Texas Success Initiative (TSI)

The Texas Success Initiative is a state-legislated program designed to improve student success in college. The program consists of two components. The first is an assessment to diagnose the students’ basic skills in reading, math, and writing. The second is developmental instruction to strengthen the academic skills that need improvement as determined by the TSI exam results.

Test Score Exemptions

Full Exemptions 

SAT required scores as of March 5, 2016:  evidenced-based Reading and Writing (EBRW)- 480, Mathematics- 530.

(scores prior to March 5, 2016: composite of 1070 without writing section with sub scores of 500 on ENG and MATH sections).

ACT composite of 23 without the writing section with sub scores of 19 on ENG and MATH sections.

TAKS  required scores:  2200 on the ELA with an essay score of 3 and 2200 on the Math

STAAR required scores:  2000 English III Writing, 2000 English III Reading, 4000 Algebra II

(All scores good for a five year period)

Partial Exemptions

A partial exemption allows a student to be exempt from part but not all of the TSI Assessment. For example, a student achieving a 1070 composite on the SAT with a sub score of 500 on the math section but only a 470 on the English section will be exempt from the math section of the TSI but must take the reading and writing sections of the TSI Assessment prior to registering for college-level courses.

College Credit Exemption

  • Dual credit by course and section will be evaluated upon receipt of transcripts with final course grades to declare partial TSI completion by test section (i.e., math, reading, or writing)
  • AP test credit may be used once accepted by the student to declare partial TSI completion by test section.
  • Students transferring courses from another institution of higher education may be exempted (partially or fully) upon review of official transcripts*.
  • Students who have previously earned a Baccalaureate or Associate’s degree from another Texas public institution of higher education will be exempted (official transcript required).
  • Students who transferred to UTSA from a private, independent, or an accredited out-of-state institution of higher education and who have satisfactorily completed college-level course work as determined by this institution will be exempted.
  • Admitted, non-degree seeking students will be exempted.

*Upon receipt of official transcripts from other colleges or universities, UTSA may declare a student “TSI Prior,” indicating that the student has completed the TSI obligation at that institution.

Military Exemption

Students who have served in the military (on or after August 1, 1990) and were honorably discharged, retired, or released from active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States, the Texas National Guard, or a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the U.S. (copy of DD214 required) will be exempted.

Active duty military members of the armed forces of the United States, the Texas National Guard, or a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the U.S. will be exempted (letter from commanding officer required). This temporary exemption will be valid for only one semester; orders must be resubmitted each semester.