TSI Assessment for new students

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TSI (Texas Success Initiative)

The Texas Success Initiative (TSI) was mandated by Texas law in 2003 and went into effect in September of 2003. The purpose of TSI is to ensure that all students enrolling in public higher education in Texas possess the academic skills needed to perform effectively in college-level coursework. TSI includes a testing component designed to identify and provide diagnostic information about the reading, writing, and mathematics skills of each students.


Texas Success Initiative



Who must test?

Students who do not receive the minimum required score on an approved assessment instrument are required to enroll in developmental courses or participate in other activities designed to assist the students in overcoming the academic deficiencies identified by that assessment.  The test approved for Texas Success Initiative purposes is the TSI Assessment (formerly THEA,Compass, Accuplacer or Asset).

 Be sure to complete your Pre-Assessment Activity (PAA) before the day you test. Bring the certificate with you on testing day.
Who is exempt from TSI testing requirements?
  • You are exempt from testing for TSI if you present an official transcript from an accredited Texas institution of higher education marked “TASP/THEA Exempt” or “TSI Complete”.
  • You may be TSI exempt due to ACT, SAT, TAKS, or STAAR scores (an official high school transcript is required for documentation).
    -ACT: Composite 23 with a minimum of 19 on both English and Math
    -SAT (taken prior to March 2016): Composite 1070 with a minimum 500 on verbal and math
              (taken on or after March 5, 2016): Minimum score of 480 on Evidenced-Based and Writing and a minimum score of 530 on the Math
    --11th grade scores provide a permanent exemption for TSI purposes.

    TAKS Scores needed for waiver or exemption:
    -Math score of 2200 or higher
    -ELA (English Language Arts) score of 2200 or higher w ith a 3 or 4 on the essay portion.
    -STAAR (EOC):
    -STAAR scores needed for exemption:
    Algebra II- minimum of Level 2 to be exempt in mathematics
    English III- minimum of Level 2 to be exempt in reading and writing
    -ACT, SAT, TAKS and STAAR scores may be no more than five years old.
    -Partial exemptions are available on TAKS and SAT or ACT tests dated April 2004 or later.
  • You are exempt from testing if you have graduated from a public institution of higher education in the state of Texas with an associate or baccalaureate degree.
  • You are exempt if you transfer 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.
  • You may be exempt from testing if you transfer from a private or independent institution of higher education or an accredited out-of-state institution of higher education with a grade of “C” or better in selected college level courses.  Successful completion of a course in each content area will be required.  An official transcript is required before any exemptions can be determined.
  • You are waived from testing if you are enrolled in a Level-One certificate program with 42 or fewer semester credit hours or the equivalent.  Current high school students are not waived from testing under the Level-One certificate program unless exemption/waiver requirement is met under SAT, ACT, or TAKS.
  • You are exempt from testing if you are 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 having served for at least three years preceding enrollment.
  • You are exempt from testing if you are honorably discharged, retire, or released from active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States or the Texas National Guard or from service as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States on or after August 1, 1990.
What's my first move?

If you are exempt from the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) testing requirement or have already taken the TSI Assessment (or Accuplacer, THEA, Quick THEA, Compass or Asset), you must provide TVCC with official transcripts or score reports prior to enrolling.  Trinity Valley Community College regularly administers the TSI Assessment. See TSI testing dates here.

Remember, you may not register in academic courses until we receive your test scores or documentation of your exemption.  It is recommended that testing be completed at least two weeks prior to registration.  This stipulation also applies to those students planning to attend a Freshman Orientation session.  See the TVCC catalog for further details.

What do I need to know about TSI testing?

TSI Assessment:
  • Seating is limited. Testing begins at 8:00 AM.
  • Arrive early.
  • Bring photo ID (You cannot test without it.)
  • Bring $35, check, cash, money order or debit/credit card.
  • The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) mandates that students must complete a Pre-Assessment Activity (PAA) prior to taking the TSI Assessment. Go to the TVCC Testing Center homepage at www.tvcc.edu/testing for the PAA link. Print the PAA certificate. Complete the PAA prior to day of testing.
  • Bring a copy of the PAA certificate when testing.
Please note: On the Terrell campus, students should call to pre-register at (972)563-4904. On the Athens and Palestine campuses, it is first-come, first-serve.
  • Athens: 1st Monday of each month, except January, May, and September. For more information, call 903-675-6385. A complete schedule is included on the TSI Assessment webpage.
  • Palestine: Summer: 1st Thursday of June, July, & August. Fall/Spring: 1st Friday of each month except September and January. For more information, call 903-723-7047.
  • Terrell: Summer: 1st Thursday of June, July & August. Fall/Spring: For more information, and to pre-register, call 972-563-4904.
You must have one form of identification, with a recent photograph and your name. Acceptable forms of identification include:
Driver's License Student Identification Card
Passport Military Identification Card
State Identification Card Official Government Issued ID Card
You will not be allowed to take any unauthorized aids or materials into the test room.  Prohibited items include, but are not limited to, cell phones, pagers, calculators, watches with audible alarms, scratch paper, dictionaries, foreign language dictionaries, study guides, food or drink, backpacks, and large handbags.
Testing Accommodations

What if I need special testing accommodations?

Special testing accommodations on the TSI Assessment are available on the Athens campus only. Registration information for special testing accommodations is available by reading the information pages and by completing and submitting the accommodations form to the Testing Office. Be sure to submit any necessary documentation with the accommodations form. The information and forms are linked below:

Testing Accommodations Information and TSI Accommodations Request Form.

Contact the Testing Center office at 903-675-6385 for more information about Testing Accommodations.






Posted Date:
4/2/2019 4:28:37 PM