Reading TAKS Practice: How to Prepare for the Texas Reading Test

Beginning in 2012, the STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academics Readiness) test will replace the TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) test, which all students take every year beginning in third grade. Keep reading to find out how your child can prepare for the reading portion of the STAAR.

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Ways to Prepare for the Texas Reading Test

How the STAAR Differs from the TAKS

The TAKS test was a cumulative assessment that covered content that students learned over multiple years. The STAAR, on the other hand, contains more questions and tests kids on content that was covered exclusively during the current school year. Additionally, students will have to complete the tests within a time limit unless they are eligible for an accommodation.

Check the Blueprints and Information Booklets

The reading questions on the STAAR are based on the learning standards described in the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills).The STAAR Resources page on the Texas Educational Agency website (TEA) includes a link to 'blueprints' of each test, which define the content to be covered, the kinds of questions that will be included and how answers will be scored.

STAAR information booklets are also available to download from the TEA website. These provide detailed information on the tests, including objectives in each subject area, how specific skills and knowledge will be evaluated and example questions your child can use for practice.

Use Study Guides

STAAR study guides, published by the TEA for each grade level and subject, feature tips on studying and test taking, as well as sample questions and other tools to help students prepare for the tests. Free PDF versions of the guides are available on the STAAR Resources site.

Review Released Tests

Since the STAAR has multiple-choice questions about reading passages, you may want your child to complete this type of practice as well. has free reading assessments which you can give your child for practice. In addition, Pearson Longman has sample tests for general reading practice. The questions require multiple-choice, as well as short and long answer responses, so you can use these tests to simulate a standardized testing experience at home.

Just before the STAAR test, you may want your child to complete a previous year's TAKS reading test, which you can download from the TEA website. If you'd like your child to have additional practice, EDinformatics also has released tests for the TAKS, which can be downloaded or completed online.

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