Taking the TSI
by Michelle Wilson
On August 26, 2013, I had the honor of being the very first Cedar Valley College student to take the new TSI Assessment test. I passed the test with flying colors, and even managed to test out of one of my classes. This wasn't an easy task, even with the bit of preparation of studying for two days.
This test took me seven hours and twenty-seven minutes to complete. I took my time of course. The TSI was absolutely the longest test I've ever taken in my entire life. But I have to admit, I preferred it over the SAT. The fact that the test wasn't timed is the best feature.
The night before taking the TSI, I tossed and turned constantly. I probably received about two to three hours of rest, which wasn't a good thing at all. As if the lack of sleep wasn't bad enough, I didn't eat breakfast before testing. Assuming the test wouldn't be long, I entered the testing center thinking sleep deprivation and hunger wouldn't affect my test taking. I was definitely wrong for thinking such a thing.
I was the very first student to enter the testing center; it remained that way for at least an hour or two. The first part was the most difficult. The essay portion of the test doesn't count the words for you, so you have to count every single word yourself. The essay length is required to be 300-600 words long, and I pushed myself to type 510 words.
After the essay portion came the math portion. I dedicated two days of studying for the math. The note taking and YouTube videos were extremely helpful. Sleepiness and hunger were the only roadblocks that stood between me and my ultimate goal of doing my very best. I stumbled upon a few math problems that gave me a hard time. Not because I didn't know how to work them, but because I felt too stressed and overwhelmed to remember.
After the mathematics came the computer literacy portion. With me being a former web designer, this section was a walk in the park, for the most part. I worked my way through patiently and managed to score high enough to test out of the Introduction to Computer class.
After receiving my results, I had a fear that I wouldn't do well but passed everything successfully, and I don't have to take any developmental courses. So the moral of the story is when preparing for a big test you need four things. Those four things are: prayer, sleep, good meals, and patience. I'm very grateful for the supportive test instructors. With their smiles, looks of encouragement, and kind words, anything is possible.