College Q&A: TSI Assessment to ensure students are placed at right college level

By Eric Jensen
Sept. 7, 2013 at 4:07 a.m.

I've heard there's a new college placement exam called the TSI Assessment that's required for all students planning to attend college. What about the TSI Assessment is different from the other college placement exams?

The Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Assessment is a collaborative effort across Texas institutions and is now the state's only approved assessment exam to determine if a student is ready to attend college. Beginning this fall semester, it is the only assessment exam available at Victoria College and statewide.

Under the previous system, incoming students were able to take the Compass or various other assessment tests to determine college placement. One student taking the Compass test might be placed in freshman English 1301 while a different student of equal academic ability taking the Texas Higher Education Assessment might be placed in a Developmental English class.

"This new test will make sure students are being placed at the right level; there are no inconsistencies from multiple tests," said Brian Hutcheson, coordinator of Academic Foundations at Victoria College.

Hutcheson said only a few of Victoria College's incoming freshmen have taken the TSI Assessment this semester, with the rest under the old placement system.

While TSI Assessment test-takers are placed in the appropriate college levels, more long-term results won't be known until the spring, when more students take the test, Hutcheson said.

Hutcheson said that one of the positive aspects of the TSI Assessment is that students must complete a pre-assessment activity. This introduces the three components of the test (reading, writing and math) and offers practice questions and feedback of success.

Student scores determine if they are college-ready or if they need developmental education courses or Adult Basic Education courses.

Exemptions from the TSI Assessment include:•  Earning of a degree from a previous institution

•  Completion of prior college courses

•  Labeled TSI-complete by a previous institution

•  Seeking a Level 1 Certificate or not seeking a degree

•  Military experience

•  Earning of certain scores on high school exit exams (Texas Assessment of Academic Skills, Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness)

•  Earning of certain scores on college entrance exams (SAT, ACT)

The TSI Assessment is a statewide standard ensuring students are placed at the same college level courses even after they transfer to a university, Hutcheson added.

For more information on the TSI Assessment, contact Victoria College's Advising & Counseling Services at 361-582-2400 or email

Do you have a question about Victoria College? Contact Eric Jensen, VC Marketing and Communications Specialist, at 361-485-6835 or



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