TSIA? SAT? ACT? Which Test is Best for CCMR Outcomes?

Chalk Talk #80

TSIA? SAT? ACT? Which Test is Best for CCMR Outcomes?

It may surprise you that there’s a clear winner.

TEA’s guidelines allow students to demonstrate college readiness using one of three tests: the TSIA, SAT, and ACT. But one is clearly easier to meet benchmarks on than the others.


If you’re focusing on improving your CCMR Outcomes Bonuses (which will increase your funding by up to $7,000 per student who earns the right TSIA/SAT/ACT scores) and your CCMR accountability ratings, which test should you bet on?

Here is how MasteryPrep ranks them:

3. ACT
Your students need a 23 composite score (along with a 19 in Math and Reading) to meet the requirement. According to ACT, Inc., this would put your students in the 70th percentile, meaning that nationally only 30% of students reach this score.

2.  SAT
Your students need a 480 in EBRW and 530 in Math to meet the criteria (1010 in total). According to College Board, this would put your students in the 50th percentile. Half of SAT test takers meet or beat this score. In other words, compared to the number of students who reach a 23 on the ACT, nearly twice as many students attain a 1010 on the SAT. A 1010 is equivalent to a 20 on the ACT.

Your students need a 351 in Reading and a 350 in Math to meet criteria on the TSIA. According to College Board, these thresholds are lower than the average TSIA score, which means well over half of Texas students meet the criteria. The TSIA is clearly the easiest test to pass in terms of CCMR criteria—at least until it changes on January 11th. It’s difficult to draw a direct score parallel between TSIA and the ACT/SAT (since TSIA data is Texas-only vs. national), but the College Board’s technical documents suggest that a TSIA score that meets the benchmark is roughly equivalent to an 18 or 19 on the ACT.


For this reason, if you are working to increase your CCMR Outcomes Bonuses and accountability ratings, I recommend that you have every student test on the TSIA, and additionally, have every student who intends to go to a four-year or out-of-state institution test on the SAT.

I’m a big fan of the ACT, but until the policy changes, it’s much more difficult to reach a college-ready score on the ACT in Texas than it is on the SAT or TSIA.

Why? Because an 18 or 19 on the ACT is easier to reach than a 20. And a 20 is much easier to reach than a 23. The TSIA benchmark is equivalent to reaching an 18 or 19. The SAT benchmark is equivalent to a 20. And the ACT benchmark is a 23.

I think the benchmarks should all be equal; the ACT, SAT, and TSIA should all be just as viable for districts and for students to choose for testing. But I certainly don’t make the policies. And until the policies change, if you want to optimize your CCMR outcomes, go with the TSIA, and secondarily with the SAT.


Craig Gehring

Founder & CEO, MasteryPrep

[email protected]

225-247-5733 (cell)

P.S. We can help you improve your SAT and TSIA scores. But you’ve already heard from us about that, I’m sure! If you want to chat about how to move the needle on your scores, I’d love nothing more than to have a conversation about that with you. Please call or email me directly and we can talk.

MasteryPrep is here to bridge the gap in an e-learning environment by providing your students with much needed college readiness preparation.

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