TSI Test Breakdown

June 12, 2018 0 Comments

TSI Assesment Breakdown: Texas Success Initiative

TSI is a test for incoming degree-seeking Texas college students who are hoping to enter into a public state college in Texas. The TSI is accepted by all Texas public colleges and universities and is needed prior to enrollment in the first semester. This test helps determine how prepared a student is for college-level courses and assists in determining the appropriate level of course work for each student prior to enrollment. Students who do not perform well on a section/s of the TSI, will be required to take a remedial course in that subject area/s prior to enrollment. Others may be able to retest and aim for a better performance. A successful first performance is ideal and recommended for student as this will determine their readiness for college and reduce time and money spent on remedial coursework.

The test is composed of computer adaptive, multiple choice questions in three subject areas: math, reading, and writing, and an essay section. Levels of difficulty of each question is determined on how the previous questions have been answered. The school in which a student will be enrolling will administer the test. It is important to contact your school prior to taking the test for exact and additional information.


TSI Basics

Test dates:

  • Dates may vary amongst schools, check with your school on testing dates and times.

How to register for the TEAS exam:

  • Check with your school to find out registration and payment information.
  • Schools often only provide testing for their students only, check with the school if you need special arrangements or accomodations


  • $29, exact price may vary amongst schools
  • Fees may be waived, check with your school on how to have the fee waived

How long is the test?:

  • 3 subject sections, approximately 20 questions per section
  • Essay section
  • No time limit, but students will be given up to 5 hours in the testing center
  • If you are unable to finish on time, you will be able to come back to complete the test which must be done within 2 weeks from initial testing date.

What subjects are on the test?:

  • Math, Reading, Writing, Essay

How many questions are on the test?:

  • Approximately 20 questions per section, plus one essay sectio

Where do I take the test?:

At your school which you are enrolling

Do I need to take the test?:

  • Most students will be required to take the TSI, your school will likely contact you. If not, be sure to contact them about taking the test.
  • Some students may be exempt from portions of or the entire test, check with your school to determine this eligibility.

What is the Pre-Assessment Activity (PAA)?:

A mandatory assignment needed prior to taking the TSI exam

  • You will need to present a certificate of completion when checking in to take the TSI

What do I need to do prior to taking the test?:

  • Mandatory Pre Assessment Activity (PAA)
  • Arrive at least 15 minutes early to the test, late arrivals will not be allowed into the test.

What to bring/not bring to the test?


  • Valid Photo ID
  • Receipt of payment or proof of waived-fee
  • Certificate of completion of the pre-assessment activity (PAA) (printed out)

Do Not Bring

  • Calculator (one will be provided to you)