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Guidelines


Guidelines
 
ECC Testing Center testing rooms are monitored by cameras and other computer screen monitoring software.
  • A picture ID will be required
  • Children are not allowed in the testing room, and they cannot be left unattended in the Testing Center area.
  • Food and drink are not allowed in the testing room.
  • Cell phones and electronic devices must be turned off and locked in ECC Testing Center lockers before entering the testing area.
  • Lockers are located in the hall. All personal materials must be placed there before you can test.
  • Once you enter the testing rooms, you cannot leave and return.
  • No enrollment or placement test will be given without a signed Referral Form.
TSI Exemptions/Waivers
All students must have TSI assessment scores on file prior to enrolling for college-level courses.  Prior to any student taking the TSI assessment, a Pre-Assessment Activity (PAA) and practice test must be completed. Meeting any of the following conditions may exempt or waive a student from the TSI requirements.

A.  Academic exemptions are based on demonstrated college readiness by subject area.
  1. For a period of five (5) years from the date of testing, a student who is tested and performs at or above the following standards is exempt:
  • ACT: Composite score of 23 with a minimum of 19 on the English test and/or the mathematics tests shall be exempt for both the reading and writing sections of the TSI Assessment, and /or 19 on the mathematics tests shall be exempt for the mathematics section of the TSI Assessment.
  • SAT Testing prior to March 5, 2016—Students who took the SAT test prior to March 5, 2016 may use the following scores: Combined critical reading (formerly “verbal”) and mathematics score of 1070 with a minimum of 500 on the critical reading test shall be exempt for both reading and writing sections of the TSI, and/or 500 on the mathematics tests shall be exempt for the mathematics section of the TSI Assessment.
  • SAT Testing administered on or after March 5, 2016—a minimum score of 480 on the Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) test shall be exempt for both reading and writing sections of the TSI Assessment; a minimum score of 530 on the mathematics test shall be exempt for the mathematics section of the TSI Assessment. There is no combined score.
Mixing or combining scores from the SAT administered prior to March 2016 and the SAT administered on or after March 5, 2016 is not allowable.
The newly-approved scores became effective on August 10, 2016.

  1.  For a period of five (5) years from the date of testing, a student who is tested and performs on the eleventh grade exit-level Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) with a minimum scale score of 2200 on the math section and/or a minimum scale score of 2200 on the English Language Arts section with a writing subsection score of at least 3, shall be exempt from the TSI assessment required under this title for those corresponding sections. For more information about Dual Credit and Early College eligibility and testing requirements for course placement, please contact the college’s Dual Credit Office.
  2. STAAR Testing prior to spring 2014—For a period of five (5) years from the date of testing, a student who is tested and performs on the eleventh grade exit-level STAAR end-of-course (EOC) with a 2000 minimum score (2000 on reading test/2000 on writing test) of Level 2 on the English III shall be exempt from the TSI assessment required for reading and/or writing, relevant to the course. And, a student with a 4000 minimum score of Level 2 on the Algebra II EOC shall be exempt from the TSI assessment required for the mathematics section.
  3. STAAR Testing beginning in spring 2014—For a period of five (5) years from the date of testing, a student who is tested and performs on the eleventh grade exit-level STAAR end-of-course (EOC) with a 4000 minimum score (on the combined reading and writing test) of Level 2 on the English III shall be exempt from the TSI assessment required for reading and writing. A student with a 4000 minimum score of Level 2 on the Algebra II EOC shall be exempt from the TSI assessment required for the mathematics section.
 
B. Non-academic exemptions whereby students are exempt from having to demonstrate college readiness in all subject areas.
  1.  A student who has graduated with an associate or higher degree from an institution of higher education and submits appropriate documentation of degree and official transcript is exempt.
  2.  A student who transfers to the colleges of the DCCCD from a private or independent  institution of higher education or an accredited out-of-state institution of higher education and who has satisfactorily completed at least three hours of college-level Core-related coursework with a grade of "C" or better is exempt. An official transcript must be submitted.
  3.  A student who has previously attended any accredited Texas public institution of higher education and has been determined by that institution to have met TSI standards is TSI met. For students meeting non-Algebra intensive readiness standards in mathematics, institutions may choose to require additional preparatory coursework/interventions for Algebra intensive courses, including MATH 1314, 1324, 1414 (or their equivalent). Students will be informed of the consequences of successful completion of a mathematics pathways model which results in meeting the mathematics college readiness standard only for specific courses. An official transcript must be submitted.
  4.  A student who is enrolled in a certificate program of one year or less will be waived of TSI requirements (Level One certificates, 42 or fewer semester credit hours). However, students are not exempt from TSI if they take courses that are not included in the Level One certificate.
  5. A student who is serving on active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States, the Texas National Guard, or as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States and has been serving for at least three years preceding enrollment is exempt.
  6. A student who on or after August 1, 1990, was honorably discharged, retired, or released from active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States or the Texas National Guard or service as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States is exempt.
  7. A non-degree seeking or non-certificate-seeking student is waived from TSI requirements.
  8. Students in ESOL programs may be granted an ESOL waiver from TSI testing. The ESOL waiver must be removed after the student attempts 15 hours of ESOL coursework/interventions, or attempts entry-level freshman coursework.
  9. A student who successfully completes a college preparatory course as allowed by Texas Education Agency is exempt for a period of twenty-four (24) months from the date of high school graduation with respect to the content area of the course. In the student’s first year of enrollment in an institution of higher education, the student must enroll in the student’s first college-level course in the exempted content area. This exemption applies only at the institution of higher education that partners with the school district in which the student is enrolled to provide the course. Additionally, an institution of higher education may enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with a partnering institution of higher education to accept the exemption for the college preparatory course.
  10. Any student who has been determined to be exempt in mathematics, reading, and/or writing as outlined above shall not be required to enroll in developmental coursework and/or intervention in the corresponding area of exemption.



Instructional Test Guidelines

Testing Rooms are monitored by cameras and other computer screen monitoring software. Once you have started a test, you will not be allowed to leave and re-enter the test room, except in the case of an extreme emergency. If this does happen, your test will be taken and marked to indicate that you left the room. It will not be returned to you. Your instructor will be notified.

If it is determined that you have used unauthorized materials at your desk or that you are looking at a test other than your own, your test will be taken from you. Your academic records will be immediately blocked, and your instructor and other appropriate personnel will be notified.

TSI Guidelines

In April 2013, a new set of requirements for enrollment into public colleges in Texas became law. The program, called Texas Success Initiative, TSI, replaced all THEA requirements. The state of Texas has mandated that every non-exempt student entering a public college or university must complete the TSI ASSESSMENT. A Pre-Assessment Activity, prior to taking the TSI Assessment, is required. Students must complete the TSI Pre-Assessment Activity and then take the TSI ASSESSMENT test before starting college.

The Texas Success Initiative or TSI ASSESSMENT requires assessment, remediation when necessary and advising of students who attend a public college or university in Texas. The TSI ASSESSMENT measures your skills in writing, reading, and math. Your writing skills are assessed in two possible parts, on multiple choice sentence structure, and if needed, a WRITTEN ESSAY. The TSI assessment is Adaptive and untimed. Please allow a minimum of 4-5 hours to complete the assessment. The entire test is computerized. It is not a paper and pencil test - even for the writing section. 

Nearly all students are required to take exams before they are allowed to enroll in college courses. Texas has mandated the TSI assessment as the primary assessment for enrollment and placement. El Centro College allows as many attempts on retests for the TSI Assessment as students would like; at cost.  

Practice Tests

The following Assessment Practice Tests are provided to assist you in your preparation for the actual tests:
  • ACT
  • TSI Assessment
  • SAT
 
THEA Guidelines

At the present time, El Centro does not administer the THEA.

For more information, visit the THEA website or contact THEA at 512.927.5397.


Special Needs Guidelines

El Centro College Testing Center operates in compliance with the American Disabilities Act.

All Testing for Special Needs students will be done only after they have gone through the Special Needs/Disabilities Services Office.

Those students requiring Special Needs Examination to meet TSI Requirements will be administered the Companion test instead of the TSI Assessment.
This is a paper and pencil exam.
  • A referral from the Disabilities Services Office is required.
  • This exam must be mailed off to the publisher to be scored.
  • Plan at least two weeks for the return of your scores.
  • There is no charge for this examination.