The TSIA2 Exam

The Texas Success Initiative (TSIA2) is a state legislated program designed to improve student success in college by requiring all students attending public institutions of higher education, unless considered TSIA2 Exempt, to complete assessment in reading, writing and mathematics before enrolling in classes. Preparing for assessments is encouraged since test scores determine course placement. Students scoring below college level readiness are required to enroll in developmental courses which do not apply towards a degree or certificate.

  1. Apply to Lone Star College before scheduling any assessments.
  2. Complete the Pre-Assessment Activity (PAA). The PAA must be completed prior to taking the TSIA2 Assessment and is available online. Click here to access the Online PAA. Once the PAA is completed, students will get a completion certificate and can use that to take their TSIA2 Assessment with a campus testing center. Students who are TSIA2 Exempt are not required to complete the PAA unless they are choosing to take the TSIA2 Assessment.
  3. Visit the campus Advising/Counseling Office to determine what subjects are needed and to get a testing ticket. 
  4. Pay for your exam in person or online. The cost of the exam is $29 for all parts or $20 for ELAR only$10 for Math only, and $10 for ELAR multiple choice only or Essay only if retesting.
  5. Refer to the Testing Centers website to find out which campuses offer walk-in testing, or to learn how to schedule an appointment to complete any needed exams. For Remote/Virtual testing options, see the “Remote Testing” instructions on this page.

Remote Testing

Before starting the Remote (Virtual) Testing process, please be sure to review the TSIA2 Exam Exemptions section of this webpage and the Skip Testing and Use Your High School Transcript for Placement FAQ first to determine which parts of the test you need, if any. If you are still unsure, you can email Advising for assistance. Students should determine what parts of the test they need to complete prior to paying for an exam.

Dual Credit students: Please DO NOT follow the Remote Testing Process below. Instead, reach out to your high school for more information on how to get referred for Remote Testing.

Please use this form to request remote testing for Placement Exams (TSIA2, Accuplacer Math, and Accuplacer ESL) and submit it to the testing center at your home campus. The testing center email addresses are on the form.

Remote Testing Process:

  1. Consult with Advising first to verify which parts of the test you need, if any.
  2. Complete the PAA in your My Lonestar account
  3. Pay for the exam on Marketplace.
  4. Submit the Remote Testing Request Form to the testing center at your home campus (email and links are on the form itself).
  5. Within 2-3 business days, the testing center will send you a response.
  6. After PAA and Payment is completed and within 2-3 business days, the Testing Center staff will process the remote voucher and you will receive an email directly from Accuplacer with instructions on how to schedule and pay for your exam session with the virtual proctor. NOTE: the virtual proctor fee is in addition to the exam fee and will be paid directly to the virtual proctoring company. They are not LSC employees.

Who Needs to Take A Placement Test?

Not all incoming LSC students will need to take the TSIA2 Exam:

  • Students enrolled in Associate of Arts (AA) degrees, Associate of Science (AS) degrees, Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees, or Level II certificate programs DO need to meet the TSIA2 Exam requirement.
  • Students enrolled in Level I certificate programs and fast-track certificates DO NOT need to meet the TSIA2 Exam requirement.
  • A student is EXEMPT from the TSIA2 Exam requirement if they have recently taken an approved college assessment test such as the ACT, SAT, STAAR, TAKS, or TAAS.

The TSIA2 Exam

While the TSIA2 Exam is not pass/fail, a minimum score is needed to register in most college-level courses. Alternatively, completion of all appropriate developmental coursework with a “C” or better can serve as the prerequisite for course registration.

Prior to taking the TSIA2 Exam, incoming students must:

  1. Apply to Lone Star College before scheduling any assessments.
  2. Complete Pre-Assessment Activity.
  3. Visit the campus Advising/Counseling Office to determine what placement tests are needed. Obtain a testing ticket for needed assessments and pay the $29 (or $10 per section) fee to the campus Business Office prior to testing.
  4. Refer to the Testing Center website to find out which campuses offer walk-in testing, or to learn how to schedule a time to complete any needed assessments.

"TSIA2 Complete" Status

Meeting any of the following criteria will allow students to be considered "TSIA2 Complete". Students meeting TSIA2 exemption criteria may submit evidence of eligibility for exemption to a Lone Star College campus.

  • Students who transfer to Lone Star College from a private or independent institution of higher education, or an accredited out-of-state institution of higher education, and have satisfactorily completed college-level coursework.
  • Students who have previously attended any institution and have been determined to have met readiness standards by that institution.
  • Students who have graduated with an associate or baccalaureate degree from a US regionally accredited institution of higher education.
  • Students who are enrolled in a certificate program of one year or less (Level-One certificates, 42 or fewer semester credit hours or the equivalent at a public junior college, a public technical institute, or a public state college).
  • Students serving on active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States, the Texas National Guard, or as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States, serving for at least three years preceding enrollment.
  • Students who on, or after August 1, 1990, were honorably discharged, retired, or released from active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States or the Texas National Guard or service as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States.

Testing Accommodations

Students with disabilities who have been approved for testing accommodations can take advantage of testing accommodations in the Lone Star College Testing Centers.

For more information about specific accommodations at Lone Star College, visit the Disability Services website.

Other Placement Testing Options

Accuplacer Math

Accuplacer may be taken to place in higher level math courses, such as trigonometry, pre-calculus, and calculus. These options are only available for those who have completed and placed into College Algebra on the TSIA2 Assessment or those who are exempt from TSIA2 Math. These are computerized, non-timed exams. Students receive their scores immediately after testing.

NOTE: Prior COMPASS Math scores can still be used for placement into higher level math courses. However, this exam is no longer offered.


Accuplacer/ESL is used for placement into ESOL courses. It is a computerized, non-timed placement test. It consists of three multiple choice sections: Listening, Reading, and Language Usage. Students receive their placement scores immediately after testing.

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