THEA Test Guide

The THEA Test Summary
What: An examination that evaluates students’ readiness to enroll in a public college or university in the state of Texas.
Who: The THEA is administered to students at the freshman entry-level seeking to attend one of Texas’ colleges or universities.
Where: Testing sites vary.
When: Testing dates vary.
How: The THEA is offered in a pencil and paper format.
Type: The THEA examination is intended to measure a student’s knowledge and abilities, in three general sections, at a post-secondary level.
Why: The THEA test is useful to college and university admissions committees who are trying to determine which prospective students are suitable for their undergraduate degree programs.
Time: The THEA testing session is five hours long.
Language: English
Preparation: Reviewing for the THEA can take many forms. Students often opt to take a THEA review course or practice exam.
Cost: $29.00

By: Jessica McNally, Tests.com Contributing Writer


The Texas Higher Education Assessment, or THEA, is designed to evaluate the reading, writing, and arithmetic skills of incoming freshman-level students. The test is meant to assess students entering undergraduate programs in Texas’ public universities and colleges, and to determine if they possess the skills necessary to succeed in college-level courses.


Test Format


The THEA is offered in a paper and pencil format. Some colleges and universities also offer the “THEA Quick Test,” which is the same as the original THEA, and in the same paper and pencil format. However, the major advantage to the THEA Quick Test is that it is available to students who have to take the exam before the next test administration date. By taking the THEA Quick Test, students will also receive score reports for all of the test sections within one week after completing the exam.


The THEA has three sections:


  • Reading There are roughly seven different reading sections that students are required to respond to in 40 multiple-choice questions in the Reading segment.


  • Math The Math section consists of about 50 multiple-choice questions in four different categories:

              -  Fundamental mathematics

              -  Geometry

              -  Algebra

              -  Problem solving


A non-programmable calculator is acceptable for use on the Math section, and students are provided with the appropriate formulas necessary to perform some calculations.


  • Writing The THEA Writing section consists of two subcategories:

          -    A writing sample which requires students to

               respond effectively to a designated topic.


          -   A multiple-choice section that includes roughly 40  

              questions asking students to identify a range of

              elements regarding effective writing.


To Pass the THEA, a student must pass all three of the individual sections. The minimum scores needed to pass each section are as follows: Reading and Math- 230, Writing- 220.


Test Preparation

The THEA website offers a number of resources available to students who are preparing to take the THEA. Some of these materials include a “THEA Test Preparation Quick Reference Guide,” a practice test, and an official study guide.

The following are a few tips offered in the reference guide for students to look over prior to test day:

  • Avoid Cramming. The questions on the THEA generally test knowledge that has been accumulated over the past few years. Cramming the night before or a few days before the test most likely will not be beneficial.
  • Follow directions very carefully. Test takers frequently make careless mistakes due to misreading or misunderstanding test questions. Since every answer counts toward a final score, it is vital that a student ask questions or reread directions if they do not initially understand them.
  • Pace yourself. Since there are so many questions on the exam, it is important to skip an answer if it takes more than a few seconds to answer it. Students can always return to unanswered questions if there is time left over to go back.

To find test preparation materials, see our THEA Test Directory.

Source: Thea.nesinc.com