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Standardized (STAR) Testing and Reporting Examination

Standardized (STAR) Testing and Reporting Examination

posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - March 11th, 2014

In place since 1998, the Standardized Testing and Reporting exam, commonly known as the STAR exam or STAR test, is a method of testing school age children. It tests learned knowledge and is not considered an intelligence test. Rather, it seeks to indicate whether or not students are properly absorbing and comprehending the materials being taught to them in class. You can find helpful information regarding the Standardized Testing and Reporting exam at

Who is Tested?

Standardized Testing and Reporting exams do not begin until a child reaches grade two. They run through grade eleven. Seniors are not given the STAR test; instead they take the California High School Exit Examination.

During grades two through eight, students are tested on ELA (English language arts) and math. In grades four through seven, writing is integrated into the ELA portion of the STAR test. Students in grades five through eleven are also tested in science. Beginning in ninth grade, history or social science (sometimes called social studies) is added.

STAR testing always occurs during the spring. In accordance with the test’s guidelines, testing must take place within ten days of 85% completion of the school year.

Common Core Replacement

The State Standards Initiative was created as a collaboration between the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the National Governors Association (NGA) and a multitude of educational and academic authorities across the country.

The State Standards involves a test battery known as the Common Core. These ‘core’ subjects are those which have been identified as being the most critical to a student’s success in life after high school, whether that life involves higher education or the workforce. Core subjects include English language arts, math, science, history and social studies (history and social studies are often viewed as one subject).

Each state has the option to reject or accept the Common Core. California, having accepted it, will replace the Standardized Testing and Reporting exam with the Common Core battery beginning after the STAR exam officially expires in 2014. Although each state has the option to reject portions of the Common Core or add subjects which they find important, to date California has accepted the Core as is.

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