California Reading Comprehension 8th Grade Test

The California 8th grade reading test measures how well kids are prepared for high school. Read on to find out what your child will be expected to know for the test.

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Overview of the 8th Grade STAR Reading Test

Each spring, California students in grades 2-11 take a series of tests as part of the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program. The testing program consists of standards-based tests, which are designed to show how well California students are mastering the grade-level content standards.

The reading portion of the 8th grade tests is divided into word analysis, reading comprehension and literary analysis. Actual released test questions from previous years can be found on the California Department of Education website.

Word Analysis

Students will be tested on their level of word analysis skills, including systematic vocabulary development. Students will be expected to analyze idioms, analogies and metaphors and infer figurative language. They'll also be expected to know the precise meaning of words at their grade level.

Reading Comprehension

Your child will be expected to read and analyze text at the 8th grade level. The reading passages will be taken from a wide range of informational materials, such as newspapers, essays and other resources.

Students will be asked to evaluate consumer documents, such as warranties and product information for logic and reasoning. Additionally, they will be asked to follow a set of complex technical directions and be given workplace or public documents to evaluate and analyze. Students will also be asked to compare and contrast different resources for organization and logic.

Literary Analysis

Students will read literary passages and analyze the use of figurative language, plot construction and character development. They'll also be asked to compare different genres of literature, such as poems and novels, and identify literary devices, such as symbolism and irony.

Literary criticism questions will include identifying and comparing different poetic forms, like ballads and sonnets. Literary analysis will also include criticism of literary works from a historical perspective.

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