Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA)
The TSI Assessment (TSIA) is part of the Texas Success Initiative program designed to help your college or university determine if you are ready for college-level course work in the areas of reading, writing, and mathematics. If you are an incoming college student in Texas, you are required to take the TSI Assessment - unless you are already exempt (read below) - to determine your readiness for college-level work. Based on how you perform, you may either be enrolled in a college-level course and/or be placed in the appropriate developmental course or intervention to improve your skills and prepare you for success in college-level courses.
Not all incoming students need to take the TSI Assessment. There are many ways you can be exempt. Qualifying for a TSI Assessment exemption means that you can enroll in any entry- level college course without restrictions. In other words, there are no prerequisites for enrollment in the entry-level college courses. In certain cases exemptions are subject-specific, which means you may qualify for an exemption in one area such as reading but not in another area like mathematics or writing. You may be exempt if you meet one or more of the following:
If you think you may be exempt, please contact an advisor at your college. For a complete list of TSI exemptions, visit www.thecb.state.tx.us/TSI.
Before you take the TSI Assessment, you must participate in a Pre-Assessment Activity. The college or university where you take your test is required to provide the Pre-Assessment Activity as well as document your participation. It is a requirement that you complete this activity before you take the test. The activity varies by institution but must include at least the following:
Contact the college or university at which you plan to take the test for details on dates and times to complete this mandatory Pre-Assessment Activity.
The TSI Assessment in Mathematics is a multiple-choice assessment that covers the four content areas listed below. There are approximately 20 items on the TSI placement test and 10 items in each section of the DE diagnostic test. If you score well enough on the placement test, you will not need to take the additional diagnostic test. Personal calculators are not allowed; however, you will have the option to click on a calculator link for select test questions.
The TSI Assessment in Reading is a multiple-choice assessment that covers the four content areas listed below. There are approximately 24 items on the TSI placement test and 10 to 12 items in each section of the DE diagnostic test. If you score well enough on the placement test, you will not need to take the additional diagnostic test.
The TSI Assessment in Writing is an assessment that contains a multiple-choice section and an essay section:
The multiple-choice section of the TSI Assessment in Writing measures your skills in the four content areas listed below. There are approximately 20 items on the TSI placement test and 10 to 12 items in each section of the DE diagnostic test. If you score well enough on the placement test, you will not need to take the additional diagnostic test.
You may be asked to write a five-paragraph persuasive essay (approximately 300-600 words) on a controversial issue or one of current interest. You will be expected to clearly state a main idea and provide specific examples and details to back up your main idea, as well as follow conventions of standard English. You will not be allowed to use a dictionary or other outside resources, but you may use plain scratch paper (provided at the testing center) to plan your essay and write your rough draft(s).
If you do not pass one or all parts (reading, writing and math) of the TSI Assessment, you may be required to enroll in developmental education coursework or accelerated intervention before you can enroll in a college credit course for the subject in which you did not pass. In some cases, you may be allowed to enroll in a developmental intervention and college-credit course at the same time. The TSI Assessment is an on-demand test, and you may retake it at any time to determine your college readiness. Remember, developmental education courses and interventions often cost the same as a college-level course but do not count towards a certificate or degree program and do not transfer. It is best to avoid developmental education all together by becoming college ready in high school or before enrolling in at a college or university.
THECB recently approved an amendment to TSI rules to remove all language related to "phase-in" scores of the TSI Assessment (TSIA) college readiness benchmarks:
Reading - 351
Mathematics - 350
(A) a placement score of at least 340, and an essay score of at least 4; OR
(B) a placement score of less than 340 and an ABE Diagnostic level of at least 4 and an essay score of at least 5.
More information regarding the Texas Success Initiative and the TSI Assessment can be found at www.thecb.state.tx.us/TSI.