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The STAAR Tests (2024 Guide)

The STAAR Tests (2024 Guide)

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What Are the STAAR Tests?

The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) tests are a group of standardized tests that are compulsory for all high school students in state-funded schools in Texas.

Texas students take the STAAR assessments acrossall grade levels in their school districts.

Private and voluntary-aided schools also have the option to use STAAR tests.

As of 2015, STAAR tests officially replaced the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test. However, they still follow standards issued by the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) program.

Like the TAKS test, STAAR tests are taken in every grade and assess a student's readiness to progress to the next grade. The difference is that while TAKS was not timed, students sitting STAAR tests will have four or five hours to complete their papers.

STAAR and STAAR SPANISH are the standard test papers issued to all students (though it should be noted that the Spanish paper is only available for Grades 3 to 5).

Other versions of the test include:

  • STAAR A, for children with disabilities
  • STAAR ALTERNATIVE 2, designed to assist those with cognitive disabilities in special education programs
  • STAAR L is a modified version for those still learning the English language

STAAR Reading Test

The reading test is taken by all grades. Students will have four hours to complete the test.

Grade Number of Questions
3 40
4 44
5 46
6 48
7 50
8 52

The outcome of the test is to identify how well your child can understand and analyze various texts.

Your child will need to demonstrate:

  • Reading and vocabulary development
  • Comprehension of text theme and genre
  • Reading strategies to understand a text
  • Awareness of cultural connections
  • Difference between fiction and non-fiction
  • Reliability of information texts

Practice STAAR Reading Test

STAAR Mathematics Test

This test is taken by all grades. It is composed of multiple-choice and open-ended questions, and your child will have four hours to complete the test.

GradeNumber of Multiple-Choice QuestionsNumber of Open-Ended Questions

Calculators are allowed in Grade 8 only.

The STAAR Mathematics test assesses the following:

  • Operations, number and quantitative reasoning
  • Patterns, relationships and algebraic reasoning
  • Geometry and spatial reasoning
  • Measurement
  • Probability and statistics

Practice STAAR Mathematics Test

STAAR EOC Example Questions (2024)

Algebra I

1. Out of the following, which shows distributive property?

A) (7)(5) = (5)(7)
B) 7 + 5 = 5 + 7
C) (7)(2 + 3) = (7)(2) + (7)(3)
D) 15 = 15


2. To conduct effective research, scientists must be aware of the limitations of science.

Which is not considered a limitation?

A) Scientific experiments are always fully controlled
B) Questions about values or morality cannot be answered with science
C) Science must deal with testable phenomena
D) Observations can be faulty

US History

3. During WWII, what was the main function of the Victory Garden?

A) Ensure domestic food supply was not being poisoned
B) Decrease pressure on commercial vegetable growers
C) Provide more nutritional food to poor populations
D) Sell and grow foods at markets to raise money for the war

English I & II

Read this paragraph from Pride and Prejudice By Jane Austen:

1. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
2. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.
3. "My dear Mr. Bennet," said his lady to him one day, "have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?"
4. Mr. Bennet replied that he had not.
5. "But it is," returned she; "for Mrs. Long has just been here, and she told me all about it."
6. Mr. Bennet made no answer.
7. "Do you not want to know who has taken it?" cried his wife impatiently.
8. "You want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearing it."
9. This was invitation enough.
10. "Why, my dear, you must know, Mrs. Long says that Netherfield is taken by a young man of large fortune from the north of England; that he came down on Monday in a chaise and four to see the place, and was so much delighted with it, that he agreed with Mr. Morris immediately; that he is to take possession before Michaelmas, and some of his servants are to be in the house by the end of next week."

4. Paragraphs 1-10 are mostly about:

A) The new owner of Netherfield Park
B) The dance at the weekend
C) Mr. Bennet's work
D) The economic situation

The correct answers are:

1. C
2. A – No experiment can be fully controlled
3. B
4. A

The STAAR Test Scorecard

Schools receive the test results 10 days after they are obtained by the test contractor.

The results fall into one of the following performance levels:

  • Masters grade
  • Meets grade
  • Approaches grade
  • Did not meet grade

'Approaches grade' and above is a pass

The score scale differs slightly each year. As a guideline, a raw score of 19 and above is a pass. This would put your child in the 25th percentile or higher.

A raw score of 27 equals 'meets grade' level, and those who achieve 36 and above are awarded 'masters grade' level.

An exact breakdown of the score matrix can be found on the Texas Education Agency website

Your child's scorecard contains a lot of information, which can be further explained at You can also use this link to access your child's test, should you wish to review the correct/incorrect answers.

The first score on the card is the performance. The second score is your child's overall percentile.

The next set of scores are your child's progress from the previous year, their expected growth and their Lexile score.

Preparing for the STAAR and STAAR EOC Tests in 2024

The topics featured in the tests are all covered in school. There is nothing new or anything 'out of grade’.

The best practice for these tests is to ensure your child is doing their homework and that they understand what they are learning.

Reading every day will help with their reading and writing tests. Reading helps with memory, concentration and vocabulary. If possible, have your child read novels or fun books focused on historical events and people.

The US history paper requires your child to remember dates, events and people from the 1800s to today. Having your child read about them in an exciting and less obvious way will help them to remember those important details.

Your child's teacher is familiar with how your child learns and where their strengths and weaknesses are. Ask them what your child needs help with so you can plan effective revision sessions.

Finally, take as many practice papers under near exam conditions as possible.

Four or five hours is a long time for a child to sit still. Even if your child finishes their test early, they have to remain in their seat until everyone has finished.

They are, however, allowed to take supervised toilet breaks.

The more practice tests your child completes, the more familiar they will become with the time frame, the style of questions and how the topics are worded in the questions.

Practice STAAR Writing Test

STAAR Science Test

This test is for 5th and 8th Grades only.

The test is made up of 44 multiple-choice questions for 5th Grade tests and 55 multiple-choice questions for 8th Grade.

Your child should be comfortable making observations and forming conclusions based on the data presented.

For your child to be successful in this test, they need to be comfortable with the following topics:

  • Matter and energy
  • Force, motion and energy
  • Earth and space
  • Organisms and environments

STAAR Social Studies Test

Applicable for 8th Grade only.

This test consists of 52 multiple-choice questions and covers four topic areas:

  • History – US history, exploration and colonization, American Revolution, Age of Jackson, westward expansion, causes and key events/people of the Civil War.

  • Geography and culture – Places and regions of the US, physical characteristics of North America, the cultures of the 17th, 18th and 19th Century, cultural reforms in the 19th Century.

  • Government and citizenship – American beliefs and principles, important historical documents such as Declaration of Independence and English Bill of Rights, national and state governments.

  • Economics, science, technology and society – Industrial Revolution, the impact and discovery of science and technology.

STAAR Example Questions

Mathematics 3rd Grade

1. Daniel has a lot of horses. To feed his horses, Daniel buys 3 bags of carrots. Each bag has 10 carrots. He wants to give each horse 6 carrots.

Which equation represents how many horses Daniel owns?

A) 3 x 10 / 6
B) 3 x 10 x 6
C) 3 + 10 – 6
D) 3 + 10 + 6

Mathematics 8th Grade

2. Simone wants to buy cupcakes for all her school friends.

The first shop charges $7.50 for each cupcake and a one-time custom decoration fee of $9.

The second shop charges $3.50 for each cupcake and a one-time custom decoration fee of $21.

Which inequality should Simone use to find x, the minimum number of cupcakes she has to order so that the first shop total charge is less than the second shop?

A) 3.50x + 21 < 7.50x + 9
B) 3.50x + 21 > 7.50x + 9
C) 3.50 + 21x < 7.50 + 9x
D) 3.50 + 21x > 7.50 + 9x

Science 5th Grade

3. A boy notices that when he is standing outside during the winter, he begins to shiver. When he is inside, he starts to get hot.

Why does his body react this way?

A) His body is trying to fight off a disease
B) His body is trying to regulate his temperature
C) He is having an allergic reaction
D) His body is reacting to the amount of heat or coldness in the air

Social Sciences 8th Grade

4. The First Amendment guarantees Americans all of the below, except which one?

A) Freedom of the Press
B) The right to speak freely
C) The right to bear arms
D) Freedom of Assembly

Reading 7th Grade

Romeo and Juliet is part of Shakespeare's series of tragedies. Tragedies usually involve a character's moral or tragic character flaws that lead to their demise or another unhappy ending. In many ways, Romeo and Juliet is not a traditional 'tragedy' and demonstrates the qualities of other genres. It is a love story about two teenagers that fall victim to a deep-rooted feud that is not their fault. It also has many comedy scenes and follows many of the conventions of the comedy genre.

However, the events that lead up to the tragic ending are a series of miscalculations by the protagonists, a result of a series of personality flaws, and this will place the play securely in the 'tragedy' genre.

5. This paragraph is about:

A) The characters in Romeo and Juliet
B) The conflict in the play
C) The mood and tone of the play
D) The theme/genre of Romeo and Juliet

The correct answers are:

1. A
2. B
3. B
4. C – This is specified in the Second Amendment
5. D

STAAR End of Course (EOC) Tests

These five tests are taken in high school. They are tests that determine if your child will graduate and receive their high school diploma.

They can be taken at the end of any semester, between 9th and 12th Grade.

As soon as the student passes a test, that mark will contribute towards their final graduation outcome. They will not have to sit the test again in their final year.

The five tests are:

  1. Algebra I
  2. English I
  3. English II
  4. US History
  5. Biology

Your child has four hours to complete the Algebra I, US History and Biology tests, and five hours for English I and II as it is a combined reading and writing test.

Algebra 1

Algebra 1 looks to test your child's understanding of:

  • Functional relationships
  • Properties and attributes of functions
  • Linear functions
  • Linear equations and inequalities
  • Quadratic and other nonlinear functions

The test is made up of 54 multiple-choice and open-ended questions that are machine scorable.

Your child may use a graphing calculator during the exam.

English I & II

English I & II each consist of 50 multiple-choice questions, an essay prompt and two short answers.

Your child will need to demonstrate:

  • Vocabulary development
  • Comprehension of literary theme and genre
  • Comprehension of informational text/expository text
  • Comprehension of literary drama, poetry and fiction
  • Comprehension of informational text, culture, history, persuasive and procedural writing
  • Comprehension of media literacy
  • Ability to revise a variety of texts
  • Ability to edit a variety of texts

The assessment criteria for English I & II are the same. However, the focus of English II is to be more critical of the provided texts.

US History

US History consists of 68 multiple-choice questions and covers a wide range of subjects such as:

  • Celebrate Freedom Week program
  • Historical highlights from 1877 to the present
  • Political, economic and social changes between 1877 and 1898
  • 1898 to 1920 emergence of the US as a world power
  • US participation in WWII
  • Cold War
  • Civil Rights Movement
  • Political, economic and social changes from the 1990s
  • Geographic influences of the US – Goldrush, Panama Canal
  • Progression of the US Government
  • Economic growth between 1870 and 1920


Biology consists of 54 multiple-choice questions.

For this test, your child is allowed a four-function, scientific or graphic calculator.

Topics include:

  • Cell function and structure
  • Mechanisms of genetics
  • Biological evolution
  • Biological processes and systems
  • Environmental systems

Practice STAAR Science Test

Practice STAAR Social Studies Test

what is the STAAR test
what is the STAAR test

Final Thoughts

These tests are compulsory for all public school children and are a way to determine your child's learning.

As they are part of the school curriculum, there is no added pressure for your child. So long as your child understands all their school work, and completes as many practice tests as they can, your child should pass.

STAAR Practice Test

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