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3rd Grade Texas STAAR Test – Study Guide, Practice Questions & Helpful Tips

Last Updated on June 20, 2022

The test known as STAAR is a mandatory test for students in grades 3 to 12. Very often, this test is quite stressful for students, no matter how thoroughly they’ve learned all year long.

If you both want to better the chances of your 3rd grader passing the STAAR test, and lowering their anxiety and stress before taking the exam itself, read on.

In this article, we will talk about the STAAR test, what it is, what kind of questions it covers, how many of them, the timeframe for completion, and so on. We will also provide some tips on how to lower the pressure and the anxiety of the 3rd grader who needs to pass it.

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What is the STAAR test for 3rd grade?

The STAAR test, or as it is officially called – State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, is a test given to all students in the State of Texas. It is required for 3rd to 8th grade, as well as high schoolers in Texas.

Successfully passing the STAAR test for students means successfully completing the school year and getting the green light to move up to the next grade.

They have two standards:

  • Readiness Standard: The Readiness standards refer to the ability to follow and understand core abilities and themes important to the next grade or course.
  • Supporting Standards: The Supporting Standards are not essential. The knowledge of those themes might have been introduced in the school year but will be reinforced in the next grade.

The STAAR test for 3rd grade is usually conducted in May each year. If a child isn’t able to take the test on the officially scheduled date, they can take the test by the Friday of the same week.

If a student doesn’t pass the STAAR exam the first time, they have two other opportunities to pass the STAAR alternative tests.

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What STAAR tests do 3rd graders take?

The STAAR test for 3rd graders is divided into two principal subjects: Mathematics and Reading. Students have a 4 hours time frame for completion of each of these tests.

Math

In the Mathematics test, 3rd-grade students are tested for knowledge and implementation of:

  • The four basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division)
  • Fractions
  • Graph analysis and understanding
  • Units of measurement
  • Properties of numbers
  • Geometry
  • Writing of equations based on given data

A calculator is not allowed while taking the test. But, the student is given a graphing paper and a reference sheet which they can use for help.

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Reading

In the Reading test, the students are examed for abilities as:

  • Understanding the main theme of a writing/ text/song
  • Understanding of the author’s purpose for writing something
  • Connecting and doing correlations between passages and paragraphs
  • Understanding what the basic plot is
  • Knowing the meaning of certain words, their synonyms, and antonyms

The reading test has texts and poems written, and all the questions are connected to those writings. To answer the questions, the student needs to read and understand the passages. They can always go back and reread the writings to check for details.

How many questions are on the 3rd-grade STAAR test?

The Math STAAR test for 3rd grade contains a total of 46 questions. The majority of them (43) are questions with multiple-choice answers. Only one of the answers is correct and the student needs to mark that correct answer. The remaining three questions have open-end answers, where the student needs to give their opinion and explanation.

The Reading test for 3rd grade contains 40 questions. There will be five paragraphs, texts, articles, and/or poems, each long around 500 to 700 words. After each paragraph, there will be eight subsequent questions regarding the information of the paragraph.

If you want to take a look at the types of questions on the STAAR test for third grade, read on. The next section will give you sample questions.

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Types of questions on the 3rd grade STAAR test?

The questions that are on the STAAR test for 3rd grade are all drawn from previously learned topics in classes. So, basically, the point of the STAAR test is to determine whether the student has acquired all the knowledge they need to productively follow the classes of the next grade.

Most of the questions are multiple-choice questions, where the students need to circle or mark the correct answer in the answer document.

Sample questions for the 3rd-grade STAAR test

Mathematics sample questions for STAAR test

  • There are two lions at a zoo. The weight of the younger lion is 379 pounds. The weight of the older lion is 514 pounds.

What is the difference in pounds between these two weights?

F 235 lb
G 135 lb
H 265 lb
J 145 lb

  • After a soccer game, Isaac drank a bottle of water. Which unit of measurement can be used to measure the volume of the water in the bottle?

A Fluid ounces
B Grams
C Inches
D Square centimeters

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Reading sample questions for STAAR test

As previously stated, the main point is to show that the student knows and understands the plot, differentiates important details from insignificant ones, knows the meaning of words, etc.

Five texts with multiple paragraphs are given. The student needs to carefully read and understand the text and answer the questions regarding the plot.

  • In paragraph 6, the suffix -less helps the reader know that the word helpless means –

A one who helps others
B to help again
C not able to help oneself
D too much help

  • Which section is most likely to give information about what a porcupine eats?

F On the Menu
G Little Pricklies
H At Home up a Tree
J Super Quills

  • The details ins paragraph 1 are important to the plot of the story because they help the reader understand that Layla –

F is easy to please
G enjoys being alone
H loves and respects nature
J has been to the forest on another field trip

  • What is the main message of the story?

A People do not always learn from their mistakes.
B Spending time outdoors can be rewarding.
C Rules are made for the safety of everyone.
D Making the right choice can be difficult.

  • Throughout the poem, the speaker can best be described as feeling –

A confused
B curious
C upset
D pleased

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What is the passing grade for the STAAR test 2022?

The basic score on the STAAR exam is the raw score i.e. the number of questions that are answered correctly.

To pass the STAAR test, the student needs at least 16 correct answers for Math, and 17 for Reading. Since the number of questions can vary, the minimum number of correct answers can also vary, depending on the testing material.

STAAR test Report and Results

There are four levels of performance on the STAAR test:

  • “Did not meet” grade
  • “Approaches” grade
  • “Meets” grade
  • “Masters” grade

The first grade is not a pass, while the other three are passing grades with different degrees of mastering the material.

  • The Math test requires at least 50% of the material for passing
  • For the “Approaches” grade, 50%-74% of the answers need to be correct
  • For the “Meets” grade, the percentage is 75%-87%
  • And for the “Masters” grade, your child needs to answer 87%-100% of the questions correctly

The Reading test requires a little bigger percentage of all questions to be answered correctly. Namely:

  • At least 53% to pass
  • Approaches” grade is given with 53% to 75% right answers
  • For the “Meets” grade, the percentage is 76%-84% correct answers
  • The “Masters” grade is obtained if 85% to 100% of the answers are correct

The STAAR test report contains a lot of information. Apart from having the Raw Score i.e. the number of correct answers, it also contains:

  • The child’s performance
  • The percentile compared to peers
  • The child’s progress from the previous STAAR test (this score is available only after there is a previous test that the results can be compared with)
  • Their expected growth
  • The Lexile score (reading level)

Can you practice the STAAR test?

The short answer is “yes.” The longer answer is, “Yes, you can get the best testing material at Test Prep Online.”

Test Prep is the leading online platform for testing materials and exercise sheets. They have one of the most thorough practice tests. Their extensive research and continuous upgrading of the practice sheets make them the leading online help for any kind of test, STAAR test for 3rd grade included.

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What’s included in the Test Prep Online practice tests?

  • Updated questions based on the last STAAR test
  • Complete example and solution of the exam
  • 1 full-length practice math test (32 questions)
  • 1 full-length practice reading test (34 questions)
  • 4 math enrichment tests (60 questions in total)
  • 3 reading enrichment tests (60 questions in total)

As a bonus, you will also receive an interactive game for practicing the child’s calculating skills while having fun.

Furthermore, their pack also includes study guides, score report examples and explanations on everything you need in order to help your child pass the 3rd-grade STAAR test.

Tips to successfully pass the STAAR test

To successfully pass the STAAR test there are a couple of tips that you can follow. Make sure that you ease your child into the regular STAAR tests that they will take throughout their school years.

Even for the best students out there, a test is a test, and that makes them anxious. With that, they forget details, rush through the material, or completely block out.

Tips for long-term preparation for the STAAR test:

  • Make sure they always do their homework
  • Make sure that they understand the material they learn
  • Give them books, magazines, or booklets to read out loud
  • Come up with interesting learning games for leisure time
  • Give positive feedback and motivate your children

Tips for short-term preparation before the STAAR test:

  • Practice with your children
  • Give them preparation sheets and practicing material
  • Make interesting and fun games that you and your child can play, while learning
  • When practicing, give regular breaks after 15-20 minutes of learning
  • Give positive affirming feedback to your kid. Even if they do poorly, there always is a way to say that in a positive way

Tips for the day of the testing:

  • Make sure that they get enough sleep the night before the exam
  • Make sure that they have breakfast and water before testing
  • Make sure that they’ve gone to the toilet before the exam
  • Give them a pep talk before they start
  • Reassure them that the test is not hard and that they’ve practiced all they need to know
  • Tell them that is okay to not know an answer
  • Tell them to move to the next question if they can’t answer a particular question and come back to that one later on

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Conclusion

The STAAR test is mandatory in the state of Texas. All through middle and high school, students take the STAAR test at the end of the year, as a control test that they’ve learned the subjects covered in the grade they’re finishing.

For 3rd graders, it is the first time taking the STAAR test. So, they can be very anxious and nervous about the test. To help them, you can use the help of Test Prep Online. They have all the practicing sheets and materials you need, so your third grader can pass the STAAR with the best grade.

Written by Victoria Todorovska

Victoria (or Viki) is a Freelance Writer, Psychologist, and Gestalt Therapy Consultant. With years of experience in higher education as well as counselling others, she is well-placed to offer expert advice on guiding others up the career ladder.

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