STAAR Practice Test - Information, Resources, and Preparation tips
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What Is the STAAR Test?The STAAR is a series of standardized tests that all Texas public school students are required to pass. It assesses the knowledge and achievements students have gained in their respective grade levels. The material on the STAAR test is based on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) curriculum, which is taught in all Texas public schools. The STAAR offers schools, districts, and parents in-depth understanding and clarity when it comes to assessing students' level of mastery by focusing on key concepts taught each year.
Those concepts, known as the STAAR readiness standards, have the most significant impact on students' readiness for next year, as well as on their preparedness for college and the workforce. The STAAR is also designed to ensure students have mastered all the skills crucial for their academic success in the 21st century. Students in 5th and 8th grade must pass the reading and math STAAR assessments to be promoted to the next grade, while students in 11th and 12th grade who have not met the STAAR testing requirements for graduation may be denied a high school diploma.
STAAR ContentThe STAAR Test assesses students in the following five subjects: reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. While all students are tested in math and reading, the remaining subjects vary by grade. The STAAR Test sections and the grades they are usually administered to are displayed in the table below:
|Subject||3rd Grade||4th Grade||5th Grade||6th Grade||7th Grade||8th Grade|
Students in high school take STAAR EOC (end-of-course) assessments in Algebra I, Biology, English I, English II, and U.S. History.
STAAR Test Grades 3-8
All STAAR assessments offered in grades 3–8 are administered in paper-and-pencil format, have a four-hour time limit, and consist mostly of multiple-choice questions:
Reading: The reading assessment consists of multiple-choice questions related to reading selections drawn from a variety of published and commissioned pieces. The passages are genre-based and include both literary (fiction, literary nonfiction, poetry, drama, media literacy) and informational (expository, persuasive, procedural, media literacy) texts.
The number of test questions increases from year to year:
- 3rd grade – 40 questions
- 4th grade – 44 questions
- 5th grade – 46 questions
- 6th grade – 48 questions
- 7th grade – 50 questions
- 8th grade – 52 questions
Writing: The writing assessment, taken in the fourth and seventh grades, contains a piece of written composition as well as multiple-choice questions. The paragraphs and the essay prompts increase in complexity over the years and challenge the students to demonstrate their mastery of the English language.
- Students in 4th grade are required to read three passages and answer 6 revision and 12 editing questions, all multiple-choice, as well as to complete one writing prompt.
- Students in 7th grade are required to read four passages and answer 13 revision and 17 editing questions, all multiple-choice, as well as to complete one writing prompt
Mathematics: The mathematical assessment contains both multiple-choice and open-ended questions that are machine scorable. This test is offered from 3rd to 8th grade, but students may use calculators only on the 8th-grade STAAR test. The assessment asks students to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts learned in class through various methods and applications. The number of test questions increases from year to year:
- 3rd grade – 43 multiple-choice questions and 3 open-ended questions
- 4th grade – 45 multiple-choice questions and 3 open-ended questions
- 5th grade – 47 multiple-choice questions and 3 open-ended questions
- 6th grade – 48 multiple-choice questions and 4 open-ended questions
- 7th grade – 50 multiple-choice questions and 4 open-ended questions
- 8th grade – 52 multiple-choice questions and 4 open-ended questions
Science: The science assessment also contains multiple-choice questions and open-ended questions that are machine scorable. The test is administered in 5th and 8th grade. The 5th-grade version contains 44 multiple-choice questions, whereas the 8th-grade version contains 55. Students are often presented with concepts or material taught in the classroom and asked to make observations based on the given data.
Social Studies: This test, which is only taken in 8th grade, contains 52 multiple-choice questions. It asks students to demonstrate their knowledge of U.S. history, geography, eras, and wars, as well as influential individuals, important dates, and landmark documents.
High school students take STAAR EOC (end-of-course) tests for five different subjects. Generally speaking, students must pass all of these exams to receive a high school diploma. Students have three opportunities throughout the year to pass the tests (end of first semester, end of second semester, and summer). All the five tests have a four-hour time limit, except for English I and II, which have a five-hour time limit. Note that these assessments are offered in both online and paper formats.
Algebra I – The test contains 54 multiple-choice and open-ended questions that are machine scorable. Students taking this test may use a graphing calculator. The test covers all the material taught in the classroom relevant for the student's future college and career experience. Often, students are asked to apply the mathematical concepts they learned in various ways.
Biology – The test contains 54 multiple-choice questions. Students are allowed to use four-function, scientific, or graphing calculators. The test contains questions about evolution, ecology, human biology, plant biology, and organism behavior. Some of the questions present students with data and ask them to extrapolate based on the material taught in the classroom.
English I – The test contains 50 multiple-choice questions, one essay prompt, and two short answers. The test has a five-hour time limit because it combines two sections—writing and reading. Students are asked to read these paragraphs and then answer the corresponding questions. Students must demonstrate their knowledge of the English language and apply critical thinking in their analysis of the presented paragraphs.
English II – The test contains 50 multiple-choice questions, one essay prompt, and two short answers. The test has a five-hour time limit because it combines two sections—writing and reading. Both sections contain four paragraphs taken from various sources. Students are tasked with analyzing different texts and demonstrate their mastery of the English language.
U.S. History – The test contains 68 multiple-choice questions. The test asks students to demonstrate their knowledge of U.S. history, minorities, eras, and wars, as well as influential individuals, important dates, and landmark documents. Students should be able to analyze historical trends as well as the reasons for and effects of documents, individuals, inventions, and ideology.
STAAR Test ResultsSTAAR test results are provided to schools within ten business days after the tests are received by the testing contractor. The STAAR results are essentially pass/fail. In order for a student to move on to the next grade, he or she must be placed in the Satisfactory Academic Performance group, meaning that he or she met the required passing score. Students who do not meet the required passing score (or were absent when the test was administered or did not submit a test) are placed in the Unsatisfactory Academic Performance group.
Students with satisfactory STAAR may still have additional requirements from the local district. All requirements, both local and state, must be met in order for students to move up to the next grade.
STAAR Test Readiness Standards
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) identifies several aspects of the TEKS curriculum as the most important factors to assess. These standards differ per subject and grade, and feature more prominently on the STAAR. They are essential for success in one's current grade and for mastering the subject taught, as well as for the student's future success in next year's course and, eventually, in college and the workforce. These standards encompass significant content and concepts, which means they require in-depth instruction for mastery.
- English, Reading, and Writing Readiness Standards:
- Reading specific genres, such as fiction and expository writing
- Writing for a particular purpose
- Mathematics Readiness Standards:
- Integration and application of mathematical skills
- Science Readiness Standards:
- Integration and application of major scientific concepts
- Social Studies Readiness Standards:
- Mastery of landmark historical events as well as fundamental geographical concepts
- Integration of historical and geographical themes, patterns, and trends
STAAR Test Supporting Standards In addition to readiness standards, the STAAR also assesses supporting standards. These standards are introduced or reinforced during the students' current grade or course and may be relevant in the following year as well. They play an important, but not a central, role in preparing students for next year's challenges, as they address more narrowly defined concepts and content.
- English, Reading, and Writing Supporting Standards:
- Reading genres other than fiction and expository writing, such as drama, nonfiction, persuasive writing, and poetry
- Mathematics Supporting Standards:
- Focus on mathematical skills that underlie mathematical concepts significant to the student's current grade or course
- Science Supporting Standards:
- Focus on content that supports fundamental scientific principles significant to the student's current grade or course
- Social Studies Supporting Standards:
- Mastery of distinct historical facts and events as well as important individuals
- Integration of detail-oriented geographical facts and concepts
STAAR Test Practice - OnlineDue to the nature of the exam, passing the STAAR test is crucial. It is important to make time to study and to prepare for the STAAR with TestPrep-Online. We offer a level-specific, child-friendly STAAR prep pack that will help your child practice for the test. Start preparing for the STAAR test today so your child will be confident and ready to succeed on test day.
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