What Is TSI?

It is the Texas Success Initiative, and measures the ability of students—as indicated by their skills in Reading, Writing and Math—to do college-level course work. Students who do not meet exemption criteria or pass all sections of placement testing will be required to enroll in Developmental/College Preparatory Courses for areas in which they have not passed. Find out more about testing at NCTC.


Attention All Students - Important Notice


Students are NOT allowed to enroll in the following courses IF they have not met the minimum placement score.


  • READING: TSI status must be College Ready in Reading to enroll in HIST1301 or 1302 (U.S. History); GOVT2305 or 2306 (American Government); ANY sophomore literature course; or PSYC2301 (General Psychology).
  • MATHEMATICS: TSI status must be College Ready in Math to enroll in MATH 1314 (College Algebra); MATH 1332 (Math for Liberal Arts); MATH 1342 (Elementary Statistics);  MATH 1316 (Trigonometry).
  • WRITING: TSI status must be College Ready in Writing to enroll in ENGL1301 (Grammar & Composition); ENGL1302 (Literature & Composition); or ANY sophomore literature course


May I Re-Test?


Students who have not yet passed a section of a previous placement test may re-test on the new TSI Assessment. When re-testing during the semester in which a student is already enrolled, some exceptions do apply regarding dropping required Developmental/College Preparatory courses. Please contact NCTC Counseling and Testing Office before re-testing or withdrawing from Developmental/College Preparatory courses.



Who Is Exempt From Testing?

  • Students who have graduated with an associates degree or higher from an accredited institution within the U.S.

  • Students who earned a degree outside the U.S. must submit transcripts accompanied by a general evaluation completed by an accredited service. The evaluation must verify their degree to be the equivalent of an associate degree or higher earned at an accredited institution within the U.S. A list of accredited evaluation services may be found at the following link - www.naces.org/members.htm.
  • Any student enrolled in a certificate program . Such "Level One" certificates are programs of one year or less that require at least 15 but no more than 42 semester credit hours.
  • Students who are serving on active duty as a member of the U.S. armed forces, or serve as a member of a reserve component of the U.S. armed forces, or National Guard for at least three years preceding enrollment. All TSI rules apply when the student is discharged from the military.
  • Students who were honorably discharged, released or retired from active duty as a member of the U.S. armed forces, the Texas National Guard, on or after August 1, 1990.
  1. Students who transfer from private or out-of-state institutions may use transferred courses for which college credit is earned in the areas of Reading, Mathematics, and Writing. (Intro to General Psychology, History to 1865 or History from 1865 or American State and local Government 2301 or American National Government 2302 can be used for Reading TSI scores, College Algebra, College Mathematics and Trigonometry can be used for Math TSI scores and Composition I and Composition II can be used for Writing TSI Scores.)
  • Students may use the following test scores to meet TSI requirements:



ACT – Composite score of 23; at least 19 on both English and Math portions. Note that scores must have been earned within the past 5 years.


SAT – Combined score of 1070; at least 500 on verbal and 500 on math for tests taken after April 1995. Note that scores must have been earned within the past 5 years. 


STAAR End-of-Course (EOC) - A minimum score of 2000 on the English III reading and/or writing test (reading and writing administered as separate tests through Spring 2013) and/or a minimum score of 4000 on the Algebra II EOC test shall exempt a student from the corresponding section(s).


TAKS - A student who is tested and performs at or above the following standards of the 11th grade Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) may be exempted for the corresponding section: minimum scale score of 2200 on the mathematics section, minimum scale score of 2200 on the English Language Arts section with a writing subsection score of 3 within the past 5  years.



*These rules are subject to change by the Texas Legislature.



Do you have questions about the placement testing? Learn more about the TSI testing HERE.



Do you want general information about the ACT and SAT? Choose which one ACT or SAT.