Testing Policies for Students
- Student must provide a current photo ID.
- Children are not allowed in the Testing Center. Children cannot be left unattended in the lobby area. (West Dallas Center staff members are required to call campus police if children are left unattended.)
- If the student is not taking a college entrance exam, the student should know the instructor’s name, course number, section number and test/quiz number.
- Students should bring appropriate items for testing as designated by the instructor (Scantron, pencil, pen, etc.). Testing Center provides scratch/note paper, graph paper and calculators if the instructor has indicated the item is needed for the exam.
- Cell phones and electronic devices must be turned off and locked in lockers before entering the testing area.
- Food and drink are not allowed in the testing room.
- All personal materials must be placed in assigned lockers located across the hall before testing.
Special Needs Guidelines
The Testing Center operates in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. All testing for special needs will be done only after the student has gone through the Accessibility Services Office. Student must provide proof of disability. Students requiring special needs examination to meet TSI requirements may be administered an alternative TSI-approved exam. This is a paper and pencil, hand scored exam. A referral from the Accessibility Services Office is required. Plan at least two weeks for the return of your scores. There is no charge for this initial examination.
Types of Assessments Offered at the West Dallas Center
- Texas Success Initiative (reading, writing, math and computer-skills proficiency tests)
- Compass ESL
- TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education)
- Work Keys
Who Must Assess?
All students prior to enrolling in college-level coursework must assess with a state-approved assessment. West Dallas Center offers the TSI-A (a computerized version of a state-approved assessment).
In April 2013, a new set of requirements for enrollment into public colleges in Texas became law. The program, called Texas Success Initiative, TSI, replaced all THEA requirements. The state of Texas has mandated that every nonexempt student entering a public college or university must complete the TSI Assessment. A Pre-Assessment Activity, prior to taking the TSI Assessment, is required. Students must complete the TSI Pre-Assessment Activity and then take the TSI Assessment test before starting college.
The Texas Success Initiative or TSI Assessment requires assessment, remediation when necessary and advising of students who attend a public college or university in Texas. The TSI Assessment measures your skills in writing, reading and math. Your writing skills are assessed in two possible parts, on multiple choice sentence structure, and if needed, a written essay. The TSI assessment is adaptive and untimed. Please allow a minimum of 4-5 hours to complete the assessment. The entire test is computerized. It is not a paper and pencil test - even for the writing section.
Nearly all students are required to take exams before they are allowed to enroll in college courses. Texas has mandated the TSI assessment as the primary assessment for enrollment and placement. The West Dallas Center allows as many attempts on retests for the TSI Assessment as students would like; at cost. No enrollment or placement test will be given without a signed Referral form. Referral forms can be obtained by speaking to an advisor on the first floor.
Mandatory Pre-Assessment Activity
Students must participate in a Pre-Assessment Activity before taking the TSI Assessment. Colleges or universities are required to provide the Pre-Assessment Activity and to document students’ participation. Students will not be allowed to take the TSI Assessment until they have completed the Pre-Assessment activity.
The activity includes the following:
- An explanation of the importance of the TSI Assessment.
- Practice test questions and feedback.
- An explanation of all of the developmental education options available to students who don’t meet the minimum passing standard.
- Information on campus and community resources that will help students to succeed in college.
Students should take advantage of free sample questions that are designed to familiarize them with the types of questions asked on the TSI Assessment. To access the full sample questions document, visit
Also … the TSI Assessment Study Guide Web App
The TSI Assessment Study Guide web app is an extension of the popular ACCUPLACER iPhone app but customized to the content specifications of the TSI Assessment. You can practice in an online, interactive environment and get immediate feedback on your performance in the form of a detailed rationale (learn as you go!) or through a sample test where the feedback is saved until the end.
Instructional Test Guidelines
Testing rooms are monitored by cameras and other computer screen monitoring software. Once you have started a test, you will not be allowed to leave and reenter the test room, except in the case of an extreme emergency. If this does happen, your test will be taken and marked to indicate that you left the room. It will not be returned to you. Your instructor will be notified.
If it is determined that you have used unauthorized materials at your desk or that you are looking at a test other than your own, your test will be taken from you. Your academic records may be immediately blocked, and your instructor and other appropriate personnel will be notified.