What Is TSI?
It is an acronym for Texas Success Initiative, and it involves an assessment test which must be taken by all students (except those who are exempt—See Below) who enroll at public colleges in Texas. This assessment is designed to measure the ability of students—as indicated by their skills in Reading, Writing and Math—to do college-level course work. Students who do not pass all sections 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 score listed on the THEA assessment test.
- READING: If score is LESS than 230, students will not be allowed to enroll in: HIST1301 or 1302 (U.S. History); GOVT2305 or 2306 (American Government); ANY sophomore literature course; or PSYC2301 (General Psychology).
- MATHEMATICS: If score is LESS than 270, students will not be allowed to enroll in: MATH 1314 (College Algebra); MATH 1342 (Elementary Statistics); MATH 1316 (Trigonometry). If the score is between 230 and 270, students ARE allowed to enroll in MATH 1332 (College Mathematics).
- WRITING: If score is LESS than 220, students will not be allowed to enroll in: ENGL1301 (Grammar & Composition) or ENGL1302 (Literature & Composition).
Students who have not yet passed a section of THEA (or COMPASS) may re-test on any regularly scheduled test date.They will then be eligible to proceed to college level course work in the areas for which they receive a passing score.When re-testing occurs 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 wishing to enroll in a THEA-waived 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 THEA 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.
- 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 with the following scores: (Partial Exemptions available on tests taken on or after April 2004)
ACT – Composite score of 23; at least 19 on both English and Math portions. Note that scores must have been earned in one sitting within the past five 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 in one sitting. Other scores apply to SAT tests taken before April 1995.
TAKS - For a period of three(3) years from the date of testing, a student who is tested and performs at or above the following standards of the Eleventh 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.
*These rules are subject to change by the Texas Legislature.
Do you have questions about the THEA test? Learn more about the THEA test HERE.
Would you like general information about the Compass test? Learn more about Compass HERE.
Do you want general information about the ACT and SAT? Choose which one ACT or SAT.