Understanding Your TSI Assessment Scores

The TSIA measures your strengths and weaknesses in mathematics, reading and writing. It is an indicator of how ready you are to handle college-level courses and is required for all students who are degree seeking or seeking a level two certificate (42 semester credit hours or more) and planning to attend a public institution in the state of Texas.

The results of the assessment, along with your academic background, goals and interests, are used by advisors to place you in the appropriate courses that will give you the best chances for success. At Lee College, each course for which you want to register will requires specific level(s) of reading, writing, and/or math, usually indicated by your TSIA scores.

Am I TSI responsible?
Students who are degree seeking or seeking a level two certificate are considered TSI responsible and must take the TSI Assessment. Students can be exempt as outlined in Texas Administrative Code (§4.54) and includes level one certificates which have 42 semester credit hours or less. You may also be exempt based on specific SAT and ACT scores or if you have credits completed from another institution.

How do I get a copy of my test scores?
If you were not provided a copy of your test results at the conclusion of your testing, you can access them through the email address provided as part of the general information section completed at the beginning of your testing. Once you open this email, you will be asked to provide your last name, your date of birth, and your Lee College student ID number.

What are passing scores?
Students scoring at or above the cut scores are considered “college ready” and eligible to enroll in any entry level college course (for example, English composition, history, government, or college algebra). Some college level courses require passing scores in more than one area. Below are the passing cut scores for TSIA as set by the state:

• Mathematics: a minimum score of 350
• Reading: a minimum score of 351
• Writing: a score of 5 on the essay section or a score of 4 on the essay and a minimum score of 340 on the multiple choice section

What happens if I score below college ready standards?
If your TSI mathematics, reading or writing test score is lower than the college readiness cut-score, you may be placed in either a developmental course or an intervention to improve your skills and to prepare you for success in college-level courses.

What are the Developmental Education (DE) Diagnostic tests?
If your score on the TSI Assessment is lower than the college readiness, additional test questions provides information on your strength and weaknesses across four domains in each of the sections. The DE Diagnostic Test report describes your strengths and weaknesses in each of these domains and can help the advisor place you in the appropriate coursework.

What are the ABE Diagnostic Tests?
In addition to setting standards for college ready, the state also set standards for adult basic education (ABE) levels. These are scores that roughly equate to below the ninth grade level in reading, writing, and/or math. Students who score in this area may need additional support before they take developmental education courses.

• Mathematics: a score of 335 or lower
• Reading: a score of 341 or lower
• Writing: a score of 349 or lower

If you have an ABE score on any of the three parts (reading, writing, or math), you will also have a level descriptor from 1 – 6. This “second chance” score will move you from the ABE level to the developmental education level. For example, a student with a math score of 330 or lower with a ABE level descriptor score of 5 will move from MATH310 to either technical math, MATH 320 or MATH 342 (depending on the student’s goal).

Can I retake the TSIA?
If you are not satisfied with your score, you may retake the TSI Assessment. However, before retesting, it is strongly recommended that you set aside time for additional study. It is very unlikely that your score will improve greatly without additional review and study. At Lee College, the cost for retesting is $15 per section and prepayment is required. You will not be able to retest the same day as the initial testing.

What are Bridge Courses?
A bridge course is an intervention for students who score slightly below the college ready standard or the next level of developmental coursework. Students in this range may choose to take a bridge course — a short, intense course designed to prepare the student for the next level course. Typically, these are offered for the first three weeks of the semester. If passed, the student moves on to the next level during the same semester.

Currently there are bridge courses in the following areas:

  • MABR 310  prepares students for TECM 1341 or 1349, MATH 320, or MATH 342 or MATH 350 (depending on your major).
  • MABR 330 can replace MATH 330 to prepare students for MATH 1314.
  • REBR 300 prepares students for ENRD 401.
  • ENBR 402  can replace ENRD 402 to prepare students for ENGL 1301

Can I transfer my TSIA scores taken at Lee College to another college or university?
Starting with the spring 2014 semester, all state colleges and universities use the TSIA scores for those students needing assessment to start college. If you have taken this test at Lee College, other schools can access these scores by providing the college or university your Lee College Student ID and your date of birth. Private and out of state institutions would not have access to this database.