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The Definitive Practice Test Guide for the TSIA2

About the TSIA2

The Texas Success Initiative Assessments 2.0, or TSIA2, are a series of exams used in the state of Texas to determine the readiness and placement of students in college-level courses. The exam is part of the Texas Success Initiative passed by the state’s legislature to determine a student’s readiness for college in the subjects of reading, writing, and mathematics. Previously named the TSI, the second iteration of this exam (TSIA2) was introduced in January 2021 and includes the following changes:

  • The integration of separate reading and writing assessments into one English Language Arts and Reading (ELAR) assessment. There are three sections in the ELAR assessment, but you may only have to take one or two of them, depending on your score on the first. The first section contains 30 items covering literary text analysis, informational text analysis and synthesis, essay revision and editing, and sentence revision, editing, and completion. The second section contains 48 items of diagnostic assessment and the last section is an essay.

  • The Mathematics section contains two parts: 20 items that cover quantitative reasoning, algebraic reasoning, geometric and spatial reasoning, and probabilistic and statistical reasoning, and a diagnostic assessment of 48 items. Once again, you may only need to take the first part, depending on your score.

Most of the test is comprised of multiple-choice questions, except for the essay, which requires a five-paragraph persuasive written sample.

Not all incoming college students must take the TSIA2. Students do not have to take the TSIA2 if they meet any of the following criteria:

  • Achieved a composite score of 23 or higher on the ACT with a minimum of 19 in both the English and math sections

  • Earned a combined score of 1070 on the SAT with a minimum score of 500 on both the verbal critical reading and math sections (if the exam was taken before March 2016).

  • Earned a minimum score of 480 in evidence-based reading and writing and a minimum score of 530 in mathematics for SAT exams taken after March 2016.

  • Achieved 2200 on the math section and/or 220 on the English Language Arts section with a writing score of at least 3 on the TAKS.

  • Are a veteran, or are active duty personnel, in the U.S. armed services

  • Are transferring from another institution with satisfactorily completed college-level coursework.

  • Have enrolled in a certificate program of one year or less at a public institution.

If you are not exempt from taking the TSIA2, you must also participate in a Pre-Assessment Activity, which takes approximately 30 minutes. The cost to take the full TSIA2 exam is $29, or $20 for ELAR only and $10 for the Mathematics test or the essay only.

Sections of the TSIA2

ELAR: Reading

These questions will comprise exactly half of both the TSIA2 CRC and Diagnostic ELAR tests, with 15 and 24 questions respectively. They assess your readiness to tackle college-level reading assignments and answer questions related to comprehension of text and the use of basic reading strategies. We provide enough reading questions to enable you to simulate the actual test length, even if you need to take both the CRC and Diagnostic ELAR tests. Questions on the Diagnostic ELAR cover mostly the same content, with a few additions. To fully prepare for the ELAR tests, you’ll need to access our ELAR: Writing materials as well.

ELAR: Writing

Both of the TSIA2 ELAR tests (CRC and Diagnostic) devote exactly half of their questions to the area of writing. There are 15 writing questions on the ELAR CRC and 24 on the ELAR Diagnostic test. Our practice question set is sufficient to simulate the actual testing experience, even if you take both of these tests. These questions assess your ability to perform at a college-ready level in constructing clear writing and making corrections that improve given writing. For complete preparation for the ELAR tests, be sure to use our ELAR: Reading practice materials, as well.

Mathematics: Algebraic Reasoning

This is just one of four areas of math tested on the TSIA2 CRC and Diagnostic tests. These questions assess your facility with algebra, including an understanding of algebraic concepts and actual problem-solving. There are seven questions about algebra on the CRC test and 12 questions on the Diagnostic test. You’ll find enough questions here to simulate test day, even if you need to take both tests. Concepts covered in the two tests are basically the same, with a few added in the Diagnostic test. Be sure to access our practice for the other three areas of math included in the TSIA2.

Mathematics: Geometric and Spatial Reasoning

The TSIA2 CRC test only contains three questions from this area of math, but there are 12 questions about it on the Diagnostic test. We provide enough questions for you to simulate the TSIA2 Math tests, even if you need to take both. Concepts assessed in these questions involve geometry concepts and problem-solving regarding spatial relationships. Be sure to access our preparation for the other three areas covered by the TSIA2 Math tests.

Mathematics: Probabilistic and Statistical Reasoning

Probability and statistics are the concepts covered by these questions. You will see four related questions on the TSIA2 CRC test and 12 of them on the Diagnostic test. You’ll have plenty of questions here with which to simulate the actual math tests, even if you find you have to take both of them. Check out our other three TSIA2 math sections to fully prepare.

Mathematics: Quantitative Reasoning

Questions in this area of math involve thinking and solving problems concerning amounts of things, using various operations and procedures. On the TSIA CRC test, you will see six questions of this type, and on the Diagnostic test, there will be 12. This is just one of the four math areas covered by both tests and we have study materials for all of them, so be sure to prepare completely. We’ve also provided enough practice questions for you to simulate test day, even if you need to take both the CRC and Diagnostic tests.

What to Expect on Test Day and Before

Before taking the TSIA2, every student must complete a mandatory pre-assessment activity that includes information about the test, sample questions, and available study materials. This pre-assessment activity can take up to 30 minutes to complete, and afterward a confirmation email will be sent. You’ll need proof of completion of this activity on test day.

The exam is untimed, but each section can take up to two hours so you should expect to spend most of the day at the testing facility. Since the test is long, it is best to eat a hearty meal and get a good night’s rest before arriving for your test.

What to Bring

There are several items you will need to bring to the testing center on the day of your exam. Required materials include valid photo identification, which can include a driver’s license, state-approved ID, or school ID card, the paid receipt for your exam, your Social Security number, and the pre-assessment activity completion certificate.

What Not to Bring

Aside from the materials listed above, you should not bring additional items to the testing center. The testing center will provide scratch paper and pencils. Additionally, a calculator is built into the mathematics section of the test, so any additional calculators are not allowed. All non-essential items must be stored in a designated area outside of the testing room at the owner’s risk.

Best Ways to Study for the TSIA2

Take Practice Tests for the TSIA2

One of the best ways to prepare for the TSIA2 is by taking practice exams. These practice exams can help students become familiar with the format of the test and the types of questions that will be asked in each section. Practice exams also provide a way to identify areas where students should spend extra time studying.

Use Alternative Study Methods

Another great way to prepare for the TSIA2 is by supplementing the study routine with alternative study methods. Tools like flashcards and study guides for the TSIA2 can help many students retain more information and help them perform their best.

Simulate the Testing Experience

Even though the TSIA2 is not a timed test, it’s still a good idea to simulate the entire testing experience at least once. This can help you understand how you will perform on the actual testing day. Because the TSIA2 is a rather long exam, simulating the experience can help you determine if mental fatigue may set in so you can develop strategies to overcome it.

TSIA2 Tips and Tricks

Read Each Question Twice

The TSIA2 is not a timed exam, which means that time is on your side. It’s worth taking the time to re-read each question to ensure that you know what you are being asked.

Make Educated Guesses

The TSIA2 contains many multiple-choice questions. If you don’t know the correct answer when you first read through the answer options, eliminate the ones you know are incorrect. This process narrows down the field of potential answers and gives you a better chance of selecting the right one.

Use the Scratch Paper Provided

All examinees get scratch paper while taking the exam. You can use this to jot down notes, write thoughts, and work through problems. Sometimes, writing down a problem or idea can help you determine the correct answer.


1. What is a good score on the TSIA2?

To be considered college-ready, examinees must achieve a score between 945 and 990 in the ELAR section and a score of 5 to 8 on the essay. They must also achieve a score between 950 and 990 in mathematics.

2. Can I retake the TSIA2?

Yes, if you are unhappy with your score, you can retake the TSIA2 at any time. Additionally, you can retake sections of the test if you only want to improve your score in a single section. The testing site will have more information about retaking the exam.

3. How long will it take to get my TSIA2 scores?

Examinees will receive a copy of their scores immediately upon completion of the test.