Features of THEA

The Importance of Taking the THEA

The THEA is a placement exam for evaluating the course readiness of the first-year undergraduate students who are joining certain colleges in the state of Texas. While certain colleges in Texas opt for this test, others administer the ASSET or COMPASS placement tests to their first-year students. This article elaborates the chief aspects of this placement test.

The Importance of Taking the THEA:

The primary goal of this test is to determine if the students have the prerequisite academic skills to take up and successfully complete college-level coursework. Many Texas colleges mandate the THEA placement test, without which the students will not receive the necessary approval from their college administration to enroll into the courses of their choice. Moreover, if the students fail this test, they are required to take appropriate developmental or correction courses, re-take the test within a stipulated time period and achieve the minimum-passing scores. Hence, it is important that the students check with their colleges on the test requirements and take this test very seriously.

The Main Characteristics of the THEA:

  1. Format

    This test is administered in the following formats:

    • THEA Quick test: This is the paper-based version of the test that lasts for 5 hours. This test format is offered at several universities and colleges across Texas and all applicants are allowed to take it.

    • THEA Internet-Based test (IBT): This is the computer-based format of the test that takes 4 hours to complete. This format is offered in selected educational institutions and hence it is not open to all the applicants.

  2. Design

    This exam is broken down into three sections; namely, Reading, Writing and Math. The contents of each test section are described as follows:

    • In the Reading section, a set of seven reading passages are provided to the students for review.

      • Each passage is followed by a group of 5-6 multiple-choice questions.

      • A total of 40 questions are fielded to the candidates in this test section.

      • The questions measure the reading comprehension skills of the students by assessing their knowledge of the content provided in the given passages including the main theme, supporting ideas, inferences, cause and effect relationships, organization and style of the content etc.

    • The Writing section is broken down into the following sub-sections:

      The Essay Writing Section:

      • This includes an essay-writing prompt for the students.

      • In response to this prompt, the students must compose a well-organized and rational essay between 300 and 600 words.

      • The essays will be assessed for proper structure, style, usage of grammatical conventions, relevance and coherent presentation of the main/supporting ideas for the given topic.

      The Writing-Strategy Section:

      • This consists of approximately 40 multiple-choice questions, with 4 answer-options each.

      • These questions are based on the usage of effective writing strategies such as proper organization/structure, grammatical conventions, usage of transitional phrases and other aspects of the English language.

    • The Math section assesses the basic mathematical skills of the candidates.

      • It consists of 50 multiple-choice questions.

      • The knowledge-areas covered in this section include basic mathematical operations and principles, geometrical principles, algebraic equations and problem-solving methods.

  3. The Scoring Methodology

    The scoring process can be broken down into certain key aspects as listed below:

    • Scaled and Minimum-passing Scores:
      • All test sections are scored separately and a scaled score ranging between 100 and 300 is calculated for each section.

      • The minimum-passing scores are:

        • 220 for the Writing test section.

        • 230 for the Math and Reading test sections.

      • The students must pass all the test sections to pass the test as a whole.

    • Scoring of the Multiple-choice Test Sections:

      • In both the IBT and Quick test formats, the multiple-choice questions are scanned electronically for the total count of correct answer-options.

      • This count (raw score) is then converted into a scaled score between 100 and 300.

    • Scoring of the Writing Test Section:
      • The essays in the IBT  format are scored electronically. The electronic score is added to the Writing-Strategy score and a total scaled score (from 100-300) is arrived at.

      • The essays in Quick test format are scored manually to arrive at a composite score between 2 and 8. Depending on this score, a decision will be made on whether the score from the Writing-strategy section must be calculated on not. To review the rules of this special scoring process in detail, you may refer to this link on the official website - www.thea.nesinc.com/TA_QT_readscore.asp.

In conclusion, this article has covered all the major aspects of this test, along with a discussion on its importance. For more details on the test registration process, study materials etc., please click on - www.thea.nesinc.com.