COVID-19 Update: What to Expect from the TSIA2

Posted by Rose Frezza, Texas OnCourse on Oct 20, 2020 3:29:03 PM

Earlier this week, we hosted a webinar in partnership with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on the TSIA2. We know this is a topic that y’all have a lot of questions about. Nearly 1,000 people registered for the webinar and 500 joined live! We’ll quickly summarize some key differences with the new assessment here. 

Before we jump in, if you’re looking for additional resources on the TSIA, be sure to not miss our TSIA module in the Texas OnCourse Academy. This module is found under Postsecondary Pathways > Entrance and Placement Exams. In the module, you can refresh yourself on:

  • Which students need to take the TSIA
  • What subject areas are included in the assessment
  • How to assist your students and families with the TSIA registration process
  • How to identify TSIA dual credit requirements
  • What information should be shared with students and families about the TSIA completion process

Explore the TSIA in the Academy

A quick disclaimer from the Coordinating Board: Test development is in its final stage, so while major changes are not anticipated, details may differ slightly from those presented here. In particular, college readiness benchmarks are subject to board approval soon  and have not been finalized.

The launch date for the TSIA2 is january 11, 2021. Scores from BOTH the TSIA and TSIA2 are valid for five years from the date of testing. The testing experience will closely mirror the TSIA for your students.

Just like the TSIA, each subject area of the TSIA2 will include a college readiness classification test, or CRC. If your student does not demonstrate college readiness via the CRC, they will proceed to a diagnostic test. 

Scores will operate a lot like the current assessment, though the CRC scores will likely start with a nine rather than a three to prevent confusion regarding which version of the test your student took. The diagnostic test range will remain one through six, and the essay will still be graded one through eight.

Here are a few proposed changes to expect with the TSIA2:

  1. The number of subject areas has reduced from three to two. The TSIA includes the subject areas of math, reading, and writing. The TSIA2 will include math and one section encompassing English, language arts, and reading, which is typically called ELAR.
  2. The math content area will have a more balanced focus on a variety of math reasoning skills and less of a heavy reliance on algebra. The CRC and diagnostic portions of the math content area are also more in alignment, sharing an item pool. This means that you’ll be far less likely to have students scoring poorly on the CRC but highly on the diagnostic.
  3. Students will have a second-chance opportunity to demonstrate college readiness in math. If they are directed to the diagnostic, they can demonstrate readiness by scoring a six. 
  4. For the ELAR section, students will need to achieve a five on the essay to demonstrate readiness. On the TSIA, this benchmark is a four. As with the TSIA currently, students have a second-chance opportunity to demonstrate college readiness in ELAR if they score a five on the diagnostic. 
  5. Finally, the cost of the test has also decreased from $14 for the full TSIA to $11.48 for the full TSIA2.

Institutional administrators will need to participate in four required trainings for the TSIA2. These training sessions are now virtual. If this applies to you, you need to complete all four to receive certification, and you’ll need to recertify each year. This is required for compliance if you’re an institutional administrator!

Finally, the Coordinating Board is planning to provide additional documentation to the field soon. As a reminder, college readiness benchmarks are subject to board approval soon and have not been finalized. In November, you can expect the test specifications. A student brochure, score interpretation document, and technical manual will be available in January 2021. The Coordinating Board is hoping to get that documentation out prior to the release of the assessment. As always, we will keep you informed as these documents come out. Be sure you’re subscribed to our emails for any updates.

Please note: there has been an update to the information provided during the recording of this email. The TSIA2 blueprint document will not be available until April 2021.

NOTE: This is a transcript of a Facebook Live video that aired on 10/15/20.

Topics: Applying to College, College Planning, High School, Entrance Exams