions that are similar to the ones that can appear in the TSI, you are giving yourself the advantage of getting the hang of it, securing a passing grade with relative ease now that you know what to expect.