The Texas Success Initiative (TSI) was created by the College Board to help students determine their readiness for college. The TSI assessments are multiple choice and are aligned to the Texas College and Career Readiness Standards.
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These assessments test three general academic areas: math, reading, and writing. The TSI assessments are provided in a college or university setting, and each individual school may require additional testing to test a student’s competency in an area. It is also important that a student check for testing details and dates for the mandatory pre-assessment activity as it will vary by institution.
An essay will be required to fulfill the writing portion of the test. The essay section typically is a 350- to 500-word, five paragraph summary of a controversial issue or current interest. The student must present a main idea and supporting details using standard English grammar and conventions.
The content areas of the exam consist of essay revisions, subject-verb agreement, sentence structure, and logic. Dictionaries are not allowed, and scratch paper is provided to write a rough draft. The TSI assessments are not timed, and a student receives his or her score immediately following the exam. Being that the assessment is not timed, it is important to answer each question carefully. Taking numerous TSI practice tests is recommended for test day success.
TSI Test Intro
Free TSI Practice Test
What is a good score on the TSI?
Each section of the TSI is scored separately. The minimum passing score is 350 for mathematics, 351 for reading, and 349 for writing.
Do you have to take a TSI?
Not necessarily. There are several ways you can be exempt from taking the TSI.
How much does it cost to take the TSI?
It cost $29 to take the TSI.
Are you allowed to use a calculator on the TSI?
No, calculators are not allowed when taking the TSI.
Is the TSI test required?
All students that are not TSI exempt are required by law to take the TSI test.
Is the TSI test timed?
The TSI test is not timed. It takes approximately 4 hours to complete.
What will be on the TSI test?
There are three separate exams on the TSI test. They are Mathematics, Reading, and Writing.
What do you have to score on the TSI to pass?
To pass the TSI, you will need a score of 350 on the mathematics section, 351 on the reading section, and 349 on the writing section.
About the TSI Test
The questions on the TSI are computer adaptive, which means that the difficulty of each question may change depending upon the student’s response. TSI also provides intervention tips and strategies to help a student better prepare for school. Most incoming college students planning to study in Texas are required to take this exam. Student placement is based on the results of this exam: college level or remedial.
Some student exemptions to the TSI may apply, such as current or former military personnel, someone who has already completed a college English or math course, or a person who has met college readiness standards on the scholastic aptitude test (SAT), American college testing (ACT), or a statewide high school test. Students who fit into either one of these categories could qualify for exemption and should contact an advisor at their institution.
There are many ways to help a student prepare for the TSI assessment. The College Board Web site has many sample questions with which to get familiar. It is also a requirement of each college and university to provide a mandatory pre-assessment activity before a student takes the actual exam.
This activity provides a detailed explanation of the test, practice questions, and feedback and educational options should a student not meet the minimum required passing score. A student may retake the test at any time if he or she is not satisfied with the result of the assessment. It may be possible that the school will offer retesting workshops.
TSI Study Guide
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- Basic Math
- Intermediate Math
- Advanced Mathematics
- Basic Algebra
- Intermediate Algebra
- Advanced Algebra
- Averages and Rounding
- Estimation and Sequences
- Exponents 2
- Fractions and Square Roots
- Geometry 2
- Graphs 2
- Percents and Ratios
- Basic Grammar
- Intermediate Grammar
- Advanced Grammar
- Reading for the Main Idea
- Basic Reading Comprehension
- Advanced Reading Comprehension
- Author's Purpose
- Reading Vocabulary
- Sentence Correction
- Sentence Flow
- Word Usage Test 1
- Word Usage Test 2
- Word Usage Test 3
- Writing Section 1
- Writing Section 2