The Texas Success Initiative

The Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Assessment is a program designed to assess students’ readiness for college-level work in reading, writing and mathematics and to provide information used to identify appropriate interventions that will improve the skills of student who are not prepared for college-level course work. These assessments include multiple-choice questions that are aligned to the Texas College and Career Readiness Standards.

The TSI Assessments measure college readiness in reading, writing and math. Scores are used for college placement purposes. Examinees take a placement test of 20-25 items that produces a numeric scale score ranging from 310 to 390. Those students who do not score at the college-ready level on the math or reading placement test will take the diagnostic test in order to gain detailed information regarding the academic strengths and weaknesses of the student in that subject area. Students who score 350 or higher on the writing multiple-choice test or who score an NRS Level 4 on the ABE writing multiple-choice test will be asked to submit an essay.

ALL STUDENTS MUST TAKE A PRE-ASSESSMENT TO BE ELIGIBLE TO TAKE THE TSI EXAM.

View TSI Pre-Assessment.

Exemption

Not all incoming students need to take the TSI Assessment. Students with a TSI Assessment exemption can enroll in any entry-level college course without restrictions. Students may be exempt if they:

  • have met the minimum college readiness standard on SAT®, ACT or a statewide high school test;
  • have successfully completed college-level English and math courses;
  • have enrolled in a Level-One certificate program (fewer than 43 semester credit hours); Note: Pre-Requisites for courses within the certificate must be met.
  • are not seeking a degree; and
  • have been, or currently are, in the military.

For more information visit www.thecb.state.tx.us/DE/TSI. (See #1 and click on TSI/Exemptions.)

Sample Questions

Testing Times

View the monthly Testing Center schedule on the right-side column for the complete schedule.

Fee Test Type
$25 Complete Test
$5 Math
$5 Reading
$15 Writing
$10 Writing Essay (re-test)
$5 Writing Multiple Choice (re-test)

TSI Content Areas

TSI Mathematics Test

The Mathematics Test is a multiple-choice assessment with four basic content areas, or “strands.” Scores range from 310 to 390. Shown below are brief descriptions of each of the four strands.

Elementary Algebra and Functions

  • Linear equations, inequalities and systems
  • Algebraic expressions and equations (other than linear)
  • Word problems and applications

Intermediate Algebra and Functions

  • Quadratic and other polynomial expressions, equations and functions
  • Expressions, equations and functions involving powers, roots and radicals
  • Rational and exponential expressions, equations and functions

Geometry and Measurement

  • Plane geometry
  • Transformations and symmetry
  • Measurement (linear, area, three-dimensional)
  • Modeling and applications

Data Analysis, Statistics and Probability

  • Interpreting categorical and quantitative data
  • Statistical measures
  • Probabilistic reasoning

 


TSI Reading Test

The Reading Test is a multiple-choice assessment with four basic strands. Scores range from 310 to 390. Shown below are brief descriptions of each of the four strands.

Main Idea and Supporting Details

  • All items in this category will be discrete items with single informational/expository passages of 75-125 words.
  • Items will ask students to identify the main idea of a passage or comprehend explicit textual information in the passage.

Author’s Use of Language

  • All items in this category will be discrete items with single informational/expository passages of 75-125 words.
  • Some items will ask students to identify an author’s purpose, tone, organization or rhetorical strategies and use of evidence.
  • Some items will ask students to determine the meaning of words in context.

Inferences in a Text or Texts

  • All items in this category will be discrete items with one or, in some cases, two informational/expository passages of 100-150 words.
  • Most items will ask students to make an appropriate inference about a single passage.
  • Some items will require students to synthesize ideas by making a connection or comparison between two passages.

Literary Analysis

  • All items in this category will be passage-based items.
  • Passages are fiction or literary nonfiction and will be approximately 400 words in length.
  • Items will ask students to identify and analyze ideas in and elements of literary texts.

 


TSI Writing Test

The Writing Test is an assessment that contains a multiple-choice section and an essay section. The multiple-choice section has four strands. Scores range from 310 to 390. Shown below are brief descriptions of each of the four strands.

Sentence Structure

  • All items in this category will be discrete items.
  • Items will cover topics such as fragments, subordination and coordination, and parallelism.
  • Items will also cover topics such as comma splices and run-on sentences, as well as improper punctuation.

Agreement

  • All items in this category will be discrete items.
  • Items will cover topics such as subject-verb agreement, pronoun agreement and verb tense.

Sentence Logic

  • All items in this category will be discrete items.
  • Items will test the student’s ability to arrange the parts of sentences in the most logical way, including the use of logical transitions and the correct placement of modifying phrases and clauses and the student’s ability to use logical transitions.

Essay Revision

  • All items in this category will be passage-based items.
  • Passages are drafts of essays in need of revision and will be approximately 250 words. Items will ask students to revise parts of the essay to improve coherence, organization, word choice, rhetorical effectiveness and use of evidence.

The Essay Section asks students to write a five-paragraph, persuasive essay (approximately 350–500 words) that “demonstrates clear focus, the logical development of ideas in well-organized paragraphs and the use of appropriate language that advances the author’s purpose.” They will be expected to clearly state a main idea and provide specific examples and details to back up the main idea. idea, as well as follow conventions of standard English.
They will not be allowed to use a dictionary or other outside resources but may use plain scratch paper
(provided at the testing center) to plan and write the rough draft.

*Information provided via College Board's TSI Assessment Student Informative Brochure