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Alamo Colleges Education Services is a secure portal connecting Faculty, Staff & Students to Academic Resources, Email, and other Online Resources.

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Alamo Colleges' Library Information

St. Philip's College
• MLK Campus Library
• Southwest Campus Library

Why is test preparation important? 

All students who plan to attend college or a university are required to take a college readiness assessment test that is used to determine if you are ready to take college-level courses.

You may be exempt from college readiness testing if you meet minimum testing scores or by other criteria. (View testing exemptions)

Students who have not undergone college readiness assessment testing will be required to take the TSIA. (Learn more about the TSIA). The TSIA is used to determine if you are required to take developmental education (DE) courses in math, reading, and/or writing prior to taking college-level courses. (Learn more about developmental education).

We feel it is very important that you understand the importance of the TSIA and what it is all about. Take the time to review of what to expect when taking the test. Often students take the test unaware of what is being tested. Students who prepare feel less stressed and may perform better. Performing your best on the assessment test is important.

Remember: Preparation is the key to performing well.

Let's hear a few words from our students about testing preparation...


At the Alamo Colleges, we feel that test preparation is key to performing your best on the TSIA.

We encourage you to take advantage of the test prep resources that are available to you.

Test Prep 101

Test Prep 101 is an open access module that provides mathematics, reading, and writing resources and practice quizzes for students to become familiar with TSIA testing content. This content was developed by our faculty.


Our colleges offer workshops and boot camps to students prior to assessment testing. (Learn more about ).

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Test Prep Review

           We want to stress the importance of being prepared for the TSIA.  Test preparation is important and helps you be prepared on what to expect on the TSI Assessment.  If you go test without knowing what you are going to be tested on, chances are you may not do well. If that happens you may have to enroll in developmental courses that do not count as credit or towards your degree.
Take the time to prepare.
The information provided to you on this module serves as a review or refresher. Feel free to take notes as you will have an opportunity to take practice quizzes throughout the process to test your knowledge.

The following...

If you think you may be exempt, please contact an advisor at your institution. For more information on exemptions view here or visit the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) website at 

Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Assessment

The  Texas Success Initiative is a state mandated program that is designed to help determine if you are ready for college-level course work in the general areas of reading, writing and mathematics (Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 4, Subchapter 3). The program will help you know what type of courses or interventions will assist you to be prepared for college level course work.
Students who are not exempt must take the TSI Assessment (TSIA) to determine reading, writing, and mathematics basic skills.
Performing your best on the test will impact the amount of time and tuition cost you will have to spend on preparing for many of Alamo Colleges' programs and courses. Anyone wanting to advance in their developmental course sequence may retest on the TSIA.
Following the TSI Assessment, your goal/major will be used to determine what level (if any) of developmental coursework and/or interventions will be required.
If you are required to take the TSI Assessment, several options are available for you to review and prepare for the test. Spending a short time reviewing information about the test and the type of questions you can expect may assist you in maximizing your performance on the exam.
You will be advised based on the results of your TSI Assessment scores and the courses you plan to take. You will not be denied admission to the Alamo Colleges based on your TSI Assessment scores.
View the TSI Assessment Student Information Brochure.

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College Readiness

Developmental education courses are non-credit courses that do not count towards your certificate or degree. You have to pay for these courses (except for the Refreshers, at this time).

These are the developmental education courses offered at all Alamo Colleges:

  •  Mathematics:
    • MATH 0305-Pre-Algebra
    • MATH 0310-Beginning Algebra
    • MATH 0320-Intermediate Algebra
  • Reading and Writing:  
    • INRW 0305-Integrated Reading and Writing 
    • INRW 0420-Integrated Reading and Writing 

Prior to enrollment in developmental coursework you are required to enroll in Refresher courses that take place before the semester begins. Refresher courses are identified as MATH 0055, INRW 0055, and INRW 0050.

These Refresher courses are at no cost to you and you will be scheduled in them during post-advising. After you complete the TSI Assessment you will receive your scores and an adviser will help you determine if you need to enroll in a Refresher course.

The Refresher courses give you a second opportunity to move into a higher developmental course or a college-level course.

For summer 2014, if you score below college-ready in mathematics, reading and/or writing you will be enrolled in a Math Refresher and/or Integrated Reading and Writing (INRW) Refresher course that is determined by your scores. You will not be able to register for any classes until you complete this course.


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