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Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA2)

Effective January 11, 2021 – The Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA2) has been revised and is taking the place of the prior TSI Assessments. The Reading and Writing sections have been combined into one English Language Arts Reading (ELAR) section. The TSIA2 Mathematics section is still a standalone assessment. Revisions have also been made to exam questions, scoring scale and learning resources.

The TSIA2 assessments are placement exams designed to assess you in reading/writing (TSIA2 ELAR) and math to determine if you are ready for college-level course work in English and/or math. If you do place into college-level English and/or math on the assessments, your results are used to help determine what type of course(s) will best meet your needs. You might be exempt from the TSIA2. The TSIA2 is required if you are not exempt.

**If you met the college-readiness cut scores on the original TSI Assessment taken prior to the TSIA2, the scores will be valid for 5 years from the date you took the exam. The same will be the case for the TSIA2.

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Texas Success Initiative Assessment :: Steps

TSIA2 IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Mandatory Pre-Assessment Activity

Before you take the TSIA2, you must participate in a pre-assessment activity (PAA). The PAA is not a test; it provides you with information about the TSIA2 assessments. The college or university at which you take your test is required to provide the pre-assessment activity as well as document your participation. It is very important that you complete this activity BEFORE you take the test.

You will not be allowed to take the TSIA2 until you have completed this activity. The activity includes the following:

  • An explanation of the importance of the TSIA2
  • Practice test questions and feedback
  • An explanation of all your developmental education options if you don’t meet the minimum college-level cut score on the TSIA2
  • Information about campus and community resources that will help you succeed as a college student

Make an Appointment

To schedule a testing appointment, you will need to purchase the number of TSI sections needed on our testing center marketplace. Make note of the order number; it will be included in your purchase confirmation email.

Fees

  • Confirm which sections of the TSIA2 you need to complete (See FAQs).
  • One section of the TSIA2 costs $15 (non-refundable payment made to the Testing Center through Marketplace).
  • Two sections of the TSIA2 cost $35. This covers the full TSIA2 exam (ELAR and math) which must be taken in one exam appointment.

Note: Fees are subject to change without prior notification.

Test Times

  • A&M-Commerce offers the TSIA2 year-round for students who have been admitted to the university. If space allows, students planning to attend another college or university in Texas may be tested.
  • Call the Testing Center at 903.886.5122 to set up your testing appointment.

TSIA2 Requirement and Exemption

You may be exempt from one or both sections of the TSIA2. The TSIA2 is required if you are not exempt.

Test Description

  • If required, you will be asked by your college or university to take two tests: one in math and one in reading and writing (ELAR).
  • Where necessary, you may be given an additional diagnostic test in a particular subject during the TSIA2 exam. You will automatically be moved into these diagnostic questions during the test.
  • This test is designed to provide more detailed information regarding your academic strengths and weaknesses and will be used in determining course placement.
  • The assessments include multiple-choice questions. For the ELAR assessment, it’s likely that you will be asked to write an essay.
  • The assessments are computer adaptive, which means that questions increase or decrease in difficulty level depending on how you respond.
  • The assessments are not timed, but it is important to allow yourself enough time to complete each test because the results are a key factor in determining the course or courses in which you can enroll.
  • When you complete the assessment, you will immediately receive information on your score and your skill or proficiency levels. ELAR essay portions may be delayed.

Current TSIA2 Score Interpretation

  • Scores are valid for five years from test date.
  • The college-level cut score is the minimum score needed to be places in college-level coursework. These scores are set by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), and all Texas public institutions are bound by these scores.
    • If you do not meet the minimum required cut score for one or more sections of the TSIA2, you will be required to take developmental coursework prior to or concurrently (co-requisite model) with your college-level English and/or math course.
    • College-ready cut scores for math and ELAR are below:
      • Math: 950-990 OR 949 + NRS 6
      • ELAR: 945-990 + Essay 5-8 OR 910-944 + NRS 5-6 + Essay 5-8

Former TSI Assessment Score Interpretation

  • Scores are valid for five years from the test date.
  • In order to place into college-level courses, you must meet or exceed the following cut score requirements for each section of the TSI assessment.
    • Math: 350 or higher
    • Reading: 351 or higher
    • Writing: 340 and an essay score of four OR 339 or lower and an ABE diagnostic score of four and an essay score of five.

Test Preparation Resources

Please be aware that the links listed above are official through both ACCUPLACER/TSIA2 and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB).

While you may use any resources that you deem helpful, please note that any online resources outside of these links are not sponsored or approved by ACCUPLACER/TSIA2 or the THECB.

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Texas Success Initiative (TSI) :: Meet our Staff

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Texas Success Initiative (TSI) :: FAQS

Frequently Asked Questions

I did not complete my TSIA2 requirement before my scheduled orientation date. What should I do?

Orientation is a requirement for all incoming freshmen and is a crucial first step for attending Orientation is a requirement for all incoming freshmen and is a crucial first step for attending Texas A&M University-Commerce. Do not reschedule or push back your orientation date until you have completed TSIA2 testing. If you have not completed your TSIA2 requirement before orientation, you will still be able to participate in all orientation activities, but you will not be able to register for classes with your advisor. A registration hold will be placed on your account until you complete your TSIA2 requirement. It is important to take your TSIA2 as soon as possible following your orientation so that you can secure the schedule that you want. Once you have completed your TSIA2 requirement, your TSI registration hold will be ended and you can contact your advisor to register for classes.

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Can I retest? How many times can I retest?

If you do not meet the required cut score on the TSIA2 ELAR and/or Math exam, you may choose to re-test in order to improve your placement score(s) or place higher.

If you only want to improve your score in one area of the TSIA2 (i.e. Math), after your initial TSI exams, you may choose to only re-take that section and will not be required to re-take both sections.

There is no limit to the amount of times you can re-test on each section, however, it is strongly advised that you reschedule your testing appointments after allowing for sufficient study time.

If you are not proficient in one or more areas based on your first TSIA2 exam, in your TSI ACCUPLACER student portal, you will have customized learning resources for you to review and work on before retesting.

You should not attempt to re-test immediately, as it is unlikely that your score will improve without revisiting relevant study material.

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Can I test at another center? What is the voucher system?

Students that need to complete the TSIA2 but would like to test closer to their home location are welcome to test with another testing center in their area. However, it is important to understand that many testing centers cannot accommodate students that are not their own and are considered “closed testing centers”, meaning they only test their students. Because of this, testing locations for the TSIA2 are limited.

Many schools in the state and around the country that can accommodate non-students require a special testing voucher from the student’s intended institution. Testing vouchers are created by the student’s indented institution (in this case, Texas A&M University-Commerce) and are sent to the participating testing location closer to the student. The voucher contains a unique voucher number that links the student’s information to the test sections needed and must be presented to the proctor at the time of testing. A voucher does not mean there are no fees required for testing.

Beginning March 1, 2020, in addition to the fee for the TSIA2 exam, A&M-Commerce students requesting a voucher to test at another testing center will be charged an additional, non-refundable, $5.00 convenience fee (for each voucher request), both payable to marketplace.

For students requesting a voucher, please fill out our online voucher request form and a staff member will contact you via email regarding your request. Before the voucher to the other testing location will be created, both the test fee and the voucher fee must be purchased in advance.

A voucher does not guarantee you a seat in your location’s testing lab. You will need to contact the testing location listed on your voucher to schedule a date and time to test with them. Students will also be responsible for paying any proctor fee the other testing location may require to administer your exam.

Once a testing location has been chosen and voucher created, you will not be able to choose a different location for testing. The exam fee and $5.00 convenience fee will not be refunded if the student decides not to use the voucher.

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Do I have to take the TSIA2?

Not all incoming students need to take the TSIA2 . There are many ways you can be exempt. Qualifying for a TSIA2 exemption means that you can enroll in your entry-level college course for English and Math (consult your academic advisor for the correct entry-level courses) without restrictions.

You may be exempt if you:

  • Have met the minimum college readiness standard on SAT® or ACT (scores valid for 5 years)
  • Have successfully completed college-level English and Math courses (official transcripts must be submitted)
  • STAAR scores in English III and/or Algebra II
  • Successfully completed specific College Prep courses in high school
  • Are not seeking a degree (transient)
  • Are an honorably discharged veteran, or on active duty at least three years prior to enrollment (see “Other Types of Exemption” below). Documentation must be submitted to the Veteran’s Affairs office at [email protected]

Exemption Requirements

TestExemption RequirementsExpiration
SATTest Taken March 2016 and after: There is no combined score requirement, however, you need: A minimum Math score of 530 to be exempt from the Math section of the TSIA2 and/or a minimum Evidence-Based Reading & Writing score of 480 to be exempt from the ELAR section of the TSIA2.
PSAT scores CANNOT exempt you from the TSIA2. You must take and meet the minimum requirements on the official SAT. While certain Dual Credit programs throughout the state may use PSAT scores to issue temporary TSIA2 Waivers, PSAT scores cannot be used by students entering a college or university full time.
Valid for 5 years from test date
ACT
A Composite score of 23 or higher AND: A minimum Math score of 19 to be exempt from the Math section of the TSIA2 and/or a minimum English score of 19 to be exempt from the ELAR section of the TSI Assessment.
Valid for 5 years from test date
STAAREnd-of-Course Assessment: a minimum Algebra II score of 4000 to be exempt from the Math section of the TSIA2 and/or a minimum English III score of 4000 to be exempt from the ELAR section of the TSIA2.
Please Note: The Algebra II and English III EOCs are optional for high schools to administer. Most high schools in the state opt out of testing for these two EOCs so please do not confuse them with the Algebra I and English II EOCs which cannot be used for exemption.
Valid for 5 years from test date

Other Types of Exemption

You may be exempt from the TSIA2 if you meet any of the following criteria.

  • Veteran Exemption
    • Students who were honorably discharged, retired, or released from active duty on or after August 1, 1990 may be exempt. A DD214 form showing Honorable Discharge status in Section 24 “CHARACTER OF SERVICE” must be submitted to the Veteran’s Affairs Office for verification of exemption.
  • Military Waiver
    • Students that are on active duty in the United States Armed Forces or are a member of the reserve component of the United States Armed Forces for at least three years prior to enrollment may be exempt. Proof of active duty status must be submitted to the Veteran’s Affairs Office for verification of waiver.
  • Degree Exempt
    • Students who have graduated with an associate’s or baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited post-secondary institution or from a recognized international institution may be exempt from the TSIA2, pending an official transcript that proves they have graduated.
  • Transfer Exempt
    • Students whose previous Texas public college or university has determined that they have met the minimum passing standards in reading, writing, and/or math may be exempt. An official transcript of this declared status must be provided.
  • Coursework Exempt
    • Students who have completed the appropriate college-level or developmental coursework in the corresponding subject areas may be exempt.

For a full and complete list of exemptions for the TSIA2, please view the Texas Administrative Code.

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How do I send my TSIA2 Scores to Texas A&M University-Commerce?

If you test at Texas A&M University-Commerce, your scores are available to us immediately upon completing your exam.

If you test at another TSIA2 testing location, your scores can be accessed through the online Accuplacer database, however, you must grant TAMUC access to look up, view, and use your scores for placement and enrollment purposes.

  • To grant TAMUC access to look up your previous TSI or TSIA2 scores from another institution, please fill out the score form.
  • You can also request your TSIA2 scores be sent directly to Texas A&M University-Commerce’s testing center by accessing the student portal through Accuplacer. All required fields must be completed in order to access your test scores.
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What happens if I don’t pass the test?

Although the phrase “passing scores” is often used for TSIA2 exam scores, the TSIA2 exam is not a “pass/fail” assessment. It is a diagnostic tool used by the state and universities within the state to determine your placement for English and/or Math courses.

If you do not meet the required cut score on the TSIA2 ELAR and/or Math assessment that places you into college-level English and Math, you will be required to take developmental coursework prior to or concurrently (co-requisite model) with your college-level English and/or Math courses. You may choose to re-test to try and improve your score(s) or placement, however, you should check with your college advisor prior to retesting.

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Texas Success Initiative (TSI) :: Contact

Contact Us

  • P.O. Box 3011
  • Commerce, TX 75429-3011
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