STAAR Testing
STAAR™ : Intermediate School

State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR™)

STAAR includes the following middle school assessments:

  • 6th grade Mathematics and Reading
  • 7th grade Mathematics, Reading and Writing 
  • 8th grade Mathematics, Reading, Social Studies and Science

STAAR Testing Dates for Intermediate
TEA's Assessment Calendar

How does STAAR affect promotion to the next grade level?

Students in grade 8 must pass the STAAR reading test to be promoted to the next grade. Grade promotion for 6 and 7 is not tied to passing STAAR.

Districts are required to provide accelerated instruction to any student who fails a STAAR assessment, whether in grades 3-8 or high school.

What’s different about STAAR?

STAAR includes more difficult testing methods and requires a higher level of student performance. Assessments have increased in length at most grades and subjects. For reading, greater emphasis is placed on critical analysis of passages rather than literal understanding. The 7th grade writing test includes two compositions: personal narrative that has a clearly defined focus and communicates the importance of or reasons for actions and/or consequences and multi-paragraph essay to convey information about a topic (also referred to as expository).

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 and further explanation about griddable items are available at

Performance standards for STAAR at grades 3–8 were set in fall 2012, after the first spring administration of STAAR.

How does STAAR affect intermediate school students enrolled in a high-school level course (e.g. Algebra I)?

Students in grades 3–8 who are also enrolled in a high school course will take that STAAR EOC assessment as required for graduation. They will not take more than one STAAR test in a particular subject.

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