The TSIA (Texas Success Initiative Assessment)

The TSI Assessment (TSIA) is the result of the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) mandated by the Texas State Legislature.  The assessment is designed to guide Texas public institutions of higher education in helping them determine whether students are ready for entry-level college coursework in the areas of English Language Arts Reading (ELAR) and mathematics. Students are exempt from this assessment if they meet college readiness benchmarks on the SAT, ACT, STAAR English III or Algebra II EOCs, or successfully complete the high school College Preparatory Course. Click here for a complete list of TSI exemptions.  TSIA scores and exemptions are valid five years from the date an assessment was taken documenting benchmarks were met.

Students who do not meet a TSI exemption must take the TSI assessment before college enrollment. Students who do not meet one or more of the established TSI benchmarks are admitted, however, they are required to receive developmental education academic support as determined by the institution.

 For additional information, read the TSI Statute (Sec. 51.333) and Texas Administrative Code Rules for TSI (RULE §4.54).

What are TSIA Benchmarks?

Students scoring at or above the benchmarks are considered “college ready” and eligible to enroll in any entry level college course (for example, English composition, history, government, or college algebra) without remediation. Some college level courses require passing scores in more than one area.

Below are the TSIA benchmarks that are valid 5 years from the date the benchmark was met.

TSI Initial assessment benchmarks: Assessments taken before 1/11/21.

  • Mathematics: a minimum score of 350
  • Reading: a minimum score of 351
  • Writing: a minimum score of 340 on the multiple-choice section with an essay score of 4-8 or a score less than 340 on the multiple-choice section, a diagnostic level of 4-6, and an essay score of 5-8

TSIA2 revised assessment benchmarks: tests taken on or after 01/11/21:

  • Mathematics: a minimum score of 950 or less than 950 and a diagnostic level 6
  • ELAR (English language arts, writing and reading): a minimum score of 945 on the multiple-choice section with an essay score of 5-8, or less than 945 on the multiple-choice section, a diagnostic level of 5 or 6, and an essay score of 5-8

A student shall be exempt from taking the TSIA if the student met the following benchmarks before 2/15/23:

  • scored an ACT college prep assessment composite score of 23 with a minimum of 19 on the English test. With these scores, the student shall exempt both Reading and Writing sections of the TSIA.
  • scored an ACT college prep assessment composite score of 23 with a minimum of 19 on the mathematics test. With these scores, the student shall exempt the Math section of the TSIA.
  • taken the SAT administered March 2016 and later and earned a minimum score of 530 in Mathematics shall exempt the Math section of the TSIA.
  • served for at least 3 years preceding enrollment, is a veteran, on active-duty, or a student who is or has served as a member of a reserve component of the U.S. armed services.
  • transferred from another institution having satisfactorily completed college-level coursework; or
  • enrolled in a certificate program of one year or less (Level One certificates) at a public institution.

A student shall be exempt from taking the TSIA if the student met the following benchmarks on or after 2/15/23:

  • a combined score of 40 on the English and Reading (E+R) tests shall be exempt for both reading and writing or ELAR sections of the TSI Assessment.
  • A score of 22 on the mathematics test shall be exempt for the mathematics section of the TSI Assessment. There is no composite score.
  • The use of scores from both the ACT administered prior to February 15, 2023, and the ACT administered after February 15, 2023, is allowable, as long as the benchmarks set forth in the first two bullets of this list are met.
  • taken the SAT administered March 2016 and later and earned a minimum score of 530 in Mathematics shall exempt the Math section of the TSIA.
  • served for at least 3 years preceding enrollment, is a veteran, on active-duty, or a student who is or has served as a member of a reserve component of the U.S. armed services.
  • transferred from another institution having satisfactorily completed college-level coursework; or
  • enrolled in a certificate program of one year or less (Level One certificates) at a public institution.

Resources for TSIA2