Q: Do I have to take the TSI Assessment?

Answer: Not all incoming students need to take the TSI Assessment. There are many ways you can be exempt or waived. 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 entry college-level courses. You may be exempt if you meet the college placement scores above. You may present a copy of your college placement score report or official high school transcript to the Dual Credit Advisor for verification of TSI exemption. If you are not exempt from taking the TSI Assessment, you may be required to take three tests: (1) TSI Assessment Reading, (2) TSI Assessment Writing, and (3) TSI Assessment Mathematics based upon your approved course selections for dual credit.

Q: How Does the TSI Assessment Work?

Answer: If you are not exempt or waived from taking the TSI Assessment, you may be asked to take three tests: one in reading, one in writing, and one in mathematics. Where necessary, you may be given an additional diagnostic test in a particular subject. This test is designed to provide more detailed information regarding your academic strengths and weaknesses.

These assessments include multiple-choice questions that are aligned to the Texas College and Career Readiness Standards. For the writing assessment it is likely that you will be asked to write an essay.

The assessments are computer adaptive, which means that questions increase or decrease in difficulty level depending on how you respond. The assessments are untimed; however, it is important to allow yourself enough time to complete each test because the results are a key factor in determining the course or courses in which you can enroll. When you complete the assessment, you immediately receive information on your score and your skill or proficiency levels.

Q: How do I prepare for the TSI Assessment?

  • Complete the Mandatory Pre-Assessment Activity (PAA): Visit the Pre-Assessment Activity webpage more information.
  • Take advantage of free sample questions provided by College Board to improve in areas where your academic performance is not the strongest. These sample questions help you familiarize yourself with the types of questions asked on the TSI Assessment. To access the full sample questions document, visit www.collegeboard.org/texas-sample-questions.
  • Participate in tutoring with your English and Math instructors and take prep courses provided by your high school for SAT, ACT, and/or STAAR EOC assessment.
  • Work hard in your high school classes! The TSI Assessment is aligned with the Texas College and Career Readiness Standards. Therefore, students should prepare by learning the concepts and content taught in their high school courses. Overall, it is more important for students to develop the knowledge and skills in the topics covered on the TSI Assessment through their high school courses to succeed in entry college-level courses.

For more information on the topics covered on the TSI Assessment, please read the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Assessment Student Informative Brochure.

Q: What are the TSI Assessment College Readiness Cut Scores?

  • Reading: a score ranging from 351 to 390 in the multiple-choice section
  • Writing: a score of 5 in the essay section. You can also place in a college course if you receive a 4 on the essay and a score ranging from 363 to 390 on the multiple-choice section.
  • Mathematics: a score ranging from 350 to 390 in the multiple-choice section