Student Support

Home > Student Support > Registrar > Texas Success Initiative

Texas Success Initiative

The Texas Success Initiative (TSI) test is a three-part computer-based knowledge assessment covering Reading, Mathematics and Writing. Texas law requires all entering college students to be assessed for college readiness in these subjects, unless the student qualifies for an exemption. Each student who fails to meet the minimum passing standard of the exam offered by the institution must be placed in a course or intervention designed to help the student achieve college readiness.

Each test is designed using adaptive techniques. This means that the computer automatically determines which questions are presented to you based on your responses to prior questions. This technique “zeroes-in” on just the right questions to fit your skills and abilities. The greater your demonstrated skill level, the more challenging the questions presented to you and greater the points awarded per question. Click here to see an illustration of a sample computer-adaptive test.

Once verifying an answer, you cannot return to that question. After answering each question, the computer calculates a score based on all of the answers you have given and uses this information to select the next question to display. Because the test is adaptive, you must answer every question when it is first given and cannot omit any question or come back later to change an answer.

If you do not know the answer to a question, try to eliminate one or more of the choices. Then pick one of the remaining choices.

TSI Exemptions

All students taking college-level courses must satisfy Texas Success Initiative (TSI) requirements, unless they qualify for a TSI exemption, waiver or exception. Click THECB Rule 4.54 for TSI Exemptions.

Fees

  • $15.00 - 1 Test
  • $30.00 - 2 Tests
  • $40.00 - 3 Tests

Fee is nonrefundable.

Preparation

It is imperative that students prepare for this exam just as they would for any other exam. Solid preparation for the exam can save students both time and money. Additionally, it is extremely important that students take the exam seriously in order for TSI to generate an accurate measure of students’ academic skills. This ensures that students are placed correctly into their academic courses.

Pre-Assessment Activity (PAA)

Before you take the TSI Assessment, you must participate in a Pre-Assessment Activity. Texas A&M University-Texarkana is required to provide the Pre-Assessment Activity as well as document your participation, so it is very important that you complete this activity before you take the test. In addition, you will not be allowed to take the TSI Assessment until you have completed this activity. The activity includes the following:

  • An explanation of the importance of the TSI Assessment
  • Practice test questions and feedback
  • An explanation of your developmental education options, if you do not meet the minimum passing standard; and
  • Information on campus and community resources to help you succeed as a college student.

Click the Student Informative Brochure for additional information. Click TSI Sample Questions and WritePlacer Sample Essays for practice samples. Click TSI Placement Scores to determine ABE/Diagnostic cut scores and College Ready (Passing) scores. Click TSI Pre-Assessment Activity requirements.

Score Requirement

TSI College-Readiness (CR) Cut-Scores

Mathematics
A score of 350 or above on
the multiple-choice meets CR

Reading
A score of 351 or above on the
multiple-choice section meets CR

Writing
A score of 5 on the essay section, or you can receive a 4 on the essay and a score of 363 or above on the multiple-choice section and meet CR

If your TSI mathematics, reading or writing test score is lower than the college-readiness cut-score for that subject, you may be placed in either a course or an intervention to improve your skills and prepare for success in college-level courses. Click-on Course Descriptions to view Mathematics (0300, 0301, 0302), Reading (0301, 0302) and Writing (0300, 0301, 0302) courses to strengthen your skill. Students are restricted from registering for certain college-level courses until their TSI requirement is met.

In addition to other factors, your placement is determined through the results you get in the TSI Diagnostic Test, which measures how well you know the subjects. Click-on ABE/Diagnostic Test to view cut scores.

TSI Diagnostic

If you are directed the take the TSI Diagnostic Test, you will receive a diagnostic score report upon completion. This report outlines the topics on which you were tested, along with the score and the criteria used to determine that score.

Proficiency Level and Score What this means to you?

Needs Improvement

Indicates that your performance needs to improve significantly in this area.

Limited Proficiency

Indicates that while you have some skill in this area there is room for improvement.

Proficient

Indicates that you have well-developed skills in this area.

Click Interpreting Your Score to view the full brochure for Diagnostic Test Scores.