Texas Success Initiative
Texas Success Initiative
The Texas Success Initiative (TSI) is a state-legislated program designed to improve student success in college. Prior to college enrollment, TSI requires students to complete the Texas Success Pre-Assessment Activity to diagnose their basic skills in reading, mathematics, and writing.
While the Texas Success Initiative is a statewide program, our office can only address the needs of incoming or current students at UT Brownsville. For TSI questions related to another institution, please contact that institution directly.
A student is exempt from all TSI requirements under any one of the following conditions. Exempt students shall not be required to provide any additional demonstration of college readiness and shall be allowed to enroll in any entry-level freshman course. Exemptions are granted to -
- A student who has graduated with an associate or baccalaureate degree from an institution of higher education.
- A student who transfers to an institution from a private or independent institution of higher education or an accredited out-of-state institution of higher education and who has satisfactorily completed college-level coursework as determined by the receiving institution.
- A student who has previously attended any institution and has been determined to have met readiness standards by that institution.
- A student who is 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 for at least three years preceding enrollment.
- 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.
- A student who is a non-degree-seeking student.
A student is exempt from one or more TSI requirements under the following conditions. SAT, ACT, TAKS, and STAAR scores used to support an exemption must be less than five years old. Exemptions are granted to students who earned the following scores -
- ACT: composite score of 23 with a minimum of 19 on the English test shall be exempt for both the reading and writing sections of the TSI Assessment, and/or 19 on the mathematics test shall be exempt for the mathematics section of the TSI Assessment.
- SAT: a combined critical reading (formerly "verbal") and mathematics score of 1070 with a minimum of 500 on the critical reading test shall be exempt for both reading and writing sections of the TSI Assessment, and/or 500 on the mathematics test shall be exempt for the mathematics section of the TSI Assessment.
- TAKS: on the Eleventh grade exit-level Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) with a minimum scale score of 2200 on the math section and/or a minimum scale score of 2200 on the English Language Arts section with a writing subsection score of at least 3, shall be exempt from the TSI Assessment for those corresponding sections.
- STAAR end-of-course (EOC) with a minimum score of Level 2 on the English III shall be exempt from the TSI Assessment for both reading and writing, and a minimum score of Level 2 on the Algebra II EOC shall be exempt from the TSI Assessment for the mathematics section.
If your TAKS, SAT, ACT, or STAAR scores exempt you from one or more sections of the test, you do not have to take that section. For example, if you are exempt from taking the TSI math section, but not reading and writing, you will only need to take the reading and writing sections. Some students will need to take one or two sections, and some will need to take all three sections (reading, writing, and math.)
What if I'm not Exempt?
Students who are not exempted from TSI requirements by other means must take the TSI Assessment. Your test scores will determine your college readiness status.
The TSI Assessment
Students who are not exempt from TSI requirements must take the TSI Assessment. The TSI Assessment is designed to help the university determine if you are ready for college-level course work in the areas of reading, writing, and mathematics. If your scores fall below the minimums listed below, the TSI Assessment will also help determine what type of intervention will best help you succeed.
The minimum TSI Assessment scores required to satisfy TSI requirements at UTB are
- Reading: 351
- Mathematics: 350
- Writing: Essay Score of 5 or Essay Score of 4 and Multiple Choice of 363
The goal of the test is to provide detailed information regarding your academic strengths and weaknesses. It is comprised of multiple-choice questions and an essay section. The assessment is untimed and computer-adaptive, meaning that questions increase or decrease in difficulty level depending on how you respond. Once you have completed the assessment, your scores and information on your proficiency will be provided immediately.
The Office of Testing administers the TSI Assessment year round on a weekly basis. Contact the office at 956-882-8875 for an up-to-date listing of test dates and times.
Required Pre-Assessment Activity
In order to best prepare for the TSI Assessment, please utilize the following resources –
The TSI Assessment Student Brochure explains the general purpose and format of the test while the TSI Assessment Sample Questions help familiarize you with the types of questions asked on the exam.