Student Success Center

TSI Pre-Assessment Activity

You are required to complete the TSI Pre-Assessment Activity before you can take the TSI Assessment.

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I. TSI Assessment: Purpose, Scores and Exemptions


Purpose and Importance

The TSI Assessment is a placement test designed to assist Texas higher education institutions in determining student readiness for college-level course work in the general areas of reading, writing and mathematics. All incoming college students attending a public higher education institution in Texas are required to take the TSI Assessment, unless exempt via an alternate approved method. (See below)

The TSI Assessment covers three subject areas: reading, mathematics and writing. If you are exempt in one area, you must take the test in the remaining subject area(s). If you do not meet the minimum TSI Assessment score indicating college readiness, you must enroll in Developmental Education coursework in the subject area in which you are not “TSI complete.” (See Section III for Developmental Education information)

You are not permitted to enter college-level courses without evidence that you possess the basic skills necessary to have a reasonable chance of success; as such, you cannot enroll in college-level and developmental work in the same subject area simultaneously. You must complete the developmental coursework sequence in the necessary area, or obtain a college-ready score on the TSI Assessment, to be considered “TSI complete.”

The TSI Assessment tests are not timed; take the test seriously, and don’t rush. Use the practice links listed in Section II to familiarize yourself with the subject areas.

Your scores will be printed and delivered to you on site after you have completed the test.

After taking the test, see your academic advisor for placement, registration and next steps. Good luck!

TSI Assessment College Readiness Cut Scores

Cut scores are the minimum score needed to take college level course work.

  • Mathematics – 350
  • Reading – 351
  • Writing – Essay score of 5 or essay score of 4 and minimum multiple choice score of 340

For more information, view the student brochure from the Texas Higher Education College Board.

TSI Exemptions

You do not have to take the TSI Assessment if you:

  1. Performed at or above the following standards, and are attending college within five (5) years from the date of testing:
    1. ACT – Composite score of 23 or higher, with individual math, reading and English scores of no less than 19. ACT Residual Testing cannot be used for TSI exemption.
    2. SAT (administered on or after March 2016) – Minimum score of 480 on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) test shall be exempt for both reading and writing TSI requirements. Minimum score of 530 on the mathematics test shall be exempt for the math TSI requirements.
    3. SAT (administered prior to March 2016) - Combined critical reading (formerly "verbal") and mathematics score of 1070 with a minimum of 500 on the critical reading test shall be exempt for both reading and writing sections of the TSI Assessment; a combined critical reading (formerly “verbal”) and mathematics score of 1070 with a minimum of 500 on the mathematics test shall be exempt for the mathematics section of the TSI Assessment.
    4. Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) — 11th grade exit-level TAKS with a minimum scale score of 2200 on the math section and/or a minimum scale score of 2200 on the English Language Arts section and a writing subsection score of at least 3, are TSI exempt for the corresponding sections. (Note: The writing subsection score is often not printed on high school transcripts, but can usually be found on the exit level TAKS score report.)
    5. STAAR end-of-course (EOC) – A minimum score of Level 2 on the English III shall be exempt from the TSI Assessment required under this title for both reading and writing, and a minimum score of Level 2 on the Algebra II EOC shall be exempt from the TSI Assessment required under this title for the mathematics section.
  2. Are a non-degree seeking or non-certificate-seeking student.
  3. Graduated with an associate or baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education. Transcripts must be sent to the Office of Admission and Enrollment for verification purposes.
  4. Previously attended any Texas public institution and met TSI requirements as determined by that institution.
  5. Are 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.
  6. 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. 
  7. Are a student who, 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.
  8. Transferred from a private, independent or out-of-state college or university and have satisfactorily completed college-level coursework as determined by UT Dallas.

Note: Submit your official transcripts to the Office of Admission and Enrollment as soon as possible; you will receive a TSI waiver only after course equivalences are evaluated. You cannot register for courses with a TSI Hold on your record. Contact your academic advisor for more information.

II. Practice Questions

Subject area content (PDF)

Practice questions: Math, reading, writing (PDF)

Writing/essay preparation (PDF)

Web-based Study App: Features practice tests in arithmetic, elementary algebra, college-level math, reading comprehension and sentence skills.

III. Developmental Education

Policies and Procedures

If you do not score at the college readiness levels, you must register for Developmental Education courses for all areas in which you did not achieve the stated cut-score.

You must enroll in Developmental Education during your first semester of attendance. If the Developmental Education courses are not offered during your first semester, you must register for them at a local community college. Work with your academic advisor and the TSI Coordinator to make sure you are properly enrolled in courses at UT Dallas as well as Developmental Education courses at a local community college. If you violate this policy, you may be dropped from your course(s) at UT Dallas.

You are encouraged to enroll in Developmental Education courses at Richland College due to an information sharing agreement that makes it easier to track and verify student enrollment and course completion. However, you may enroll in Developmental Education courses at another local community college. Discuss your options with your academic advisor and the TSI Coordinator.

You are required to complete the developmental coursework sequence at the community college to become “TSI complete,” which means you have completed the highest level of the developmental education coursework at the community college, or reached the college-readiness standard on the TSI Assessment.

Participation and Attendance

Richland College provides student attendance and enrollment information to UT Dallas.

If you attend another local community college, you are responsible for providing proof of continued enrollment the TSI Coordinator throughout the semester. You must adhere to the policies and the procedures of the community college in regards to registration, attendance, course requirements, etc.

If you are required to be in Developmental Education for TSI purposes, you may not drop a developmental course unless you reach a college-readiness score on the TSI Assessment, examination, become TSI exempt through alternative means, or withdraw from all University courses for the semester. All drop forms must be signed by the Office of Undergraduate Education.

UT Dallas TSI Coordinator

Amanda Montgomery
McDermott Library MC 1.312
[email protected]
(972) 883-2702

  I certify that I have completed the Pre-Assessment Activity. I have prepared by doing sample questions and understand the consequences of not passing the TSI Assessment.