Stay on Track to a Degree with the No Cost Testing 

The Alamo Colleges is offering the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) test, which usually costs $32, at no cost between May 1 and June 20, 2020.

The Texas Success Initiative (TSI) is a state-required assessment test to determine college readiness in reading, writing, and math. All first-time college students must take the TSI test before enrolling in classes unless you are exempt. 

This is a $130,000 investment that will benefit nearly 5,000 students.

Who is eligible for No Cost Testing?

Students who intend to enroll in Summer 2020 or Fall 2020.

Dual credit, academies, ECHS or other high school programs do not qualify for no cost testing.

Will No Cost Testing be available for future terms?


How will students verify eligibility?

Students should check with the Testing Center at the college to determine if they are eligible for no cost testing.

TSI Exam

Texas Success Initiative (TSI)

Effective August 26, 2013 (based on House Bill 3468 - Texas College-Readiness Assessment and Placement) the new TSI Assessment will be the only accepted placement exam and all test scores taken prior to this date will no longer be valid for the first time in college students.

The TSI Exam is a computerized test that will evaluate reading, writing, and math skills to determine placement in college courses. It is required for most students who will be the first time in college students at the Alamo Colleges District. The identification and adherence to basic skills in these three areas are essential to ensure that students enter Northeast Lakeview College with the academic preparation necessary for success. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has approved the TSI Exam as the official exam for the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) required assessment testing. 

Pre-Assessment Activity  

Prior to taking the New TSI Exam Texas House Bill 4.55 mandates the following:

An institution shall provide to the student a Pre-Assessment Activity that addresses at a minimum

  1. The importance of assessment in a student's academic career.
  2. Provide sample questions in all disciplinary Areas.
  3. Offer information on developmental education options including course-pairing, non-course base, modular, and other non-conventional interventions.
  4. Information on institutional and community resources available to assist a student with college success.

The Alamo Colleges has created a Pre-Assessment Activity in your Alamo Enroll tab under your ACES account.  All students who have applied through Apply Texas will receive information on how to access this activity. 

The following scores may exempt a student from taking any placement exam:

A. SAT - 500 Critical Reading (CR) and 500 Math with a combined score (Critical Reading + Math only) of 1070 (valid for five years);
B. ACT – 19 English and 19 Mathematics with a Composite score of 23 (valid for five years); or
C. TAKS – 2200 ELA with essay of 3 and 2200 Mathematics (valid for five years).

Other TSI exemptions include:

• A student who has graduated with an associate or baccalaureate degree from an institution of higher education. 
• A student who transfers to an institution from a private or independent institution of higher education or an accredited out-of-state institution of higher education and who has satisfactorily completed college-level coursework as determined by the receiving institution. 
• A student who has previously attended any institution and has been determined to have met readiness standards by that institution. 
• A student who is 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. 
• A student who is 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 and has been serving for at least three years preceding enrollment. 
• A student who on or after August 1, 1990, was 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. 

An institution may exempt a non-degree-seeking or non-certificate-seeking student. 

Any student who has been determined to be exempt in mathematics, reading, and/or writing shall not be required to enroll in developmental coursework and/or interventions in the corresponding area of exemption 

The TSI Exam exam consists of three sections:  

  1. Multiple-choice non-timed Reading Comprehension 
  2. Multiple-choice non-timed Sentence Skills and possibly non-timed essay pending on placement of sentence skills
  3. Multiple-choice non-timed Elementary Algebra 


How to Schedule an Appointment and Pay

Effective, August 26, 2013, all students taking the new TSI Exam must complete both the Assessment Information and the Test Prep modules located in your MyMaps Alamo Enroll (available online through your ACES account) before requesting a TSI Exam appointment.

To request your TSI Exam appointment, please click here. 

Appointment requests are accepted a minimum of two days in advance, so please plan accordingly.

Once your appointment request is received, a confirmation e-mail will be sent with instructions for payment and any other requirements.  We advise all students to wait for their appointment confirmation prior to paying for their test as testing fees are non-refundable

If you have not received a confirmation e-mail by the morning of your requested date, please follow up with our office at 210-486-5601 option 6.


The cost of the test is $32.00 for all parts or $12.00 per section for a maximum amount of $32.00. 

Paying for the TSI Exam by Cash/Money Order:

1. Obtain a Payment Receipt form (this is provided by e-mail once your appointment is confirmed or picked up at the Assessment Center and/or the Admissions and Advising office at Northeast Lakeview College).

2. Pay at the Bursar's Office located in the Student Commons Building (#300) in room 103.  You will be issued a receipt of payment.

3. Proof of payment is required in order to test.

Paying for the TSI Exam by Credit Card/Debit Card/Check:

1. Once your appointment is CONFIRMED via e-mail or on campus, you may pay online with credit/debit card or check.

2. Go to Northeast Lakeview College's Virtual Business Office here.

3. Select "1" Quantity and "Add to Cart" for the NLC TSI Exam.

4. Enter your Full Name and Banner ID and select the number of parts of the test you are taking.  If you are taking more than 2 parts, select "Full TSI Exam" and "Continue".

5. You have the option to continue unregistered or you may register an account with the Virtual Business Office.

6. Enter your credit/debit card information or checking information and address. 

7. A confirmation of payment will be provided.  Print a copy and bring with you the day of the test.  Students without proof of payment will not be allowed to test.

Day of the Test

From there, report to the Student Commons (Building #300) room 227 - Assessment Center location. 

You MUST bring the following with you on the day of the test: 

1. A valid photo ID (ex. State Driver's License, Student ID card, State ID Card, Passport); 
2. Proof of payment. See instructions above.; 
3. Your Banner ID number.

Notepaper will be provided for you to use during testing; however, no other notepaper or note-taking devices may be used during the test. An on-screen calculator will be provided for the Math Section of the test; no other calculators are permitted.

What to Expect:

Arrive at the Assessment center at least 30 minutes prior to your appointment. The TSI Exam is an untimed exam. The average student takes 4 hours to complete the exam. 

Results are available immediately following the exam. Upon completion of the test, a Group Advising appointment may be scheduled (all other admissions requirements must be completed prior to scheduling of appointment).  

Please note that any unapproved items for your exam will not be allowed in testing rooms; purses, cell phones, books, etc. It is advised to leave these items in a safe place while testing. You will not be allowed to test with any unapproved items in the testing room.  

Practice Test Options and Helpful Links

Results of the TSI Exam help academic advisors identify students’ academic strengths as well as areas where a student might need more development to succeed in college. It is very important that students do their best in order to have an accurate measure of their academic skills, thereby placing them in the right courses. Students are advised to study and practice the TSI Exam prior to testing.

The TSI Exam

Additional information and practice for the TSI Exam can be found on the following Websites:

TSI Brochure (Before Test) 

Sample Questions 

Test Content 

Writeplacer Sample Essay 

TSI Web-Based Study APP – Texas Version 

Retest Policy

UPDATED: Students are allowed to retest on the next available test date.  This includes retesting all parts, one or multiple parts.   

For all second or subsequent retests, we recommend the student retest after 2 weeks or after they have attended a formal college test prep intervention program (e.g. PASS) to improve their current test scores.

Test Score Request

For an official copy, please visit the Assessment Center and submit a Score Report Request form. This form can also be requested via e-mail at All requests must be submitted in person or with a copy of your photo ID.  

Alternative Testing Arrangements

Students with documented disabilities may qualify for testing accommodations on the Accuplacer.  Documentation must be presented to the Disability Support Services (DSS) Office in advance to scheduling your appointment directly with the Assessment Center (NOT ONLINE).  For more information regarding documentation requirements, students may call DSS at 210-486-5401 (Option #7), visit the office in the STCM 222H, or visit the DSS website to access the brochure "Guidelines for Documenting Your Disability."