Texas Success Initiative
The Texas Success Initiative (TSI) is a program designed to ensure students attending public colleges and universities in Texas have the necessary reading, math, and writing skills to be successful in college-level coursework. Texas Success Initiative involves an assessment component, an individual advising component and a developmental education program for those students who do not pass all parts of the assessment.
All students entering Cisco College must take the TSI test (unless you are exempt). The TSI test is composed of three sections: math, reading, and writing. Each section contains up to three parts. Testers may be required to take one, two, or three sections of the test. Contact a counselor for questions about exemptions and which sections you will need to take.
Students who are not exempt from the Texas Success Initiative must present test scores in order to register.
Students who are exempt must present official documentation of their exemption in order to register.
PLEASE NOTE: ON JANUARY 11, 2021 A NEW VERSION OF THE TSIA WILL BE RELEASED. THE READING AND WRITING SECTIONS WILL BE COMBINED INTO ONE TEST SECTION CALLED ELAR (ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS READING). ON AND AFTER JANUARY 11, 2021 TESTERS WILL NO LONGER HAVE THE OPTION TO TAKE JUST READING OR JUST WRITING BUT WILL HAVE TO TEST ON THE NEW COMBINED ELAR SECTION. ALL READING OR WRITING RETESTS AFTER JANUARY 11, 2021 WILL TEST WITH THE NEW COMBINED ELAR SECTION. WE ENCOURAGE TESTERS NEEDING TO PASS THE READING OR WRITING SECTIONS OF THE TSI TO TEST PRIOR TO JANUARY 11, 2021. ALL TSIA TEST SCORES ARE VALID FOR FIVE YEARS FROM THE DATE OF TESTING.
How Do I Know if I'm Exempt?
Students are considered exempt from placement testing if they meet one of the following conditions:
- Have graduated with an associate or baccalaureate degree from an institution of higher education
- Earned qualifying scores on either the ACT, SAT, or TAKS:
- A composite score of 23 or higher and a minimum of 19 on the English will exempt a student from the reading and writing sections of the TSI.
- A composite score of 23 or higher and a minimum of 19 on the mathematics section will exempt a student from the math section of the TSI.
- A combined critical reading/math score of 1070 or higher and a minimum of 500 on the critical reading section will exempt a student from the reading and writing sections of the TSI.
- A combined critical reading/math score of 1070 or higher and a minimum of 500 on the mathematics section will exempt a student from the math section of the TSI.
- An Evidence-based Reading and Writing score of 480 will exempt a student from the reading and writing sections of the TSI.
- A Math score of 530 will exempt a student on the math section of the TSI. Scores from a revised SAT (March 2016 and later) cannot be combined with SAT scores prior to March 2016. SAT Exemptions must come from revised SATs (March 2016 or later) or prior SATs but not both.
- An end of course (EOC) minimum Level 2 score of 4000 on the English III EOC will exempt a student on the reading and writing portions of the TSI.
- An end of course (EOC) minimum Level 2 score of 4000 on the Algebra II EOC will exempt a student on the Mathematics portion of the TS
- A minimum scale score of 2200 and an essay score of 3 or higher on the English/Language Arts on the exit-level TAKS (11th grade) will exempt a student on the reading and writing sections of the TSI.
- A minimum scale score of 2200 on the math section of the exit-level TAKS (11th grade) will exempt a student on the math section of the TSI. Scores must be less than 5 years old at the first test administration.
- A student serving on active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States, the Texas National Guard, or as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States and has been serving in the reserves for at least three years preceding enrollment. Proof of active duty will be required.
- A student who on or after August 1, 1990 was honorably discharged, retired or released from active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States or the Texas National Guard or service as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States. Proof of service will be required (DD214).
- A transfer student with approved coursework may be exempted from one, two or all three sections of the TSI. A student should bring a transcript(s) to a counselor for evaluation to determine if they are exempt, or need to take all or parts of the TSI. This should be done well in advance so as not to delay registration.
- Certain technical programs may not require TSI testing. Please check with your academic counselor to determine the need for testing.
- Dual credit students should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for exemption information.
Is There Material I Can Study to Prepare for the TSI?
All of these websites are free and most of their material is free (be aware one or two sites may have offers of additional material for purchase). This is not an exhaustive list, search for other free TSI practice tests and review materials online.
- http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/accuplacer/index.html (has sample questions and test information)
- http://www.testprepreview.com/accuplacer_practice.htm (Has Accuplacer Self-Assessment modules & review materials)
- http://www.thea.nesinc.com (helpful for the TSI as well)
- http://www.khanacademy.org (videos for help with algebra, developmental math, pre-algebra and arithmetic)
- http://www.purplemath.com (help with math and algebra)
- http://www.sosmath.com (help with math and algebra)
- http://www.math.com (help with math and algebra)
- http://www.englishforeveryone.org (help for reading and writing)
- http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar (help for reading and writing)