Helping students reach their potential
STAAR / ISEE / TSI
In addition to our programs designed for the ACT & SAT, we offer tutoring programs focused on the STARR, ISE, and TSI tests.
Using recently released tests and our tailored curriculum, we help each student reach his or her test goals. Whether those goals include math, science, English, or history, we can help!
Message us about coming in for an evaluation today.
private school entrance exam
ISEE TEST Preparation
The Independent School Entrance Examination (ISEE) assesses students for admission into private middle schools and high schools. If you are looking to attend an elite private middle or high school in the DFW area, your student will need to do well on this test.
The ISEE has a total of four different levels. Each student’s exam level is determined by the grade to which the student is applying for admissions, not their current grade. The subjects, number of questions, and time allowed vary by each level.
- Primary Level: Grades 4 and below.
- Lower Level: Grades 5 & 6.
- Middle Level: Grades 7 & 8.
- Upper Level: All high school students (grades 9, 10, 11, & 12).
What is on the ISEE?
The ISEE is a private school entrance exam. It helps students assess their readiness for private schools. They cover Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics Achievement, and an unscored essay that is sent to the schools to which you have applied. The ISEE has several testing options, including online, paper-based, and at-home administrations. ISEE is the most flexible assessment option for select families.
The ISEE differs from most other admissions tests because it measures how the student thinks, not just what the student knows.
How do I register for the ISEE?
Registration can be done online, which is the fastest and easiest way to secure a testing date. You will create an account in doing so that will allow you to manage testing for multiple students and multiple schools, including their profile information, accommodations, testing dates, and score reports.
Where do I go to take an ISEE exam?
You can access an ISEE test whenever and however is most convenient for you, including in-person and remote testing.
How many attempts can I have to get the score I want?
Each student is allowed to take or retake the ISEE up to three times a year; however, it can only be taken once per season. There are three seasons available for the ISEE test.
Are incorrect answers penalized?
No, they are not. The objective of this is to encourage students to use their intuition, identify contextual clues, and generate an educated guess rather than encouraging students to skip questions.
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Here is a list of area schools that require or accept the ISEE:
All Saints’ Episcopal School
Cambridge School of Dallas
Coram Deo Academy
Covenant Christian Academy
Episcopal School of Dallas
First Baptist Academy
Fort Worth Country Day
John Paul II
Prestonwood Christian Academy
Prince of Peace
School for the Talented and Gifted at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center
St. John’s Episcopal
The Covenant School
Trinity Christian Academy
Texas State Testing Program
STAAR TEST Preparation
The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) program was implemented in the spring of 2012, and is the annual state testing program for assessing each student’s knowledge of the following:
- Reading and Mathematics, grades 3–8
- Science at grades 5 and 8
- Social Studies at grade 8
- End-of-Course (EOC) assessments for English I, English II, Algebra I, Biology, and U.S History.
For more information on TEKS and what is deemed essential knowledge, visit the Texas Education Agency (TEA) curriculum standards.
College Course Level Assessment Examination
TSI Test Preparation
The Texas Success Initiative (TSI) is an assessment program that measures students’ readiness for college-level courses, specifically in writing, reading, and math. Universities use this test to place students into suitable courses and help determine if any interventions are necessary.
The TSI exam comprises of multiple-choice questions. Students may also be asked to write a short five-paragraph persuasive essay.
Four Subjects Assessed by TSI
#1 Mathematics Overview:
The TSI math section focuses on real-world math and includes 20 math problems. There are ten math problems on the diagnostic exam version. An online calculator is available, but calculators are not allowed on the tests.
The mathematical topics included are elementary algebra & functions, intermediate algebra & functions, geometry & measurement, data analysis, statistics, and probability.
Elementary Algebra & Functions Intermediate Algebra & Functions
Geometry & Measurement Data Analysis Statistics & Probability
#2 Reading Overview:
The reading section of the TSI will evaluate your ability to understand written passages, both in terms of comprehension and reasoning. One of the essential skills necessary for passing the test is identifying which words convey information and which do not.
The topics you will be tested on for the TSI exam include literary analysis, main ideas and supporting details, inferences in text, and the author’s use of language.
literary analysis main ideas & supporting details
inferences in a text author’s use of language
#3 Writing Overview:
The writing section of the TSI exam assesses your ability to identify and correct errors in written text. Similar to the previous reading exam, questions are multiple-choice. There are approximately 20 questions on the placement test but only 10-12 questions on the diagnostic test.
Sentence structure, agreement, essay revision, and sentence logic are all topics included in the writing portion of the TSI.
essay revision agreement
sentence structure sentence logic
#4 Essay Overview:
TSI test takers may be asked to write a 300 to 600-word essay (five paragraphs). The writing prompt is either a controversial topic or an item of current interest. Presenting and supporting the main idea and how well developed the main idea is with specific examples and supporting details are how the student will be evaluated.
The essay is a persuasive essay between 300 and 600 words long (five paragraphs)
The essay writing prompt will be either a controversial topic or an item of current interest
Who needs to take the TSI exam?
All college students in Texas are required to take the TSI exemption test, but there are a few exceptions. The most common ones are granted for:
ACT Scores | Obtaining a composite score of 23 or higher, including a minimum score of 19 on each section (English and math).
SAT Scores | obtaining a combined verbal and math score of 1070 or higher, with a minimum score of 500 on both sections.
TAKS Scores | obtaining a combined score of 2200 (math and English language arts) with at least a 3 or higher on the writing section.
Veteran Status | status of active duty, veteran, or reserves for three years before college enrollment.
Transfer Students | if you have already completed a college-level course satisfactorily.
Certificate Students | you are enrolled in certificate programs at a public institution for one year or less.
To find out more about TSI exemptions, visit the official TSI website.
Each subject section of the TSI test is scored independently. Students must achieve specific “college ready” scores in each subject tested to avoid the requirement of taking developmental education or accelerated intervention coursework. To view the latest passing score qualifications, view TEA’s performance reporting guide here.
What are the benefits of taking TSI practice tests?
One of the most efficient study strategies you can use to prepare for your upcoming TSI exam is taking multiple practice tests. A short list of the advantages to taking a couple of “warm-up” TSI exams include:
Improve Problem-Solving Abilities | To do well on the TSI exam, especially in the math section, you need to solve problems. Our tutors will assist you in ensuring you understand the concepts needed to complete each section of the test.
Understanding the Test Format | Standardized exams all have a unique structure to access precise knowledge and readiness of the student. Taking practice tests helps you become familiar with the test style and structure; thus, increasing your confidence.
Identifying Where You Should Focus Your Studying Efforts | Students waste considerable time and effort on material they already know. However, it does not offer much benefit to the actual assessment of the exam. Either through endless practice testing or guided direction from an experienced tutor, identifying areas to concentrate on will reduce wasted time and increase your possible score outcome.