Placement Testing

It is the intent of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board that Texas public institutions of higher education use the flexibility and responsibility granted under the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) rules to improve individualized programs to ensure the success of students in higher education.  All public colleges and universities shall assess the academic skills of each entering undergraduate student prior to enrollment of the student.  The Student Assessment Center administers the TSI2 Assessment Exam throughout the year.  Effective January 11th 2021, TSI was replaced with TSI2.  Information on latest passing scores, test dates, registration deadlines, and general information can be found at http://www.southtexascollege.edu/go/tsi.

Call 1-800-742-7822 for information or contact the Student Assessment Center at the Pecan Campus: 956-872-3484, Mid-Valley Campus: 956-447-6602, or Starr County Campus: 956-488-6976 for more information or visit the web site at http://studentservices.southtexascollege.edu/testing/index.html.

Who Must Take the TSI2 Assessment Exam?

All students who plan to enroll at South Texas College (STC) and students in high school enrolling in a college-level course MUST take the TSI Assessment Exam before enrolling in any college-level credit coursework.

Who Does Not Have to Take the TSI2 Assessment Exam?

  • A student who has previously attended any institution and has been determined to have met readiness standards by that institution.
  • Students who have achieved a sufficiently high score on ACT, SAT, TAAS/TAKS, STAAR End of Course Exams (EOC), or approved College Preparatory Courses in Mathematics and ELA. ACT, SAT, TAAS/TAKS, and STARR EOC scores may be no more than five (5) years from the date of testing, completion of STC approved College Preparatory courses must be within one (1) year of high school graduation. See Placement Scale.
  • Students who are enrolled in a certificate program of one-year or less (42 or fewer semester credit hours or the equivalent) unless required for a prerequisite.
  • Students who have graduated with an associate’s or baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
  • Transfer students from an accredited institution of higher education who have earned a “C” or better in a corresponding course (See Developmental Education Plan Procedures Guide).
  • 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.
  • A student who 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.
  • A student who successfully completes a college preparatory course under Texas Education Code §28.014 is exempt for a period of twenty four (24) months from the date of high school graduation with respect to the content area of the course. The student must enroll In the student's first college level course In the exempted content area in the students first year of enrollment in an institution of higher education. This exemption applies only at the institution of higher education that partners with the school district in which the student is enrolled to provide the course. Additionally, an institution of higher education may enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with a partnering institution of higher education to accept the exemption for the college preparatory course.

When Must a Student Take the TSI2 Assessment Exam?

All students enrolling in credit programs at STC, must have scores from the TSI2 Assessment instrument approved by the Texas Higher Education College Board by the First Class Day.

TSI2 Pre-Assessment Activity Requirement

THECB Rule 4.55 Assessment and Placement, section (B), requires all institutions offering the TSI2 assessment to provide students a pre-assessment activity(ies). South Texas College offers an online pre-assessment module that is available for students at www.onlineorientation.net/stc-pa. After completing the online module, students can print their Pre-Assessment completion page to show proof of completing their Pre-Assessment Activity.

The Pre-Assessment Activity is required for all students testing for the very first time. Students who have previously tested for TSI are not required to redo the Pre-Assessment Activity, but are highly encouraged to do so. Students who are testing for the very first time are required to submit proof of completion. Failure to do so may require the student to not be admitted or to reschedule until proof of completion.

Registration for the TSI2 Assessment Exam

To register for the TSI2 Assessment Exam, a student must fill out an STC Admissions form prior to the test administration. Once an Admissions form has been processed, the student may reserve a test date on-line through Marketplace at https://secure.touchnet.com/C20193_ustores/web/ and choose to test for TSI Assessment Exam. The TSI2 Assessment Exam is offered by appointment only via Market Place.

Please contact the Student Assessment Centers (Pecan: 956-872-3484, Mid-Valley: 956-447-6602, Starr: 956-488-6976) for more information.

Texas Success Initiative Test Content

TSI2 Mathematics

The TSI2 Mathematics Test is a multiple-choice assessment with four main categories. Scores range from 910 to 990. The TSI2 Math test consists of 20 questions in the standard format or 30 questions in the accommodated format.

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

TSI2 Mathematics Diagnostic Test

The TSI2 Diagnostic Test is used to identify specific academic strengths and weaknesses in mathematics. The TSI2 Math Diagnostic Test consist of 48 question on the standard format or 72 questions on the accommodated format. The test questions cover four content strands:

  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Algebraic Reasoning
  • Geometric and Spatial Reasoning
  • Probabilistic and Statistical Reasoning

TSI2 English Language Arts and Reading (ELAR)

The TSI2 ELAR Test is a multiple-choice assessment composed of Reading and Writing focused questions in conjunction with an Essay test. Scores range from 910 to 990 for the multiple choice test. Score for the ELAR essay range from a 0 to an 8. The TSI2 ELAR test consists of 30 questions on the standard format or 44 questions on the accommodated format. Shown below are brief descriptions of the Reading and Writing Focused test questions.

Reading Focused Test Questions

  • Literary Text Analysis
  • Informational Text Analysis

Writing-Focused Test Questions

  • Essay Revision and Editing
  • Sentence Revision, Editing, and Completion

TSI2 ELAR Diagnostic Test

The TSI2 ELAR Diagnostic Test is a test designed to identify a students academic strengths and weakness in Reading and Writing. The TSI2 ELAR Diagnostic test consists of 48 questions on the standard format or 72 questions on the accommodated format. The TSIA ELAR Diagnostic test parallels the TSI ELAR test and cover the following categories

  • Literary Text Analysis
  • Informational Text Analysis and Synthesis
  • Essay Revision and Editing
  • Sentence Revision, Editing, and Completion

TSI2 ELAR Essay Test

In conjunction with the multiple choice ELAR tests, the TSI2 also offers an Essay test. Students that take the Essay test are presented with a prompt and asked to write an essay of 300 to 600 words. The TSI2 Essay test measures the students ability to produce writing that emphasizes precise use of language, logical presentation of ideas, development of point of view, and clarity of expressions. Students testing for the TSI ELAR Essay test will be evaluated on six dimensions.

  • Purpose and Focus
  • Organization and Structure
  • Development and Support
  • Sentence Variety and Style
  • Mechanical Conventions

Payment for the TSI2 Assessment Exam

The TSI2 ASSESSMENT Exam fee is $29 for two sections; or $15 for one section plus a $25 Reservation Fee. Registration for this exam is done on-line through Student Marketplace https://secure.touchnet.com/C20193_ustores/web/

Please contact the Student Assessment Center (Pecan: 956-872-3484, Mid-Valley: 956-447-6602, Starr: 956-488-6976) for more information.

Developmental Education

Students scoring below the placement test standard are required to enroll in developmental and College Success courses.  Beginning in the Fall 2018, students qualifying for developmental education are encouraged to enroll in the developmental and college-level course at the same time.  The developmental course serves as a co-requisite to the college level course and intended to assist students in acquiring the essential skills needed to succeed in college.  Only grades of A, B, and C will result in the student being considered TSI complete.