Why do students have to take the Texas Success Initiative Exam?

The TSI requires Texas public institutions of higher education to assess the academic skills of each entering undergraduate student to determine the student’s readiness to enroll in freshman-level academic coursework. Students may receive a TSI Complete status as seen on their ASAP student account if they have met score requirements for the ACT, SAT, or TAKS and have those scores on file with UTSA. If the student receives a TSI Incomplete status, it could be due to incomplete or missing scores at UTSA, or because the scores on file did not meet the minimum requirements. If the student has a TSI Incomplete status, then Texas state law requires the student to be assessed in the areas of deficiency (mathematics, reading, and/or writing).

Students must check their own account information and are responsible for requesting updated transcripts or test scores from other institutions. To check your current TSI status, log into ASAP.

The chart below presents the available TSI Exemptions based on ACT, SAT, and TAKS scores.

Pre-Assessment Activity

Before students are allowed to register for the TSI Assessment exam, they must complete a Pre-Assessment Activity (PAA).  At UTSA, the PAA must be completed online at:  https://www.tsipreview.com/welcome/ut-sanantonio

All first-time freshmen who are “TSI Incomplete” are required to take the Pre-Assessment Activity prior to registering for their TSI Assessment.

Students must complete their PAA online prior to testing registration. Registration for the TSI Assessment may be done online through ASAP after completion has been determined by the Testing Services office.

Who must take a Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Assessment?

Any non-exempt full or part-time student in a public community college or university in Texas who is not exempt.

When must students take the TSI Assessment, if not exempt?

BEFORE CLASS REGISTRATION, students who are required to attend Orientation must take the TSI Assessment and receive test scores prior to registering for courses at Orientation.

Who is exempt?

Students shall be exempt from the requirements of the Texas Success Initiative who meet or exceed the following criteria:

(note: some of the exemptions are full and others are partial)

  • ACT – composite score of 23 with a minimum of 19 on both the English and Mathematics tests. If a student has a combined score of 23 with a minimum of 19 in only one and not both content areas, the student will be exempt in only one area and will be required to take a TSI exam in the other area. (ACT score exemptions are valid for 5 years from the date of test.) Note that the English test covers the TSI areas of reading and writing and the Mathematics test covers the TSI area of mathematics.
  • SAT – New SAT scores as of March 1,2016 Evidenced Based (EBRW) of 480; Mathematics  530
  • Older SAT scores (prior to March 1, 2016):  combined Critical Reading and Mathematics score of 1070 with a minimum score of 500 on Critical Reading and Mathematics tests. If a student has a combined score of 1070 with a minimum of 500 in only one and not both content areas, the student will be exempt in only one area and will be required to take a TSI exam in the other area. (SAT score exemptions are valid for 5 years from the date of the test.) Note that the Critical Reading content covers the TSI areas of Reading and Writing and the Mathematics content covers the TSI area of Mathematics.
  • TAKS (exit-level) – 2200 in mathematics and 2200 in English Language Arts (ELA) with a subscore of at least 3. Students who do not meet the exemption criteria in all areas will need to take the TSI Assessment in the areas they did not meet the exemption criteria. Note that the English Language section covers the TSI areas of Reading and Writing and the Mathematics section covers the TSI area of Mathematics. (Valid for 5 years.)
  • A student who has graduated with an associate or baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
  • A student who transfers to UTSA 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 this institution.
  • A student who has previously attended any Texas public institution of higher education and has been determined to have met readiness standards at 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 for at least a three-year period 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 non-degree seeking and has earned fewer than 12 credit hours at UTSA.

What are passing scores for the TSI Assessment? 

Subject Score Course Level
Math 310 – 342 MAT 0203
  343 – 349 MAT 0213
  347 – 349 MAT 0213 or NCB OPTION
  350 – 390 Entry Level Math*
Reading 310 – 335 WRC 0203
  336 – 350 WRC 0203 or NCB OPTION
  351 – 390 Entry Level Reading
Writing 310 – 335** WRC 0203
  336 – 339** WRC 0203 or NCB OPTION
  340 – 390** WRC 1013

* MAT 1023, 1033, 1043, 1073, STA 1043 & 1053. Students who earn a score of 350 or higher on the Math section are also eligible for the Pre-calculus/Calculus Math Placement exam to register for Pre-Calculus or Calculus their first semester.

** A student scoring a 5 on the essay test or a 4 on the essay test and at least 340 on the multiple-choice test has satisfied the TSI Assessment standard in writing and may enroll in entry-level writing courses.

What if a student doesn’t pass one of the sections of the TSI Assessment?

If the student does not pass one or more of the sections of the TSI Assessment, the student may choose to retest at any time.

Take the TSI Assessment at a college near you.

  • Not all colleges will test individuals who are not their students, but many will. Therefore, consult nearby institutions to determine their policy. The Pre-Assessment Activity (PAA) is linked with the TSI at the institution at which you are testing. After taking both the PAA and TSI at that testing location, go to our authorization link on ASAP, fill out the necessary information, and submit.  There is a $20 fee for each request to download scores.  You will be asked for the following information:
    • All students must give us permission to download scores by filling out the authorization form on ASAP under Student Services and then under the Testing Services Link.
    • Allow three business days for your request to be processed. Requests cannot be processed overnight, on holidays or weekends, so plan ahead and your scores should be in the student system for course registration.

ASAP Authorization Link

UTSA students can register for the TSI Assessment by logging into their ASAP accounts. You must be a UTSA student and have completed the Pre-Assessment Activity in order to register for a TSI Assessment at UTSA.

How much does the TSI Assessment cost, and how can I pay?

The TSI Assessment test fee is $45 and is charged to a student’s UTSA account after taking the exam. Payment may be made online by logging into your ASAP account or in person at the Fiscal Services office in the John Peace Library after the exam.  A $50 fee is charged upon any third or more attempt to a student’s UTSA account.

Remote TSI Assessment

Do you need to take the TSI Assessment for UTSA?
Have you completed the mandatory Pre-assessment Activity (PAA)?
Do you live over 100 miles away from our campus?

**If you have not yet taken the PAA, then please scroll up to the appropriate subheading and follow the instructions posted there. Please use the UTSA link even if you intend to take the TSI Assessment remotely; do not select a different institution.

If you answered “yes” to the three questions above, then you may qualify to take the Remote TSI Assessment. This assessment is the same as the one you would take at UTSA. The only difference is that the Remote option is administered outside of UTSA.

Please follow the two steps below to register for the Remote TSI Assessment.

Step 1
–Locate a nearby proctor that meets the following criteria:
i) The proctor must be a member of the College Board Remote Testing Network and work at a college or university testing facility. NOTE: the proctor cannot be your teacher or any other individual with a stake in your academic success.
ii) The proctor must be unrelated to you. Parents, aunts, uncles, older siblings, etc. are not allowed.
iii) The proctor must be able to communicate with UTSA officials via a professional email address (e.g. john.smith@college.edu) and phone number. Due to security concerns, we cannot communicate with the proctor via a non-professional email domain such as Yahoo, Hotmail, or Gmail.
iv) The proctor must be able to return documents either by scanned email (preferred method) or by fax.

IMPORTANT: A fee of $45 (or $50 if this is your third attempt or more) will be charged to your UTSA student account after the exam concludes. The institution where you take the exam might charge an additional fee, so please consult your proctor prior to committing to a test date. UTSA has no influence over additional fees charged to you at the institution where you take the Remote TSI Assessment.

Step 2
–Send an email to testinfo@utsa.edu and include the following information:
i) Your full legal name as it would appear on an official transcript (no nicknames or abbreviations).
ii) Your UTSA student ID number (e.g. “@01234567” or “ABC123”).
iii) Your proctor’s full legal name.
iv) Your proctor’s professional email address and professional phone number.
v) The state or country where the exam will be administered.
vi) The name of the college or university where the exam will be administered.

A UTSA Testing Services staff member will determine your eligibility to take the Remote TSI Assessment. The staff member will notify you via email if you qualify. You and your proctor will then receive a voucher number via email. This voucher number will be unique to you and will allow your proctor to administer the test remotely. Your proctor will also receive a disclaimer to be completed and returned to our office immediately after testing concludes.

Please note that failure to follow the procedures listed above will disqualify you from taking the Remote TSI Assessment. The Remote TSI Assessment option is available only to admitted UTSA students residing at least 100 miles from UTSA. All other eligible students must register to take the TSI Assessment at UTSA; we offer proctored sessions at the Main and Downtown offices year round.