STAAR Reading and Writing Tests
Students in grades 3–8 are required to take the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) Reading test. In fourth and seventh grades, they are also required to pass the STAAR Writing test. TestPrep-Online is here to help your child prepare for the STAAR Reading and Writing tests. We have resources, practice tips, and all the information you need to excel on the STAAR.
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About the STAAR Reading TestStudents in grades 3–8 are required to take at least two STAAR assessments, one of which is Reading. The STAAR Reading test contains Readiness Standards and Supporting Standards unique to each grade level. These standards ensure that students are assessed only on material that serves an important role in preparing them for the next grade's material, college, and their future careers.
The STAAR Reading test presents students with challenging texts and asks them to demonstrate their understanding of the plot, their analysis of the meaning of the text, and their comprehension of the different literary techniques utilized by the author. Students are expected to analyze the context of the text, its argument, and its characters. To pass the STAAR Reading test successfully, students should possess a wide vocabulary, a critical eye, and an analytical approach.
STAAR Reading TopicsWhile the reading concepts and skills change each grade and require different levels of understanding, some topics are taught, in one form or another, in all or almost all grades:
- Understanding across different literary genres
- Comprehending and analyzing literary texts
- Comprehending and analyzing informational texts
Find out more about the STAAR Reading test for 3rd–5th grades and 6th-8th grades.
STAAR Performance StandardsThe Performance Standards change from one year to the next. Students need to score above the Level II: Satisfactory Academic Performance to pass the STAAR. These are the Performance Standards for STAAR Reading for the year 2016–2017:
- Third Grade – 1365
- Fourth Grade – 1454
- Fifth Grade – 1489
- Sixth Grade – 1536
- Seventh Grade – 1585
- Eighth Grade – 1606
About the STAAR Writing TestStudents in fourth and seventh grade take the STAAR Reading test. The test assesses the actual writing as well as the writing process of students. Students are asked to write expository and persuasive essays, present their ideas clearly and eloquently, and defend them. Students should utilize rhetorical devices and various sources while presenting concise concepts and their analysis of them. The test also requires students to demonstrate their mastery of the English language by assessing their grammar, syntax, capitalization, spelling, and punctuation skills.
STAAR Writing TopicsWhile the writing concepts and skills change each grade and require different levels of understanding, some topics are taught, in one form or another, in all or almost all grades:
Find out more about the STAAR Reading test for fourth grade and seventh grade.
STAAR Performance StandardsThe Performance Standards change from one year to the next. Students need to score above the Level II: Satisfactory Academic Performance to pass the STAAR. These are the Performance Standards for STAAR Writing for the year 2016–2017:
- Fourth Grade – 3625
- Seventh Grade – 3625
How to PrepareHere are five tips to ace the STAAR Reading and Writing assessments:
- Read. The best way to expand vocabulary and enhance a student's reading comprehension is by introducing him or her to books that are both interesting and challenging at the same time. Gather your child's reading material from a variety of sources, such as books, plays, poetry, and news articles. Highlight and learn the definitions of new words. Ask challenging questions about the plot, the characters, and the author's intention.
- Vocabulary, vocabulary, vocabulary. Try to teach your child one to five new words each day. Don't just memorize them; instead, ask your child to use these words in sentences throughout the day. Expanding your child's vocabulary enhances his or her level of reading comprehension and will serve him or her well on the test day and in life.
- Write. One of the best ways to practice one's writing skills is by actually writing. Ask your child to write a composition once or twice a month or to even keep a diary. Encourage your child to use the new words he or she has learned. Later, review your child's work for any grammar mistakes.
- Find your preferred testing method. Some students prefer to read the questions first, some prefer to answer as they read, and some prefer to read and then answer the question. Find the testing technique that best fits your thinking style and practice it again and again until it is perfected.
- Turn weaknesses into strengths. Find the reading comprehension questions, writing techniques, or grammar rules that challenge your child and tackle them head on. Mastering a difficult concept will increase your child's confidence as well as improve his or her grade in the class.
STAAR Test Practice - Online The STAAR is an important test that can influence and shape your child's future academic development. Make sure your child is ready for the test by preparing with TestPrep-Online’s STAAR test practice pack. TestPrep-Online’s interactive and comprehensive practice packs will help your child master the skills and knowledge necessary for test day. The STAAR test practice pack includes realistic practice tests, in-depth answer explanations, and helpful study guides, allowing your child to become familiar with the test structure and providing him or her with the confidence needed to succeed.
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