Two factors that are crucial to your success in any exam are your requirements and your motivation level. Where your requirements are determined by other factors, your motivation is certainly innate. Those who are clear about their aims in life and what they want to achieve are generally more motivated than others are. There are those as well who are not even aware of the scores they require to achieve for fulfilling their ambitions.
Not being aware of the admission requirements of the institution you intend to get educated from is a lame excuse for not accomplishing your aims. It is prudent to understand everything related with the scoring of THEA and brace yourself accordingly. Comprehension of the nitty-gritties of the scoring process makes you focused. You set score targets and consequently strive to achieve them.
Features of THEA Scoring and Corresponding Implications
- The scores of THEA are calculated electronically for its multiple-choice portions. These include the Reading Section, Mathematics Section and the multiple-choice portion of the Writing Section. This leaves little room for error in reporting the score.
- The score of each section is reported on a scale of 100 to 300. The passing score for the Reading and Mathematics sections is 230. For the writing section, it is 220. Thus, the passing score for each section is quite high. This calls for a high level of preparation for taking the exam.
- You have to pass each section to pass the THEA test, failing which you shall have to appear for a retest for the section you cannot clear. Besides, your institution could ask you to retake a test section if your score is not satisfactory, even if you pass the THEA. This implies that the exam holds a lot of challenge. You shall have to achieve a respectable score in each section of the exam, even if it is not related with the course you intend taking up in college.
- The writing sample score varies from 2 to 8. Two readers score the writing sample independently on a 4-point scale. If there is a considerable difference in the scores given by the two readers, then there are other measures taken to score the samples. If the writing sample cannot be scored for any reason then a score ‘U’ is reported. Since two readers score your essay, there is little chance of their assigning a score that you do not deserve. Moreover, your score becomes more reliable when the sample is checked twice.
- You pass the complete writing section if you score 6 or above in the writing sample. You fail the complete writing section if you score 4 or lesser in the writing sample. If you score 5 in the writing sample, your score in the multiple-choice questions of the writing section is determined to decide your pass/fail status. Answering 70% of the multiple-choice questions correctly shall be sufficient to pass the writing section. This implies that the writing sample holds a lot of value. If you are able to exhibit your writing skills well enough, then the multiple-choice portion of the exam does not matter. Thus, you must give high priority to your writing sample while preparing.
Release of THEA Scores
The test scores are released to the candidate, the institutions he intends sending his report to and the test center at which the test is taken. The report is sent two weeks after the test. Score reports are sent to institutions through THEA Test Score Distribution System electronically. You can send the score report to your high school as well, on filling an authorization form at your high school.
The scores cannot be enquired over the telephone, through e-mail, fax or in person. Though you are sent the score report by US mail, you can request your report to be sent by overnight delivery service. You can request additional score reports to be sent to institutions after four weeks of testing, for payment of fee. Test scores may be distributed by the registrar to faculty and staff at the institutions for use in advising, placing, and monitoring student progress in accordance with institutional policies. All the scores received in all the THEA attempts are reported on your score report.
Rescoring: The multiple-choice portions of the tests are scored electronically. You can request the rescoring of the multiple-choice portions of your exam within three months of testing. Two readers check the writing sample and hence there is no provision for rescoring the writing sample.
Canceling your Test Scores: In case you are not satisfied by your performance in the test, you can choose to cancel your score in one or more sections. The Score Cancellation Forms shall have to be submitted before you leave the test center after testing. Your canceling your scores shall be recorded, though no score shall be reported for your attempt. Evaluation Systems, which is responsible for development of THEA, can void your scores in case of misconduct of any sort.
Interpretation and Utility of Scores
The sections of THEA are meant for measuring the following skills in candidates:
Reading Section: The score in this section shows your skills of interpreting word meanings, the main idea presented, the writer’s perspective and relationships among ideas. Your skills of reasoning critically and study skills are also tested in this section.
Mathematics Section: A high score in this section shows abilities to solve word problems, one and two-variable equations and quadratic equations, interpret data and geometric concepts, understand operations with algebraic expressions and functional notation.
Writing Sample: The writing sample score reflects the extent to which you have talent of clear expression, aptness, association, sentence formation, usage and mechanics of language. The score in the multiple-choice portion shows ability to recognize purpose, unity, focus, development, organization, sentence structure etc. in writing.
Colleges grant admission on the basis of the comprehensive performance of students. Your undergraduate GPA, scores in ACT or SAT, recommendation letters, admission essay, record of academic and non-academic achievement etc are considered by colleges to grant admission.
The scores you receive in THEA are used for the following
- For entering a Texas Public College or University: Most colleges and universities in Texas require you to submit THEA scores for admission purposes. There are some colleges however, that do not require THEA as an admission criterion. Check with the college that you intend to attend for this information.
- For Dual Credit or Concurrent Enrollment: Some college courses that grant dual credit of high school and college education can require you to take the THEA as an admission requirement. An academic advisor at your high school shall be able to guide you on this.
- For admission into an Educator Preparation Program: Educator preparation programs require you to take the THEA to ascertain that you possess skills of reading, communication and logical thinking.
- For Revalidating Teaching Certificates: The Reading and Writing Sections are required to be taken by those who received their valid Texas teaching certificates before 1st Feb, 1986. Else, they should appear for a state-approved teacher certification examination. This is required to make their teaching certificates valid.
Why is it Essential to Score High in THEA?
By scoring high in THEA, you make the road to admission for higher education easier for yourself. Colleges readily enroll students who exhibit high skill level by scoring well in THEA. Besides capability, high scores in THEA shed light on your seriousness towards education and your ability to work hard for the ensuing study demands.
A low score shall certainly jeopardize your chances of success. With a low score, you can either take admission in a mediocre institution, or appear for a retest. You could even be asked to retest by the institution you intend to join. Retesting can delay your admission and put your case in doubt. All your previous scores are reported in the score report. This makes it important for you to be careful about reappearing for the exam, as multiple attempts show either a low level of ability or a careless attitude. Colleges would prefer to take in students with the least number of attempts in THEA, unless you show exceptional capabilities in other assessment criteria.
Hence, it shall preserve your interests if you score high in the least number of trials in THEA.
The reason for colleges to rely on standardized exams like THEA is that they are able to judge your knowledge as well as your ability to work hard and achieve results. College education requires talent as well as motivation to work hard. Without either of these, one cannot hope to successfully complete any course. Since you are tested under constraints, a high score in THEA sheds light on your capabilities to perform under pressure. Work hard and give your best.
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