The position of the Center for Mathematics Readiness (CMR) is that several indicators should be used to determine a student’s mathematics coursework entry point.
Standardized mathematics tests known as "placement exams" are used by Texas State University to determine students’ mathematics readiness level and course requirements. In Texas, the placement exams are also used as one way to determine whether or not students have satisfied the Texas Success Initiative requirement.
Placement exams can be complex and the CMR strives to help students find all the information they need regarding the primary mathematics placement exam administered during orientation.
Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Office:
The TSI Office at Texas State University-San Marcos
is responsible for assisting those students that are found to not be college ready in reading, writing, and mathematics. This Office is charged with assisting all students to become college ready and to help prepare these students to be successful at Texas State.
The math placement exams used at Texas State University-San Marcos are TSI approved. This means that these tests can be used for placement of college students into the appropriate mathematics class. This includes placement into the Developmental Mathematics courses Math 1300 (Pre-College Algebra or Elementary Algebra) and Math 1311 (Basic Mathematics or Intermediate Algebra), as well as the college credited courses, Math 1315 (College Algebra), Math 1317 (Trigonometry), and several other mathematics courses. For more information about the TSI Program at Texas State University please go to this website: http://www.txstate.edu/tsip/
The THEA Test is the only assessment developed specifically to evaluate the readiness of students for college-level coursework in Texas. It was developed by the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson through a rigorous review and approval process supported by skilled and experienced Texas educators. All THEA Test questions have been reviewed by committees of Texas educators to ensure content accuracy and to prevent potential bias.
The Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) Test was approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, under Senate Bill 286, Texas Education Code, Section 51.3062: Texas Success Initiative, for use by Texas institutions of higher education as an assessment instrument to evaluate incoming students. It provides the diagnostic data required by this legislation; and its content is the same as that of the former TASP Test.
Source: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, (2012). http://www.txstate.edu/trec/studentTesting/placementandReadiness/quickthea.html
COMPASS and Accuplacer Exam Description:
The Computer Adaptive Placement Assessment and Support System (COMPASS) and Accuplacer tests assess skills in reading, writing, and mathematics for students entering the college environment. Both of these tests are the testing instruments used primarily for mathematics placement during orientation at Texas State University. Since these exams are used for placement, it should be noted that students cannot fail the COMPASS or Accuplacer exams.
The COMPASS and Accuplacer examinations take advantage of adaptive testing technology to measure students’ mathematics, reading, and writing skills and to report results immediately. Computer adaptive means that the software used to administer the exam will adjust the difficulty levels of the test to the skill levels of the individual student. In order to determine a measurement of the student’s capabilities, problems that are too hard or too easy are eliminated during testing. When taking either of the tests the individual will be required to answer all questions. You can change your answer while you are still reviewing the question and before you move on to the next question. Once you move on to the next question, you will not be allowed to go back and change the answer to any question previously answered.
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