Frequently Asked Questions
What is TSI?
TSI is a computerized assessment test in reading, writing and math.
How long does it take to complete the assessment test?
Allow approximately 3.5 hours to complete the entire assessment. A timed writing sample (one-hour maximum) is also a mandatory part of the assessment.
How many questions are on the test?
TSI asks a fixed number of questions in each area of the test. There are 20 questions each in the writing (sentence skills) and reading section, 17 questions in arithmetic, 12 questions in elementary algebra and 20 questions in college-level math.
Should students bring anything with them to the test?
Students need to know their Social Security and/or their DCCCD ID number. The use of calculators, cellular devices, dictionaries, notes, textbooks or any other reference/resource materials are not permitted.
When should students complete their TSI assessment?
Students must complete placement testing before meeting with their academic advisor and prior to registering for classes.
What does it mean that TSI is an "adaptive" test?
Each test is adaptive. This means that the computer automatically determines which questions are presented to each individual based on their responses to prior questions. This technique selects just the right questions to ask without being too easy or too difficult. Each test is un-timed so the individual can give each question as much thought as needed. However, once the answer has been selected and confirmed, there is no going back to that question.
Should students review?
Yes. Reviewing is an excellent way to refresh basic math, reading and writing skills. Many students find SAT or GED review books helpful.
When do students get their results?
Results will be provided upon completion of the test along with information about the next steps required in order to register for classes. The academic advisor will explain the test results and make recommendations based on the test scores and selected major.
What does it cost to take TSI?
The initial test is free. After the initial test, the fee is $10 for each section of the test the student completes. The student must obtain a retest referral form from an advisor and pay the fee(s) prior to testing.
NOTE: In keeping with campus policy, children are not permitted in the Testing Center, nor are they allowed to be left unattended anywhere on campus.
Important test taking information:
- Be well rested and eat properly prior to testing.
- Take your time and take breaks from testing in order to remain focused and attentive to the questions.
- Read all directions and questions completely and carefully. Remember that you must answer each question as it is given to you and you cannot change an answer once you have confirmed it.
To see a sample/practice test, follow the instructions below:
- On your web browser in the address box, enter: www.dcccd.edu
- Click on Future Students
- Click on Admissions and Registration
- Click on Assessment Testing
- Click on Practice Test
- Choose TSI and read the instructions, then
- Click on Take the TSI Practice Test and choose which test you'd like to take.