TSI English Language Arts and Reading (ELAR) Practice Test

Are you taking your education to the next level and planning to enter a college degree program? Do you live in Texas? If you answered “Yes” to both questions, you may be required to take a college readiness exam call the Texas Success Initiative Assessment 2.0, or TSIA2. The TSIA2 helps to identify your weak and strong points in Mathematics, English Language Arts and Reading, and Essay writing compared to the level of work required in college.

Some students struggle particularly in the English Language Arts and Reading, or ELAR, content area. Perhaps a better understanding of this portion of the test would help. Read on to learn more about the ELAR Content Area of the TSIA2.


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Does everyone entering college take the TSIA2 ELAR?

The TSIA2 is intended for college-bound students who haven’t yet shown the ability to handle a college-level curriculum. To show readiness and become exempt from the exam means achieving one of the following:

  • Sufficient score on your SAT English, ACT English section, or Algebra II STAAR exam
  • Finished a high school College Preparatory course or college-level courses
  • Earning a Level-One certificate program
  • Serving or have served in the military
  • Have a TSIA2 score that is no more than five years old

Your high school counselor, dual credit advisor, or college advisor will be able to help you to determine whether you have satisfied the exemption requirement.

Where can I take the TSI?

Texas institutions of higher learning in Texas offer a free practice version of the TSI to see how new students might perform on the full examination. No school will administer the actual TSI until a student completes the pretest. Testing sites schedule the TSI, advise prospective students of their pretest scores, and explain how the scores determine a student’s enrollment in college-level or remedial math and English classes. Those with low marks on the pretest are counseled to study before they attempt the full TSI.

How is the TSI administered?

All state colleges and universities make the TSI available for a fee after a pretest is completed. There are no time limits for the TSI, but test-takers typically need three to four hours to complete the reading, writing, and mathematics sections. The TSI is delivered and scored by computer, so test takers receive a unique set of questions, adjusted to the performance level at which each student is most successful. Testing staff communicate the results of the TSI soon after the test is complete and advise future students of the classes that are best suited to their skill level.

How do I register for the test?

Have you received a notice explaining that you are required to take the TSIA2 for ELAR? That’s how the process begins. Follow the instructions provided, which should include visiting with your school counselor or college advisor to notify them that you want to register. The counselor will provide information and the form needed to take the exam.

Fill out the form and submit it with the fee payment, if required. The testing fee may be required from you, or your school district might pay, depending on its policy.

After you have registered, you can schedule the Pre-Assessment Activity with your counselor or advisor. Upon completing the mandatory activity and reviewing the feedback provided, you’ll have enough information to decide when you want to schedule the CRC. Once again, your counselor or advisor can help you with scheduling information.

Sometimes, school districts offer the TSIA2 on their campuses. Another place you may be told to take the test is at your university’s testing site. Follow the instructions provided to you. You’ll likely spend a few hours taking the test. If you don’t finish it in the first session, you can save your work and return to continue it. Test completion is due within 14 days of starting, except for the Essay Writing test, which is due on the same day that it is started.

What’s on the ELAR content area exam?

When you register for the TSIA2, including the ELAR Content Area, you will potentially complete three parts of this computer-based assessment. All parts of the exam are equally important for different reasons. The Pre-Assessment Activity Scheduling a TSIA2 date requires first completing the Pre-Assessment Activity, a helpful tool to aid your TSIA2 preparation. Your school will provide the activity, which features sections on test information and importance; community and college resources; options for development education, should you need it; and practice questions. The feedback offered on the practice questions can pinpoint early topics on the ELAR in need of extra study. The TSIA2 ELAR Content Area  The ELAR section contains 30 questions over its two content categories and four subcategories. ELAR tests on reading, language, and writing knowledge and skills. In the multiple-choice reading-focused content category of the test, you will find the following subcategories:

  • Literary text analysis tests on explicit information, inferences, the author’s craft, and vocabulary
  • Informational text analysis and synthesis includes the examination of main ideas and supporting details, inferences (single-passage), the author’s craft, vocabulary, and synthesis (paired argumentative passages)

The writing-focused content category involves the act of writing. Its two subcategories are:

  • Essay revision and editing tests on essay development, organization, effective language use, and standard English conventions
  • Sentence revision, editing, and completion includes the examination of conventions of grammar, conventions of usage, and conventions of punctuation

The Diagnostic Test Think of the diagnostic test as your second-chance exam. If you do not score high enough to indicate that you’re ready for college-level work, the Diagnostic Test will begin immediately after your CRC score is calculated. The multiple-choice questions reflect the same types of questions that are on the ELAR CRC. When you complete the Diagnostic Test, you will get a score in one of the following categories:

  • Basic
  • Proficient
  • Advanced

The report will identify your strengths and weaknesses in the ELAR content. Your college advisor will use your diagnostic report to determine if you need to complete developmental courses or to determine your course placement. You also have the option to retake the exam according to the guidelines of the administering school. Lastly, the report will include a Learning Locator Code (LLC), enabling access to an online library of resources, which are especially useful if you plan to retake the test.

How do I know if I can be placed in college level courses?

When you complete the TSIA2, your score will be provided immediately. If you score a 945-990 on the ELAR CRC Test and at least a 5 on the Essay Test, your score is good enough that you will not need to continue to the Diagnostic Test. If you score below 945 and complete the ELAR Diagnostic Test, the benchmark score is 5 or 6 and an Essay Test score of at least 5. At this point, you will receive your rating of basic, proficient, or advanced, along with additional feedback. The same will occur if you take the test again at another time.

When you have your score and choose to submit it to your college of choice, your freshman advisor will review your score along with your other academic records, such as your GPA and SAT or ACT scores. They will also review your major and will notify you of placement options or how to find resources for any necessary remedial work.

How can Mometrix help me study for the TSI?

Repeated practice testing is the ideal way to prepare for the TSI. Familiarity with the format of the questions builds the test takers’ confidence by helping them to anticipate the kinds of questions that appear on the test, when to guess the answer, and how to cope with test anxiety.

The Texas-based Mometrix company offers the best TSI review on the market. Mometrix materials do not waste time rehashing high school lessons. The Mometrix TSI Assessments Secrets Study Guide and TSI Flashcards for quick study focus solely on the TSI testing experience, replicating the vocabulary and levels of difficulty found in the actual TSI. The Mometrix TSI Online Course offers lessons, video reviews, practice tests, and more in a mobile-friendly format.

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Is TSI preparation worth my time and effort?

A successful TSI performance is an on-ramp to a career filled with opportunities and rewards. Students who prepare for the TSI are more likely to avoid remedial classes and complete their college degree more quickly. A college degree is worth $1 million more in lifetime earnings than a high school diploma. College graduates live longer, healthier lives. Diligent study plus Mometrix products can guide you to a brighter future.

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by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: June 24, 2022