TAKS Reading Practice and Overview

The TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) was replaced by the STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness) in 2012. The reading portion of the STAAR is administered to all Texas students in grades 3-8. Read on to find out what's on the STAAR and how your child can practice for it.

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Overview of the STAAR Reading Test

Test Content

The reading questions on the STAAR are based on the learning standards described in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). STAAR reading assessments emphasize your child's ability to make connections within and across various texts and to think critically about what she reads. Your child will be asked to go beyond a literal understanding of the text to make inferences and predictions based on the information presented. The test includes both fiction and non-fiction reading passages followed by multiple-choice questions.

Helping at Home

Strong fluency, comprehension and vocabulary skills are important for success on the reading portion of the STAAR. You can help your child improve these skills by encouraging him to read frequently for pleasure. It's a good idea to set aside 30 minutes each evening for silent reading. For younger children, you may want to alternate between reading aloud to your child and having him read silently. At the end of the half hour, you can ask your child to recall details about the book's characters, plot and setting.

Reading Comprehension Worksheets

Your child can also complete reading comprehension worksheets while preparing for the STAAR. RHL School has dozens of reading comprehension worksheets available on its website. Your child can complete a few worksheets each week for consistent practice. In addition, you can find free K-6th grade reading comprehension worksheets at tlsbooks.com.

Practice Tests

Shortly before the STAAR, your child can complete released questions and previous TAKS tests, which are available from the Texas Education Agency's website. You can make the experience more authentic by simulating the test environment in your home. Give your child a quiet, clean workspace and an uninterrupted block of time. By taking a practice test, your child will know what to expect on STAAR day and will be able to do his or her best. Students are typically allotted four hours to complete each STAAR test.

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