How to pass the TSI Math Test

The Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA or simply the TSI exam) includes three testing fields: Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. These are the main areas but additional fields may also be added as there are colleges that require additional skill evaluations in specific subjects depending on their specific situations.

All three TSI testing fields include multiple-choice questions that ask students to select the most appropriate answers. The TSI Writing part also includes an essay section.

The TSI exam is computer-adaptive meaning that the responses students give are affecting the difficulty level of the following questions and the entire test. The TSI questions are not timed so students can allow themselves the time they need to answer all questions as accurately as possible without any time pressure. TSI scores are given immediately upon completion. Read also: TSI Study Guide

TSI Math Test

The TSI Math Test includes exclusively multiple-choice questions that are covering elementary and intermediate algebra & functions, geometry & measurement, data analysis, and statistics & probability.

Elementary algebra & functions questions measure students’ knowledge of linear equations, inequalities & systems, algebraic expressions & equations, as well as word problems. Intermediate algebra & functions questions measure students’ knowledge of equations, quadratic & polynomial expressions, and functions, also involving roots, powers, and/or radicals.

Students must have a thorough understanding of rational & exponential expressions, functions, and equations. The TSI Math test also assesses their knowledge in measurement (e.g. planar geometry), transformations & symmetry, linear, area, and 3-dimensional measurements, as well as their skills in data analysis, probability, and statistics. So TSI applicants need to have knowledge of how to interpret categorical & quantitative data, how to deal with probabilistic reasoning and statistical measures. To find out about our free TSI Math practice tests, check out this page.

How many questions are on the TSI Math Test

The TSI Math test includes around twenty multiple-choice questions and ten questions on the Developmental Education (DE) Diagnostic Test if required. Once again, the Math subject matter includes Basic and Intermediate Algebra & Functions; Geometry & Measurements; and Data Analysis, Statistics & Probability.

What is a DE (Developmental Education) Diagnostic test? Well, when students score below the minimally required level (see TSI Scores), so lower than the college-readiness level, extra questions provide information on their strengths and weaknesses in four domains so counselors and advisors can place them in appropriate prerequisite courses.

Students are also required to meet minimum college-readiness standards for ABE (adult basic education) levels. The scores are about equal to below the 9th-grade level in math, reading, and writing. College applicants scoring in this range usually require additional support and coursework prior to taking developmental academic education courses. This generally applies to students scoring in these ranges:

• A Mathematics score of 335 or lower
• A Reading score of 341 or lower
• A Writing score of 349 or lower

In Texas, taking the TSI exam is required for students looking to go to college or university. There are, however, several ways they may be exempt from taking the TSI Assessment. If students have taken and score sufficiently on the ACT, SAT, or any other state-recognized test in high school, or passed the GED exam with “College-ready” scores, the TSI Assessment requirement will be waived. Students who previously took and completed Math and English classes in college may also have the TSI requirement dismissed. You can learn all about TSI exemptions here.

Students that are enrolled in Level-One Certificate programs with less than 43 credit hours also don’t have to sit for the TSI exam and students who are not seeking a college degree are exempt from taking the TSI exam as well and this also counts for applicants that have served or are serving in the U.S. military. Anyone that doesn’t meet any of the above requirements will, however, be required to sit for the TSI assessment.

So the TSI Assessment measures a student’s strengths and weaknesses in the academic areas of Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. TSI scores indicate to what extent students are ready to be successful in credit-bearing college-level coursework. Taking the TSI Assessment is required for all those students without an exempt status planning to attend a public higher education institution in the state of Texas to attain college degrees or Level-Two Certificates (42 semester credit hours and up).