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Alamo Colleges' Library Information

St. Philip's College
• MLK Campus Library
• Southwest Campus Library

What is the Texas Success Initiative Assessment? 

“The TSI Assessment (TSIA) is part of the Texas Success Initiative program designed to help your college or university determine if you are ready for college-level course work in the general areas of reading, writing, and mathematics.  This program also will help determine what type of course or intervention will best meet your needs to help you become better prepared for college-level course work if you are not ready.

If you are an incoming college student in Texas, you are required to take the TSI Assessment — unless you are already exempt— to determine your readiness for college-level work.  Based on how you perform, you may either be enrolled in a college-level course that matches your skill level and/or be placed in the appropriate developmental course or intervention to improve your skills and prepare you for success in college-level courses.”

Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Assessment, Student Informative Brochure, (2015), College Board, Retrieved from


What is on the TSI?

Elementary Algebra and Functions,  Intermediate Algebra and Functions, Geometry and Measurement, and Data Analysis, Statistics and Probability.

Literary Analysis, Main Idea and Supporting Details, Inferences in a Text or Texts, and  Author’s Use of Language.

Essay Revision, Agreement, Sentence Structure, and Sentence Logic.

Test Information

The TSI Assessment is an adaptive computerized test that will cover: 

Mathematics – 20 multiple choice questions, non-timed

Reading – 24 multiple choice questions, non-timed   

Writing – 20 multiple choice questions, non-timed  

You may be asked to write an essay containing 350 – 500 words on a topic randomly selected, non-timed.  Important: Based on scores in Math, Reading and Writing sections, you may be required to complete more questions than listed above.

How long is the assessment?  

The assessment ranges between 3-5 hours.  It is designed to adjust to each student's ability and therefore the time varies.

Where can I take the TSI assessment?  

Each of the Alamo Colleges have Assessment Centers and with an appointment, prospective students can register to take the TSI assessment.  However, many of the area high schools are testing centers for the TSI assessment.  If you are a high school student and would like to the TSI assessment, check with your high school counselors or dual credit liaison.

How much does the assessment cost?  

The cost for students to take the TSI at each of the Alamo Colleges: 

  • Full TSI Exam (Reading, Writing, Math) = $32.00  
  • Individual Content Area Exam = $12.00    
  • For high school students taking the TSI at a high school that is a testing center, please check with your High School Counselors or Dual Credit Liaison.  Fees for taking the TSI vary and in some cases are paid for by the high schools. 
  • How long does it take to get the results?  

    The TSI is an online exam that provides students with immediate results upon completion of the exam.  The assessment proctor will be able to provide you with a print out of your results. 

    What happens if I do not meet the required scores?  

    The TSI is comprised of three sections: Math, Reading, Writing, and are each scored separately.  When students do not meet required scores in specific sections of the TSI, they are placed in developmental courses to assist with remediation in an area.  These courses are designed to equip students with college ready skills and maximize opportunities for success in subsequent college level courses.  


    How do I prepare for this exam?

    While it is our intent for this page to assist students in preparing for the TSI assessment, know that this is only a short list of resources to assist with the study / preparation process.  These are a few supplemental resources to assist students in preparing for the TSI content areas, but are certainly not limited to those listed below.  Be cautious when researching supplemental resources on the internet.  While there are many sites on the internet that provide free test preparation materials, there are many test prep sites that are fee-based (.com) and/or free sites that attempt to sell you a product.  

    Collegeboard TSI Booklet of Sample Questions

    Collegeboard TSI Writeplacer Guide with Sample Essays

    Collegeboard TSI Student Information Brochure

    Collegeboard TSI Web-Based Study App 

    Alamo Colleges Test Prep Informational Module

    Austin Community College TSI Assessment Preparation

    Houston Community College TSI Pre-Assessment Activity 

    McLennan Community College

    ACCUPLACER Preparation Site


    Math Resources 

    Khan Academy - Math Review


    Elementary Algebra and Functions

     [Video] Basic Algebra Lessons for Beginners from

     [Video] Basic Algebra Lessons for Beginners Part 2 from

     [Video] Lesson 2: Addition and Subtraction in Algebra -- from


    Intermediate Algebra and Functions

    Video: Introductory Algebra - Factoring - 4 Terms by Grouping

    Math Center Practice Test



    Geometry and Measurement

     Houghton Mifflin Math 

     Brilliant SAT Math 

     Mometrix Test Preparation 


    Data Analysis, Statistics and Probability

    Annenberg Learner

    Math is Fun

    Mometrix Test Preparation


    Reading Resources

    Literary Analysis

    Analyzing and Interpreting Literature (CLEP)

    PARCC Prep: Literary Analysis Writing Task


    Main Idea and Supporting Details

    Main Idea Worksheets

    Study Zone Test Prep

    Inferences in a Text or Texts

    Goal-book Toolkit

    Virginia Department of Education


    Author’s Use of Language

    Test Prep Review

    Varsity Tutors


    Writing Resources