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Texas Success Initiative (TSI)

  • As of August 26, 2013, all students either entering a Texas state college or taking a dual credit course will be required to take the new Texas Success Initiative Exam (TSI). Previous TSI approved tests (Compass, Accuplacer, THEA and ASSET) are no longer accepted. A student is exempt from the TSI with a SAT minimum composite score of 1070, a 500 Critical Reading and a 500 Math. A student is exempt from the TSI with an ACT minimum composite score of 23, a 19 in English and a 19 in Math.
  • The TSI math, reading, and writing tests are each created with two sections, a placement test and a diagnostic test. The TSI assessments are computer adaptive, which means that questions increase or decrease in difficulty level depending on how a student responds. 

    In contrast to previous college entrance exams, there is no arithmetic on the TSI. The math placement test contains approximately 20 questions beginning with elementary algebra and functions then moving to intermediate Algebra with functions. These two areas comprise 75% of the test questions.

    Can You Do the Math? How it Changes on the TSI. 

    The reading placement test includes approximately 24 questions covering the following categories:

    • Literary Analysis
    • Main Idea
    • Supporting Detail Inferences in Text(s)
    • Author’s Use of Language

    The writing placement test also includes 20 questions covering the following categories:

    • Essay Revision
    • Agreement
    • Sentence Structure
    • Sentence Logic

    *For some students a 400 to 600 word essay may be required.

We have provided several sample questions from the new college entrance exam or Texas Success Initiative (TSI) exam provided by the College Board. Test your skills and see if you can answer questions that will be on the new exam. Want more? Check out more sample questions by clicking here.
Mathematics Sample Questions
For each of the questions below, choose the best answer from the four choices given. You may use the paper you received as scratch paper:

6. Which of the following equaitions has both 1 and -3 as solutions?
    A. x2 - 2x - 3 = 0
    B. x2 + 2x - 3 = 0
    C. x2 - 4x + 3 = 0
D. x2 + 4x + 3 = 0

7. In the xy -plane, what is the y -intercept of the graph of the equation y = 2(x + 3)(x -4)?
    A. -24
    B. -12
    C. -2
    D. 12

12. A ball was kicked into the air from a balcony 20 feet above the ground, and the ball's height above the ground, in feet, t seconds after the ball was kicked was h(t) = 20 - 16t2 + 32t. What was the maximum height, in feet, of the ball above the ground after it was kicked?
    A. 32
    B. 34
    C. 36
    D. 40
Reading Sample Questions
Read the passage and then choose the best answer to the question. Answer the question on the basis of what is stated or implied in the passage.

5. Long thought to be a case of mistaken identity, the discovery of the Bornean rainbow toad by European explorers in 1924 was recently verified by scientists. The explorers had made a black-and-white sketch of an unusual toad they had found in the jungles of Southeast Asia, christening it the Bornean rainbow toad. Skeptical but curious, scientists recently went to look for the toad--and ended up finding three specimens.

The passage implies which of the following about the Bornean rainbow toad?
    A. Some people have doubted the existence of the toad.
    B. Scientists were confident that they would find the toad.
    C. The surviving toads have been relocated to Europe.
    D. No human being had seen the toad since 1924.

8. The 1922 German Expressionist film Nosferatu, directed by F. W. Murnau, is considered one of the most influential films in cinematic history—while also being a classic vampire movie. The film is closely based on Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel, Dracula; however, the villain in the film is called “Count Orlok” rather than “Count Dracula.” The reason is that the small studio that produced the film, Prana Film, was unable to secure the rights to Stoker’s novel. In fact, shortly after finishing Nosferatu, its one and only film, Prana went bankrupt in order to dodge copyright lawsuits from Stoker’s widow.

Why does the author say that the vampire in Nosferatu is named “Count Orlok” and not “Count Dracula”?
    A. To show that the makers of Nosferatu made minor changes to Stoker's novel.
    B. To suggest that the characters in Nosferatu were based on real people instead of literary characters.
    C. To criticize Nosferatu for its differences from its source.
    D. To praise the makers of Nosferatu for their imagination in recreating Stoker's novel.

Writing Sample Questions
Select the best version of the underlined part of the sentence. If you think the original sentence is best, choose the first answer.

6. It is important to learn how to swim, even if one is afraid; the skill will invariably prove useful later in your life.
    A. one is
    B. you are
    C. everyone is
    D. they are

9. Horror films that keep viewers in a state of endless fright and which draw record-breaking crowds. 
    A. that keep viewers in a state of endless fright and which draw
    B. keep viewers in a state of endless fright and drawing
    C. that keep viewers in a state of endless fright draw
    D. that keep viewers in a state of endless fright and they draw

Texas Success Initiative Contacts

Graduation Assessment & Accountability 
Leesa Green, M.Ed.
Assistant Deputy Executive Director
(903) 988-6715
Special Education
Jennifer Sturm, M.Ed.
Coordinator, Special Education
(903) 988-6816
Sherri Wright, M.Ed.
Coordinator, Federal Programs
(903) 988-6809
CTE Courses & Requirements 
Adrian Knight, M.Ed.
Coordinator, Federal Programs
(903) 988-6810

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