Texas Success Initiative (TSI)

The Texas Education Code statute 51.3062, Success Initiative, effective September 1, 2003, requires the university to assess the academic skills of each entering undergraduate student to determine the student’s readiness to enroll in freshman-level academic coursework. The fee for the completion of the assessment instrument will be paid by the student.  The university will not use the assessment or the results of the assessment as a condition of admission to the institution.

  • Is required by the Texas State Legislature for identifying and preparing academically those students whose basic skills in writing, reading, and/or mathematics are less than what is required to succeed in college level courses.
  • Requires constant student participation in developmental education classes if that student is deficient in the academic areas of reading, writing, and/or mathematics.
  • Requires all NON EXEMPT (TSI Exemptions) incoming students to complete the mandatory Pre-Assessment Activity and then to take the TSI assessment test before registering for classes.

Pre-Assessment Activity (PAA)

Before taking the TSI Assessment, students must participate in a Pre-Assessment Activity. Texas A&M University-Texarkana is required to provide the Pre-Assessment Activity as well as document your participation, so it is very important that you complete this activity before you take the test. In addition, you will not be allowed to take the TSI Assessment until you have completed this activity. The activity includes the following:

  • An explanation of the importance of the TSI Assessment
  • Practice test questions and feedback
  • An explanation of your developmental education options, if you do not meet the minimum passing standard; and
  • Information on campus and community resources to help you succeed as a college student.

Visit the Undergraduate Admissions website for additional information and resources regarding the Texas Success Initiative (TSI).  Students who have questions regarding their TSI status may contact Undergraduate Admissions at admissions@tamut.edu or the Registrar's Office at registrar@tamut.edu.

TSI Exemptions and Exceptions

Students may be exempt from the TSI Assessment test if they:

  • have graduated with an associate or baccalaureate degree from an institution of higher education; OR
  • have transferred 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; OR
  • have previously attended any institution and has been determined to have met readiness standards by that institution; OR
  • are student who is enrolled in a certificate program of one year or less (Level-One certificates, 42 or fewer semester credit hours or the equivalent) at a public junior college, a public technical institute, or a public state college; OR
  • 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 has been serving for at least three years preceding enrollment; OR
  •  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; OR
  • are enrolled at TAMU-T as a non-degree-seeking or non-certificate-seeking student.

TSI Exemption based on transfer course work

Students who transfer from private or independent institutions of higher education or accredited out-of-state institutions of higher education and who have satisfactorily completed college-level course work with a “C” or better in one course from each of the three areas listed below:

  • Writing--ENGL 1301, 1302, 2321, 2322, 2323, 2331, 2332, 2326, 2327, 2328, 2341, 2342, 2343, HIST 1301, 1302, 2301, 2311;
  • Reading--HIST 1301, 1302, ENGL 1301, 1302, 2321, 2322, 2323, 2326, 2327, 2328, 2331, 2332, 2333, 2341, 2342, 2343, GOVT 2301, 2302, 2305, 2306, PSYC 2301, 2314, PHIL 1301, 2303, 2306, GEOG 1300, 1301, 1302, 1303
  • Mathematics--MATH 1314 or higher; PYSC 2317.
TSI Exemptions based on Standardized Tests

Students who test at or above the following standards, valid five (5) years from the testing date may be exempt from TSI developmental education requirements:


  • Reading & Writing TSI Assessment exemption: composite score of 23 with a minimum of 19 on the English test
  • Math TSI Assessment exemption: 19 on the mathematics test



  • SAT combined critical reading and math score: 1070 
  • Reading & Writing Exempt: minimum of 500 on critical reading
  • Math Exempt: minimum of 500 on the math test

MARCH 2016 and on:

  • Reading & Writing Exempt: minimum of 480 on evidence- Based Reading & Writing (EBRW)
  • Math Exempt: minimum 530 on the math test


Students who achieve the following minimum score on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) valid 5 years from date of testing:

  • 2200 on TAKS Math and 2200 on TAKS English/Language Arts with a writing subscore of at least 3

STAAR end-of-course (EOC):

Students must attend college within five (5) years of their end-of-course (EOC) test in order to use the scores for an exemption.

• Reading & Writing Exempt: minimum Level 2 score of 4000 on the English III
• Math Exempt: minimum Level 2 score of 4000 on the Algebra II EOC;


  • A minimum score of 165 on the Mathematical Reasoning subject test shall be exempt for mathematics.

  • A minimum score of 165 on the Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA) subject test shall be exempt for English Language Arts Reading (ELAR).


  • A minimum score of 15 on the Mathematics subtest shall be exempt for mathematics.

  • A minimum score of 15 on the Reading subtest and a minimum score of 15 on the Writing subtest, including a minimum score of 4 on the essay, shall be exempt for English Language Arts Reading (ELAR).

If you think you meet one of these exemptions please verify that Texas A&M University-Texarkana has this information on file by contacting the Admissions Office at admissions@tamut.edu.

TSI ASSESSMENT (TSIA) College Readiness Standards 

College Readiness in Math

  • TSIM score of 950-990 OR TSIM score of 910-949 with a Diagnostic Level of 6

College Readiness in English, Language Arts, and Reading (ELAR)

  • ELAR score of a 945-990 with an Essay of 5-8   OR  ELAR of a 910-944 with a Diagnostic Level of 5-6 and an Essay of 5-8