College Placement Tests & Score Requirements

College Placement Tests & Score Requirements

Students taking an examTo enroll in dual credit courses, students must show college readiness in reading, writing, and/or math as applicable to the course(s) the student plans to take.

All students in Texas public colleges are required to demonstrate college readiness through the Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA2), which is a state program designed to promote student success by assessing students' academic skills through the TSI Assessment (TSIA2).

Students may either take the TSIA2 or show scores from other accepted assessments approved for placement. Approved assessments are the TSIA2, ACT, SAT, and STAAR.

TSIA2 and Approved Exam Scores

TSIA2 Exam

If a high school student is not TSIA2 exempt or waived from taking the TSIA2, then the student will be required to take the TSIA2. High school students awarded partial TSIA2 exemption or placement based upon sections of STAAR EOC, SAT, ACT, PSAT/NMSQT, or PLAN may be required to take sections of the TSIA2 relevant to course selections.

The TSIA2 Exam is divided into two component areas for English Lanugage Arts & Reading (ELAR) + Writing and Mathematics. Based upon course selections for Dual Credit and after completing the Pre-Assessment Activity (PAA), the student may be asked to take the TSIA2 Assessment in each component area. Where necessary, the student may be given an additional diagnostic test in a particular subject area. The TSIA2 Assessment is designed to provide more detailed information regarding your academic strengths and weaknesses.

A high school student is eligible to enroll in Dual Credit with the following TSIA2 Scores:

  • ELAR: score of 945+ or <945 and 5 (Diagnostic) 
  • Essay: score of 5
  • Math: score of 950+ or 6 (ABE-M)

TSIA2 Exemptions and other approved scores for Dual Credit

The Texas Success Initiative (TSIA2) is a state program designed to help colleges and universities determine students' preparedness for college-level coursework in the general areas of reading, writing and mathematics. The TSI program is designed to promote the success of students in college by assessing students' academic skills through a state approved examination called the TSIA2.

All students in Texas public colleges are required to take the TSIA2 unless the student qualifies for a TSIA2 exemption. In addition, high school students can be waived from taking the TSIA2 by submitting approved placement scores, typically taken in the 10th grade, for 11th grade Dual Credit eligibility. A high school student may be exempt or waived from taking the TSIA2 by meeting one of the following requirements.

Assessment ELAR Essay  Mathematics
TSIA2 Assessment Score of 945+ or <945 and 5 (Diagnostic)  Score of 5 Score of 950+ or 6 (ABE-M)
STARR English II: 4000+ on Reading and Writing  N/A Algebra I: Level II 4000+ and Passing Grade in Algebra II HS Course
Assessment Composite English Mathematics
ACT 23 19 19
Assessment Composite Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) Mathematics
(Taken after March 5, 2016)
Not Required 480 530
Assessment Composite English Mathematics
ACT-Aspire   435 431
PLAN 23 19 19
(Taken after October 15, 2015)
*PSAT 8/9 does not qualify students for dual credit.
  460 510

Level-One Certificate: A student may be TSIA2 exempt to enroll in eligible Level One certificate workforce (i.e., Career & Continuing Education) dual credit courses.

Approval for Dual Credit Registration

A high school student is eligible to register in dual credit course selected on the Exceptional Admissions form if the student meets the course prerequisites outlined in the Description of Courses in the Lone Star College catalog. A Dual Credit Advisor will use the results of college placement scores to determine if the high school student meets prerequisite requirements for enrollment in the Dual Credit program.

Most Dual Credit courses require students to demonstrate college readiness in Reading and Writing to register for college-level academic and workforce education courses not included in a Level-One Certificate.

Math placement scores are used for enrollment in freshman college-level Math courses, such as Math 1314, 1324, 1332, and 1342. Additional Math placement scores may be required for students requesting Math courses higher than the college-level freshman Math courses providing he/she has met the college readiness standard in Math as defined by the Texas Success Initiative. Furthermore, math placement scores may be used for enrollment in courses in other disciplines as in the Sciences.

If you have questions regarding placement scores and how the scores are used to register for college-level courses, contact a Dual Credit Advisor for more information. Finally, LSC encourages high school students to complete the application process and assessment testing early to allow time for retesting if necessary prior to the registration deadline for your high school.

Continued Enrollment in Dual Credit

Most Dual Credit students intend to transfer their coursework to a 4-year college or university to complete a baccalaureate degree. Transfer of individual Core Curriculum courses are guaranteed by state law to transfer to Texas public colleges and universities. The Core Curriculum is a set of courses designed to give students "the basics" of a college education. Most colleges and universities do not accept transferred Core Curriculum courses with grade of "D" or lower.

Therefore, eligibility for continued participation in the Dual Credit program requires satisfactory academic performance with earned grades of A, B, or C in all college level courses. Dual Credit courses are recorded on a LSC transcript. Official LSC transcripts are required for submission to 4-year colleges and universities to transfer college-level coursework.

For more information about transferring Dual Credit courses, talk to a Dual Credit advisor.

Dual Credit placement scores are based upon the Texas Administrative Codes, Title 19, Part 1, Chapter 4, Subchapter C and D, Rules §4.54 and §4.85. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board rules are subject to new changes taking precedence.

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