The Texas Success Initiative

The Texas Success Initiative (TSI) is a state-mandated program designed to improve student success in college. There are two components of the program: (1) an assessment to diagnose students’ basic skills in reading, mathematics, and writing and (2) developmental instruction to strengthen academic skills that need improvement.

All non-exempt students are required by law to take the TSI Assessment (TSIA), which is the only college-readiness assessment approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. UT Austin students may register to take the TSIA through the Student Testing Services website by clicking on “Test Schedules and Registration” and logging in using their UT EID. If a student chooses to take the TSIA at another institution, it is the responsibility of the student to see that scores are sent to the University's TSI office.

A student may be exempt from all TSI requirements under any one of the following conditions:

  • The student has earned a bachelor’s degree or an associate degree.
  • The student is 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.
  • The student 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 served as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States on or after August 1, 1990.
  • The student is a non-degree-seeking or a non-certificate-seeking student.
  • The student has attended another Texas public institution of higher education and has been determined to have met readiness standards by that institution.
  • The student has transferred to the University from a private or independent institution of higher education, an accredited out-of-state institution of higher education, or an international institution of higher education and has completed college-level coursework, as determined by the University.

A student may be exempt from one or more TSI requirements under the following conditions:

  • For scores on the SAT taken before March 2016:
    • A student with a combined math and critical reading SAT score of at least 1070 and a math score of at least 500 is exempt from the math requirement.
    • A student with a combined math and critical reading SAT score of at least 1070 and a critical reading score of at least 500 is exempt from the reading and writing requirements.
  • For scores on the SAT taken in or after March 2016:
    • A student with a math score of 530 or higher is exempt from the math requirement.
    • A student with an Evidence Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) score of 480 or higher is exempt from the reading and writing requirements.
  • A student with an ACT composite score of at least 23 and a math score of at least 19 is exempt from the math requirement.
  • A student with an ACT composite score of at least 23 and an English score of at least 19 is exempt from the reading and writing requirements.
  • A student with an exit-level TAKS math score of at least 2200 is exempt from the math requirement.
  • A student with an exit-level TAKS English/language arts score of at least 2200 and an essay score of at least 3 is exempt from the reading and writing requirements.
  • A student with a score of at least Level 2 on the STAAR English III end-of-course (EOC) is exempt from the reading and writing requirements.
  • A student with a score of at least Level 2 on the STAAR Algebra II end-of-course (EOC) is exempt from the math requirement.

SAT, ACT, TAKS, and STAAR scores used to support an exemption must be less than five years old. Students who fail to meet the minimum passing standards on the TSIA are required to enroll in a developmental education course designed to strengthen skills in reading, writing, or mathematics. Students will meet individually with a TSI advisor to decide which course is best suited to their individual needs. For further information, students may visit the Texas Success Initiative website.