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Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Assessment

The Texas Success Initiative (TSI) assessment 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 and TSI Overview for summary.

Fees

  • $15.00 - 1 Test
  • $30.00 - 2 Tests
  • $40.00 - 3 Tests
  • $5.00 - assessed upon your 2nd reschedule request 

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 Who is my Advisor? and contact your advisor based on your last name to receive information about the PAA.

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. 

Remote Testing Site

Remote testing is an option for freshman/incoming and transfer students who reside out of state or in state who plan to attend Texas A&M University-Texarkana and are unable to travel to A&M-Texarkana to test. Students MUST adhere to the Remote Testing Site policies regarding testing at the other institution.  Fees for remote testing are the student’s responsibility and are nonrefundable. 

A&M-Texarkana students opting to complete the TSI Assessment at a Remote Testing Site:

  1. Students MUST complete the Pre-Assessment Activity (PAA) before taking the TSI Assessment. 
  2. The student is responsible for contacting a local educational institution (proctor) to determine if test center personnel are willing to administer the TSI Assessment at their Testing Center.

If the institution is established as a Remote Testing Site once logged in to CollegeBoard ACCUPLACER (institution needs to follow below prompts/screens):

      • Administer Test
      • Register Student For Remote Test Session
      • Find Remote Testing Site
      • A voucher will be generated
      • Schedule an appointment/test

If the institution is NOT established as a Remote Testing Site via CollegeBoard ACCUPLACER and the site is willing to Proctor the exam:

      • The student is responsible for contacting the Remote Testing Site and informing the site to contact A&M-Texarkana's Testing Center for arrangements to test.
      • Arrangements MUST be completed 1 week prior to proposed test date.
      • Fees must be received/paid to A&M-Texarkana prior to testing (make checks/money order payable to: TAMUT).

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 Course Descriptions to view Mathematics (0300, 0301, 0302), Reading (0301, 0302) and Writing (0300, 0301, 0302) courses to strengthen your skills.  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 ABE/Diagnostic Test to view cut scores. 

TSI Adult Base Education (ABE) or Diagnostic Assessment

If you are directed to take the TSI ABE or 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.

TSI Study Guides or Web Apps

Click TSI Study Material (Online and Web Apps)

Retest

If you are not satisfied with your score, you may retake the TSI Assessment at any time. However, before you attempt to retest, it is strongly recommended that you set aside time for additional study. It is very unlikely that your score will improve greatly without additional review and study. 

Testing Center Hours and Registration/Contact Information

Click here for testing center hours and contact information.

  • Schedule a testing appointment (24-hour notice required). If circumstances prevent you from keeping your appointment, please contact the
    Testing Center to reschedule within 24-hours.
  • Bring a current and valid Photo ID
  • Cell Phones and Electronic Devices are not allowed in the Testing Room
  • Visit Release Form (Test Scores) to have your scores released.

ADA Accommodations

Students with disabilities can contact the Disabilities Office at (903) 223-3062 or Carl Greig at carl.greig@tamut.edu.

Updated June 10, 2014