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CCISD, TABPHE counteract falling SAT, ACT scores with preparedness classes, tutoring

TABPHE is offering free math tutoring to try and give students a leg up on the TSI assessment test.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Studying for the SAT and ACT can be overwhelming for students, and that's not including the TSI -- the 'Texas Success Initiative' Assessment, which determines a student's readiness for college-level coursework.

ACT college admissions scores for the Class of 2022 hit their lowest point in more than 30 years – and educators are saying the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted classroom instruction so much that it’s taken a toll on college preparedness.

"When we look at our college readiness scores, we're taking into account SAT, ACT, and the TSIA 2 tests," said CCISD College and Career Readiness Coordinator Bryan Davis.

For CCISD, during the 2021-22 school year, 2,100 students took the SAT and 400 took the ACT. In Texas, there seems to be a much higher importance placed on the SAT versus the ACT, but Davis said colleges tend to weigh scores from each test the same. 

"As a college and career counselor, now in my current role, I tried to clear up that confusion," he said.

What's the difference between the SAT and ACT? Davis said the SATs focus on reading and grammatical writing. The ACT has a science section.

"Math was an issue for Texas schooling prior to the pandemic, and after the pandemic is even higher," said the Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education Corpus Christi Treasurer Tina Butler.

The nonprofit is hoping to make higher education a feat anyone can reach. That’s why the organization is providing free help with TSI math assessments. 

"One of our initiatives is to assist the public with becoming college-ready, meaning bypassing any developmental courses that they may need," Butler said.

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The Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education's free TSI math course is a 9-hour course, so it's three consecutive Saturdays. The first one is this weekend. 

Davis encourages prospective college students to take as many tests as they can.

"Look at it this way,” he said. “Taking it even if your college that you're going to is test optional, is not going to hurt you. It's just going to help you, and help you stand out from the students who didn't take it."

For more information on TABPHE's free help with TSI math assessments, call 361-739-1367.

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