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Companion & TSI Special Format

The COMPANION & TSI Special Format System is an educational advising, course placement, and retention tool developed by the College Board specifically to serve students entering community and technical colleges.
At El Centro's Downtown Testing Center:
  • COMPANION & TSI Special Format testing is not to take precedence over the TSI Assessment.
  • Primarily for special needs students (must be referred by Disability Services).
  • Failure to make the minimum passing scores on the TSI Assessment does not serve as reason or qualify one to be tested with the Special Formats COMPANION Assessment.
  • Math, reading and sentences skills are scored at the El Centro Testing Center.
  • For writing exams, please note that the essay is referred to as the COMPANION essay. However, the TSI Assessment Writeplacer may be utilized in some cases.

Special Format Tests

For students who have a documented disability large print, paper-and-pencil forms have been created. There are two forms for each test, Forms T and V. The large print special format is authorized for use as a pencil/paper option in scenarios where online testing is not available or advisable.

In addition to the large print format, CDs are available so that students can listen to each of the test questions and answer choices. There is one CD for each of the TSI assessment, except for TSI Reading Diagnostic tests (both forms T and V) which is recorded on two CDs.

The Braille versions are available. Tactile graphics are created to aid the visually impaired student with understanding any of the graphs used in the test.
The TSI Assessment special format tests are designed to use the same score scale as the computer-adaptive tests. By using the raw-to-scaled score conversion tables, it is possible to convert special format raw scores to TSI scaled scores.

For content and time limit information, please consult with your Test Center administrators and proctors or you may access the TSI Special Formats Manual at: 

Course Selection and Placement

The Special Formats & COMPANION system can be used to help institutions and students make informed decisions regarding course selection. Students must see Disability Services when taking COMPANION and needing special accommodations. There are detailed guidelines given by THE College Board when administering COMPANION to special needs students (see administration manual).

ADA Compliance Requirements

There are TSI ADA compliant renditions of the TSI Assessment test available in Test Centers across the district. The College Board has developed these, simultaneously, while developing the new TSI exams. The test is called COMPANION & TSI Special Format. They are in paper/pencil format, Larger Print, Compact Disc (allowing for screen magnification and color adjustments) and Braille.
Test Centers are indeed ready to test the Special Needs population of the DCCCD. Test Centers would continue to work in tandem with the Special Needs divisions of our colleges as always, serving those with documented disabilities and who are properly referred to the Test Centers; detailing the specific types of accommodations which are to be provided.
At El Centro’s Test Center, we have 2 large Special Needs test rooms, fully equipped for test-takers and their accommodating readers or scribes. The rooms are equip with the capacity to magnify or to color adjust the screens and the Braille test can be done in a quiet environment. Physically handicapped students’ will find that the spacing is ADA compliant and the entrances and exits are meeting all accessibility requirements. Our West Campus Test Center meets all these standards as well.     
Hence, the test program, the test instrument and the test environment all meet ADA accessibility standards. Go to our Downtown Testing Center website and click on COMPANION & TSI Special Format.