Texas Success Initiative
It's the Law
The Texas Success Initiative (TSI) is a matter of state law (Texas Education Code §51.3062) and compliance is mandatory for all students who wish to attend a Texas public institution of higher education (as of fall 2003). The law requires all entering college students to be assessed for college readiness in reading, mathematics and writing unless the student qualifies for an exemption.
About the TSI Assessment
The TSI assessment is a three-part computer-based knowledge assessment covering reading, mathematics and writing. These tests are administered on a computer. The TSI Assessment is an untimed test that is administered in a 5 hour block. If a student does not complete all sections of the exam, the student has 14 days to return to complete the entire test. The TSI ASSESSMENT consists of the following tests:
TSI Math Test – There are approximately 20 items on this test and 10 items in each section of the TSI diagnostic test. This is a multiple-choice assessment that covers: Intermediate Algebra and Functions; Geometry and Measurements; and Data Analysis, Statistics and Probability.
TSI Writing Test - A multiple choice assessment with approximately 20 items on the placement test, and 10 -12 items on the diagnostic test. This assessment covers: Essay Revision; Agreement; Sentence Structure; and Sentence Logic.
TSI Reading Test - There are approximately 24 items on this assessment test, and 10-12 items per category on the diagnostic test. This assessment covers: Literary analysis; Main Idea and Supporting Details; Inferences in a Text or Texts; and Author’s Use of Language.
Before you take the TSI Assessment
Before taking the TSI Assessment, the student must participate in a mandatory Pre-Assessment Module (PAM). The PAM is only an exercise to be completed and will not be scored. Students are required to take the PAM on their own, either at home or at school; students should spend less than 30 minutes on the PAM.
Only upon completion of the PAM will the student be permitted to register for the TSI Assessment test. Students will not be allowed to take the TSI Assessment until they have completed this activity.
Please make sure that you check with the Office of Admissions before taking this test, there are no refunds.
Register for a test session
- Step 1: Apply for admissions to UTEP
The Office of Admissions and Recruitment will determine which TSI ASSESSMENT test(s) you need to take.
- Step 2: Complete the Pre-Assessment Module (PAM)
The Pre-Assessment Module contains an explanation of the importance of TSI Assessment and practice tests questions and feedback. Go to mystatus.utep.edu to take PAM.
- Step 3: Payment Procedures
Pay the $25 test fee online with a credit card at http://testingpayment.utep.edu.
The test fees are non-refundable and non-transferable, valid for one fiscal year (September 1st through August 31st of the following year).
- Step 4: Register for a test session
Reserve a seat either online at http://testregister.utep.edu , in person at the Student Assessment & Testing Office (located in the Academic Advising Center Bldg.,Suite 127), or call the TEST RESERVATION line at (915) 747-5009. Refer to the test schedule for dates and times.
The Office of Student Assessment and Testing offers the TSI assessment throughout each month of the year with the exception of holiday periods. To view available test dates follow this link to the Testing Calendar.
On the day of the test
Report to the Student Assessment & Testing Office. Arrive 15 minutes early for check-in. If the candidate arrives late, then the candidate may not be admitted into the test session. Present Identification – Candidates are required to present an official identification card with a current photo.
Students scoring at or above the cut scores are considered “college ready” and eligible to enroll in any entry level college course (for example, English composition, history, government, or college algebra). Some college level courses require passing scores in more than one area. Below are the passing cut scores for TSIA as set by the state:
• Mathematics: a minimum score of 350
• Reading: a minimum score of 351
• Writing: a score of 5 on the essay section or a score of 4 on the essay and a minimum score of 340 on the multiple choice section
You will have to go thru TSI advising if these scores are not met.
Distance Testing and Remote Test Site
If the student is unable to travel to The University of Texas at El Paso test site, then remote testing is an option. New and transfer students who live outside of El Paso County, residing in-state or out-of-state, and plan to attend The University of Texas at El Paso can arrange to take the UTEP TSI Assessment at a local college or university that is more accessible to the student. Students interested in this option are asked to review the Distance Testing agreement for important information about next steps, point of contact, fees, and delivery of scores.
UTEP Codes: ACT: 4223; AP, CLEP, SAT, TOEFL: 6829; THEA: 357; DSST: 8021