Texas Tech University

Texas Success Initiative (TSI) at Texas Tech

Students studying at Texas Tech

What is TSI? 

Texas Success Initiative (TSI) is a state-legislated program designed to improve student success at the college level. The TSI Assessment test helps determine if a student admitted to college is prepared to take college-level coursework in Reading, Writing and mathematics. Incoming college students in Texas are required to take the TSI Assessment unless they are exempt and will either be placed in college-level courses or placed in a developmental course depending on their assessment test scores.

Understanding the TSI Assessment Test

The current TSI Assessment test is version two, commonly referred to as TSIA2. TSIA2 was administered for any student taking the test after Jan. 11, 2021, and replaced the original TSI Assessment test (TSIA).

Before taking TSIA2, students are required to participate in a Pre-Assessment Activity. The activity will explain some of the test procedures and provide practice test questions along with feedback on answers to the practice questions. The activity also will provide options and campus resources to help them meet minimum standards.

  • The TSI Assessment in Mathematics contains a multiple-choice assessment with approximately 20 items on the placement test and 10 items in each section of the diagnostic test. Students with passing scores on the placement test will not be required to take the diagnostic test.
  • The TSI Assessment in Reading contains multiple choice with approximately 24 questions in the placement test and 10-12 items in each section of the diagnostic test.
  • The TSI Assessment in Writing contains a multiple-choice section and an essay section. There are approximately 24 items in the placement test and 10-12 items per section in the diagnostic test. For the essay section, students are asked to write a five-paragraph essay on an issue of current interest.

What scores do I need to pass?

The minimum passing standards for the TSIA2 require a College Readiness Classification (CRC) score of at least 950 or a CRC score below 950 and a diagnostic level of 6 for Mathematics. A CRC score of at least 945 and an essay score of at least 5, or a CRC score below 945 and a diagnostic level of 5 or 6, and an essay score of at least 5 are required for the English Language Arts Reading (ELAR) test.

For students who took the original TSIA, the standards are slightly different and require a score of 351 or higher on Reading, a score of 340 or higher and an essay score of 4 or higher for Writing, and a score of 350 or higher for Math.

Who is exempt from taking the TSI Assessment?

Not all incoming students are required to take the TSI Assessment. In fact, there are several ways to earn an exemption from the TSI Assessment, which allows a student to enroll in any entry-level college course without restrictions.

Meeting one of the following criteria may qualify a student for a TSI exemption.

  • Scored a 23 or higher on the ACT composite and a minimum of 19 on both English and Math (Note: for ACT administered PRIOR to February 15, 2023; scores may not be older than 5 years at the time of exemption).
  • For ACT administered AFTER February 15, 2023, a combined score of 40 for English and Reading, and a score of 22 for Math. 
  • A SAT score of 480 of the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) and 530 on Math. Scores must be issued within 5 years at time of exemption.
  • A STAAR minimum score on English III Reading of 2000, English III Writing of 2000, and Algebra II of 4000.
  • Students transferring from other institutions having satisfactorily completed college-level coursework.
  • Students who have enrolled in a certificate program of one year or less (Level One certificates) at a public institution.

I have already taken the TSIA2 at my high school or another institution, how do I submit my score to TTU?

If you elected to share your scores with TTU at the time you tested, those scores should be downloaded to your Raiderlink account. 

If you did not share your scores with TTU:

How do I lift my TSI hold?

Students admitted to Texas Tech University who have not satisfied their TSI requirements will have a TSI hold on their student records. 

Hold Types

  • If your hold says “TSI New Student”, your academic records must be reviewed for TSI compliance. Please contact the TSI Compliance Office at 806-742-3661 or at registrar.tsi@ttu.edu.
  • If your hold says “TSI DEVL required ____”, then you will need to attend the TSI Information Session at Red Raider Orientation and meet with your major/college advisor to discuss your specific TSI requirements. For any questions or concerns regarding TSI coursework, contact the TSI Office at 806-742-3242 or at tsi@ttu.edu.
  • If your hold says “TSI FALL 20XX”, then you need to meet with your major/college advisor to discuss your TSI requirements for the upcoming semester. If you need to make changes to your schedule, contact our office to have your hold temporarily lifted.
  • If your hold says “TSI COMPLETE SPRING 20XX”, then you are good to go for registration and should have no issues registering for class! No action is needed. 

Is there a fee to take the TSI Assessment?

There is a $50 fee each time your take the TSI Assessment at Texas Tech University. For more information, visit our FAQ page

I have questions, who can I contact?

TSI Compliance Office

To find out if you are exempt from TSI, if you need to take the TSI Assessment, and turn in TSI test scores and exemptions:

TSI Compliance Office Website
West Hall 103A
(806) 742-7333

TTU Academic Testing Services

To take the TSI Assessment or learn more about taking the TSI Assessment at TTU or at a local site:

Academic Testing Services Website
West Hall 214
(806) 742-3671

TSI Developmental Education Office

To get help with registering for TSI courses, and to learn more about TSI coursework:

Drane Hall 227
(806) 742-3242