Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) Internet-Based Test

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The Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) is a tool used to evaluate the English, Mathematics, and Writing skills of freshman-level students, gauging the readiness of Texas students for college-level work.
The THEA Internet-Based Test (IBT) is an electronic version of the THEA written test. BEFORE registering for the test, examinees are required to create an account on the THEA website (thea.starttest.com/). THEA IBT is offered at HCU about once each month.  Examinees have up to 4 hours to complete the exam.

Exam Description

THEA IBT has three sections: Reading, Mathematics, and Writing. If a section is started, then it is scored, but the examinee may take the test sections in any order. It is the examinee’s responsibility to know which section(s) of the exam they must take. View exam description details.


THEA IBT is scored by Pearson Evaluation Systems. Score reports are available for the student to view through their THEA account as soon as the exam is scored, which can take up to 10 minutes after the exam is finished. Students will also receive a printed copy of their score report after the examination. In some instances, the writing section may take up to 2 business days to score. Students will not receive a printed copy in these instances but will be able to check their score reports online after the 2 business days.

HCU students are encouraged to follow up with the Office of Registrar (for meeting reading proficiency graduation requirement) and/or School of Education (if applying for education program) after receiving notification of their scores. Students may check in their Huskynet account to see if the reading proficiency graduation requirement has been met (degree evaluation).

Test Preparation

Available from the THEA website: online practice tests and study guides, written by National Evaluation Systems, developer of the THEA test. A limited number of THEA Study Guides are available for checkout (HCU students only) in Testing Services, located in the Moody Library.

Students can also access a free sample test using their THEA account at THEA.starttest.com and select the “About the THEA Practice Test” button. This sample practice test is meant to highlight the features of the full-length practice test available on the THEA website.

Testing Schedule:  4 hour exam

When you register for a test through Registration Blast, you will be able to select a date and time that the exam is offered.

Registration and Payment

  • Register online now!
  • Two payments are required:
    • $30.50 paid to HCU at time of registration
    • $29 paid online to Pearson Evaluation System (VISA or MasterCard). This can be done on the day of the test, but it is highly recommended that students pay this fee BEFORE the test date. Students pay through their THEA account at THEA.starttest.com.

Test Day Policies:

  • Arrive 30 minutes prior to exam start time for check-in.
  • Testing Fees are NON-REFUNDABLE.
  • No one admitted after the start of the test.
  • Non-expired, government issued photo ID is REQUIRED
  • Be sure you have read and understood the Test Center Policies found on the HCU Testing website.
  • Prohibited items in Testing Room: cell phones, all watches, recording devices; calculators, flash/jump drives, backpacks, bags
  • No food or drink are allowed; except water in a clear bottle with label removed
  • $29 paid online to Pearson Evaluation System (VISA or MasterCard). This can be done on the day of the test, but it is highly recommended that students pay this fee BEFORE the test date. Students pay through their THEA account.

Other Policies

All examinees testing at Houston Christian University are responsible for knowing and following all the Test Center Policies.

  • Refunds – No refunds are given, including no shows, late arrivals.
  • Retesting – THEA requires waiting 14 days before retesting.  Testing less than 14 days will result in exam not being scored and no refund or credit for the exam. You cannot take the exam until the 15th day.
  • Standby testing – Standbys MAY be admitted at the discretion of the test administrator. Criteria for consideration will include whether there is available space, whether the examinee has payment (HCU and Evaluation System) and appropriate identification.
  • Rescheduling – No reschedules are allowed, except with permission from Testing Center Director