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State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR)

What is the STAAR Test?

The STAAR Test (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness) was implemented in spring 2012, replacing the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test. STAAR is a standardized test given in the state of Texas to primary and secondary students.  It is state mandated, which means if a public school is to receive funds in the state of Texas, they must give this test and your child is not allowed to opt out of them.  Private schools, charter schools and homeschooling students are not required to take it. STAAR Testing dates typically occur in the spring months around April.

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Your child will be given 4 hours to complete the STAAR test (5 hours for English I and II only.).

For the younger students, grades 3-8, the test is given as a marker for their progress made over the course of the year.  For instance in elementary and middle school, the STAAR’s content is focused on what is taught during the current academic year rather than knowledge and skills learned over multiple years. In 5th and 8th grade, a student may only advance to the next grade level by passing the reading and math tests or by unanimous decision of his or her Grade Placement Committee. Students have three opportunities to pass mathematics and reading.

As students reach high school, however, the tests (English I and II, Algebra I, Biology and History) must be passed, as part of the students’ requirements for graduation.  STAAR EOC (End-of-Course) assessments test high school students’ mastery of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for a given course and determine each student’s college and career readiness.

The STAAR test program includes annual assessments for the following:

  • reading and mathematics, grades 3–8
  • writing at grades 4 and 7
  • science at grades 5 and 8
  • social studies at grade 8
  • end-of-course (EOC) assessments for English I, English II, English III Algebra I, Algebra II, Biology and U.S history.

For examples of the types of questions found on the Texas STAAR, view our 100 free practice questions.

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TEA shares two types of test questions for the STAAR program—sample questions and test forms. Sample test questions are small subsets of test questions released from the STAAR test banks. These test questions may have been previously administered. A test form is a set of released test questions previously administered together to Texas students which reflects the STAAR test blueprints.

Once students have taken a STAAR assessment they will receive a score indicating their performance. Students will fall in to one of the three categories below:

  • Level III: Advanced Academic Performance
  • Level II: Satisfactory Academic Performance
  • Level I: Unsatisfactory Academic Performance

STAAR is available in a variety of formats to serve students who are in the special education program or who are English language learners (ELL).

Tell us about your experiences

4 Responses

smitha.nallur

Testing mom is the best education for my child

Sharon

Hi looking for practice help with 3rd grade staar test

Marcus Bruner

Hi Sharon –

With a TestingMom membership, you have full access to our STAAR materials. In addition, in our Skill Building Academy, we provide you access to a website (I can’t mention the name here) that, like TestingMom, is based in Texas and their entire focus is on end of the year tests, like the STAAR test!

Marcus

TD

Hello and thank you for the information on your site. I am actually a certified teacher in the state of Texas who has been asked to support a homeschool co-op, so have been doing research on homeschooling in general which led me to your page.

Regarding the STAAR exam, I wanted to comment on your statement: “Private schools, charter schools and homeschooling students are not required to take it.” Charter schools in the state of Texas ARE required to administer the STAAR exam (I currently teach at one). It IS mentioned in this article that public schools receiving funds from the state must take the exam, but then you say in a subsequent sentence that “charter schools” do not need to take the STAAR. Charter schools are considered public (schools of choice), do receive (limited) funds from the state, and are required to administer the STAAR exam.

I have learned this information from several trainings and as a parent who researched charter schools as an option for my own children years ago (stayed in ISD). If I am incorrect, please let me know what resource to review to correct my thinking. At any rate, this email is sent with positive intent, and I wish you continued success!

~tb

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