The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR™) replaces the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) starting in the 2011-2012 school year. STAAR™ includes assessments in the following grades and subjects at the elementary level:


3rd – Mathematics & Reading (including English and Spanish versions)

4th – Mathematics, Reading & Writing (including English & Spanish versions)

5th – Mathematics, Reading & Science (including English & Spanish versions)

What’s different about STAAR™?
STAAR includes more difficult testing methods and requires a higher level of student performance. Assessments increase in length at most grades and subjects. There is also a four-hour time limit for the STAAR grades 3–8 assessments and the STAAR EOC assessments.


For reading, greater emphasis is placed on critical analysis of passages rather than literal understanding. The grade 4 writing test requires more essays in both first-person and expository styles. On the science and mathematics tests, STAAR includes a type of open-ended question known as a griddable item. The purpose of griddable items is to allow students to develop answers independently without being influenced by answer choices provided with the questions (commonly known as multiple-choice). Most science and mathematics assessments include three to five griddable items. Illustrations of the test design for grades 3-8 are available at


The Texas Education Agency released performance standards for STAAR at grades 3–8 in January 2013, after the first spring administration of STAAR. TEA has established a phase-in approach for STAAR performance standards that will increase over a four-year period. View a detailed summary chart of performance standards for STAAR tests in grades 3–8.

How does STAAR™ affect promotion to the next grade level?

The Grade Advancement Testing requirement for grades 5 and 8 mandates students pass the STAAR math and reading tests in order to be promoted to the next grade level. Students will be given up to three opportunities to pass each test.


For the 2011-2012 school year only, the promotion requirements for grades 5 and 8 did not include STAAR results.


Districts will be required to provide remediation to any student who fails a STAAR assessment, whether in grades 3-8 or high school.



The Division of Instruction and Technology Services has also created a STAAR brochure for elementary parents.

View the NEISD STAAR brochure for elementary parents in English

View the NEISD STAAR brochure for elementary parents in Spanish