Trinity Valley Community College


TSI (Texas Success Initiative)
Posted: 8/25/2014 3:52:20 PM
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).
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 after April 1995): Composite 1070 with a minimum 500 on verbal and 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 with 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.
How do I register for testing?

 The TSI Assessment is regularly given on the first Monday of most months on the Athens campus in the Testing Center and on the first Friday of most months on the Terrell and Palestine campuses. 
  • Limited to the first 25 people signed in on the clipboard hanging on the door of Rm 133 in the Administration Building in Athens
  • Arrive by 8:00 am; Check-in begins at this time
  • Have photo ID and the Pre-Assessment Activity certificate. (See the Testing Center homepage for more info.)
  • Pay the $35.00 fee-cash, check or money order (payable to TVCC), credit/debit cards: VISA, Discover, MasterCard
 Pre-registration is not  for the TSI Assessment test dates; it is first-come, first-serve only.The fee for the TSI Assessment at all TVCC campuses is $35.
Trinity Valley Community College is committed to helping area high schools prepare their students for a seamless entry and transition into the Texas Colleges and Universities of their choice.  In doing so, we  provide opportunities for TSI Assessment administrations onsite at your high school during the school day.  More information can be obtained by contacting your high school counselor or by contacting the TVCC testing center at 903-675-6385 

For all tests:
Arrive for the test about 10  minutes early before the starting time.  Seating is not guaranteed for late arrivals.  Testing will begin promptly at the designated time.  Allow up to 4 hours for taking the TSI Assessment.

All exams require the examinee to know their social security number; therefore, if the examinee does not have it memorized, he/she will need to bring their Social Security Card with them as well.

You must have one form of identification, with a recent photograph and your name.  If you do not have photographic identification, you may not be admitted to the test.  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 Assessment Testing Accommodations Request Form.

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