The new version of the Texas Success Initiative comes out in January. As far as the math goes, there is nothing new on the test. Students will still get a 20 question test, but if they don’t score high enough on that part, they get a second chance to pass it during the diagnostic portion.

If you want to know more about the test, the best place to go is to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. This site is full of information. The specific TSI part is hard to find, so click here and you’ll go right to it.

Why should high school English and math teachers be interested in this? Students must pass the TSIA to take college English and math classes. This includes dual credit math and English classes. The only way students do not have to take the TSIA is if they score high on the SAT or ACT before they are starting their college-level classes.

The math portion covers 4 main areas:

Quantitative Reasoning

Algebraic Reasoning

Geometric and Spatial Reasoning

Probabilistic and Statistical Reasoning

I’ve created 6 practice sheets that mimic the College Ready portion of the test which is the 20 question test. Each practice sheet has 20 questions. The first 6 cover quantitative reasoning, the next 7 cover algebraic reasoning, the next 3 over geometric and spatial reasoning and the last 4 cover probabilistic and statistical reasoning. If your students struggle on any part of them, then I have other TSI resources that will help them further.

Here’s a pic of one of the sheets:

If you are not a Texas teacher and just need some good overall reviews for your ACCUPLACER class or your junior or senior math classes, these practice sheets would come in handy!

Go check this resource out or if you are interested in getting all the TSI materials, then check out the bundle!

High School teachers and their students should be aware of the ins and outs of both the SAT and ACT admissions exams. Both of these exams are used by colleges and universities to decide if a student is eligible to be admitted into their institution. My goal as a high school math teacher is to be aware of the testing dates and keep my students practicing the skills needed to be successful on either or both of these tests. For the upcoming year, here are the testing dates for both exams during the 2020 – 2021 testing season:

SAT

ACT

Aug 29

Sept 13(SAT In School), 26

Sept 12, 13, 19

Oct 3, 14(PSAT/SAT In School)

Oct 10, 17, 24, 25

Nov 7

Dec 5

Dec 12

Feb 6

March 13

March (Possible In School Dates)

April (Possible In School Dates), 17

May 8

June 5

June 12

July 17

Admissions Testing for 2020-2021 Season

When a student asks me which one they should take, I always say both. Some students do much better on one of them than the other. The students should also think about which colleges they are applying and look at the requirements to help them decide which test to take. More urban high schools are paying for students to take the tests during the school day. This is an awesome opportunity and the students should take advantage. Another thing for teachers to keep in mind is that 11th grade students have an opportunity for recognition and scholarships through the National Merit Scholarship if they do well on the PSAT in October.

If you’re wondering how the SAT and ACT math portions compare, take a look at my chart below:

SAT

ACT

2 Sections of Math: No Calculator – 25 minutes (20 questions) Calculator – 55 minutes (38 questions)

1 Section of Math: 60 minutes – 60 Questions A calculator can be used on the exam.

78% Multiple Choice with 4 Choices 22% of the Questions are Grid-in

100% Multiple Choice with 5 Choices

Problems fall into 4 Categories: 1) Heart of Algebra – linear equations and systems. 2) Problem Solving & Data Analysis – being quantitatively literate 3) Passport to Advanced Math – manipulating complex equations 4) Additional Topics – geometry, degrees and radians, trig or other college and career ready topics.

Problems fall into 3 Categories: 1) Preparing for Higher Math a) Number & Quantity b) Algebra c) Functions d) Geometry e) Statistics & Probability 2) Integrating Essential Skills a) Synthesizing and applying understanding to complex problems b) Multi-step c) Non-routine problems d) Understanding connections 3) Modeling – This doubles with one of the other categories. A question can be both “Preparing for Higher Math” and “Modeling” in other words.

Comparing the SAT and ACT Math Portions

Now that you know more about these two exams, it’s time to start thinking about how to prepare your students. Even 9th and 10th graders can take the SAT 8/9 and the SAT 10 if you school chooses to facilitate it. All levels of students need practice over these exams. These tests are not like what students are accustomed to. One of the best ways for a teacher to understand how questions are asked is to take some practice tests. Very quickly you’ll see how you need to up your game in your classes and ask questions in different ways.

In 2016, I became a teacher on an Early College High School Campus. This is when my interest in college readiness soared. I also felt bad that in my previous years I did not give much thought about these tests. In 2016, I was given a class of seniors that had never passed the TSI (comparable to the ACCUPLACER). I had no resources, so I started researching and soon found out that I was going to need to create my own. Once I got most of my students to pass the TSI, I began preparing them for the ACT and SAT. Again, I had to create my own lessons. I’m happy to say that I’ve got all of these resources in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I’ve got them in various forms. You can purchase bundles or individual lessons. I’m still enjoying creating these resources and I’m adding things as I go. My current project is ACT bellringers. I’m also adding distance learning resources so that no matter your situation, you can find what you need.

I’m glad you made it here. This shows that you are invested in your students. They rely on us to use our knowledge to advance their knowledge! I wish you and your students success and a happy future. Please check out my resources if you are limited on what you have available!

I’ve put together a set of reviews both in PDF form and Digital Form for College Readiness Assessments. The reason for creating this resource is because I started teaching at an Early College High School about 5 years ago and I had no resources for my students to prepare them. I’m in Texas, so my students take the TSI. It is very similar to the ACCUPLACER. The purpose of the test is to see if students are ready to take a college math class or a college English class, but of course I’m focused on the math portion of the test. I found that students struggled on the test and needed more help. I decided to break it into 7 parts:

All 7 Packets come in a bundle AND I’ve started creating a distance learning version in a Google Sheets format. I’m over halfway finished with this bundle. This bundle also includes some Google Forms quizzes that cover each of the packets. These quizzes come separately too so they can be purchased with the PDF versions as well.

When you think of college entrance exams, I’m sure the SAT, PSAT and ACT come to mind. More high schools are offering these tests during school. Some students will take these tests 2 or 3 times or more. Why? Because they need a certain score to gain entrance into a school or to apply for a scholarship. The PSAT is a nice warm up to help students know where they stand before they take the real thing.

Every October, schools offer the PSAT/NMSQT to their juniors. Although sophomores can also take it , only the junior scores count toward the National Merit Scholarship competition. Schools are also starting to offer the PSAT 8/9 (for 8th and 9th graders) and PSAT 10 (this is the regular PSAT, but does not qualify for the National Merit Scholarship competition).

It’s good that schools are offering these tests to their students so they can see the format of this test and the way questions are asked. The SAT is a very important test for students planning on going to college. Colleges use the SAT (and/or ACT) to make admission decisions which makes these tests very important for students that want to go to a certain school.

The ACT is another college entrance exam. Some schools are offering this test during the school year to their juniors. The ACT is different and has a science section where the SAT does not. Again, this test requires practice and there is no pre-test like the SAT.

There are a couple of more tests worth mentioning. Nowadays, colleges want students to take a college readiness test to see if students have the skills to start taking college courses. The ACCUPLACER is used by many states. Texas has their own college readiness test called the TSI. Both the ACCUPLACER and TSI are similar. Students scores will determine if they are able to start their English and Math courses on level or if they will need to take some remedial classes first. The ACCUPLACER and the TSI can be taken as early as the 9th grade and in some cases, earlier. Early College High Schools have their students take the college ready tests the summer before their 9th grade year to give them plenty of time to retake them until they pass.

I’ve been teaching high school math for 30+ years, and it was not until I became a teacher at an Early College High School that I became fully aware of all the tests students take. I realized that I needed to be the one to help them get to where they need to be. I know how important it is for high school teachers to help incorporate college entrance and college readiness practice into their curriculum, especially math teachers. I’ve spent a lot of time creating many resources to do just this.

Below, you will find links that will take you to my Teachers Pay Teachers Store where I sell these resources. There are many options, but the option that I recommend if you are planning on doing a ton of review is the Math Test Prep Bundle for College Entrance. It contains the SAT Bundle, ACT Bundle and a TSI/ACCUPLACER Bundle that you see below:

3 Reviews – 86 Questions

6 Reviews – Worksheets, Bellringers and a 5 Week PSAT Plan.

7 Reviews!

I’ve recently started a digital version of the TSI/ACCUPLACER College Readiness Bundle (this is the exact same, but for a digital classroom setting). It is incomplete, but will be finished by the start of the next school year.

It is so important that math teachers take the time to prepare students for their future. Start making a plan now on how to meet the needs of your students. We all have different situations, but I’m sure you can find a way to include study material that will increase your students’ chances of success on college entrance exams and college readiness exams. Good Luck!