4th Grade STAAR Test – Ultimate Study Guide for Parents
Last Updated on January 20, 2023
The STAAR Test is a standardized test issued to middle and high schoolers in the state of Texas. Other than just measuring performance and academic success, the STAAR test serves as an objective measure for students’ readiness to move into the next grade.
The first mandatory STAAR Test for middle school is in 3rd grade. So, 4th graders already have previous experience of taking the STAAR test. But, that doesn’t mean that they don’t feel scared or anxious before the testing day.
To help 4th graders in their practice for taking the STAAR test, we have covered all you need to know about the STAAR Test in this guide. We will include what the test entails, how to prepare, example questions, and where you can find the best practice materials online.
What is the STAAR test for 4th grade?
The STAAR Test, officially called the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, is a mandatory exam for middle and high schools in the state of Texas.
The STAAR test serves a couple of purposes:
- It measures the level of knowledge that the student acquired during the school year
- It measures if the student has gained the minimum knowledge they need to actively follow lessons from the next grade
- It measures the academic acceleration of the student by comparing subsequent grades (in this case, the academic success of 3rd grade and 4th grade)
- It measures the academic success of the student compared to their peers
What STAAR tests do 4th graders take?
4th graders take the STAAR test within three categories:
Each test’s questions measure only topics and lessons that have been taught in the current grade.
So, the test for 4th grade will naturally be a little harder than the one that students took in 3rd grade. Nonetheless, the complexity of questions is consistent and aligned with the knowledge they should have acquired through the 4th grade.
The following paragraphs will cover each category and the topics that the 4th grader should know.
Mathematics STAAR test
The Math sub-test of the STAAR test for 4th grade will measure the following abilities:
- Reading, writing, and comparing whole numbers
- Reading, writing, and comparing decimal numbers
- Operations with fractions
- Basic operations with whole and decimal numbers
- Multiplication and division patterns and rules
- Attributes of geometric figures
- Measurements for area, perimeter, capacity, weight, temperature, and time
- Collecting, organizing, and interpreting data from charts, graphs, and tables
Reading STAAR test
The reading STAAR test for 4th grade measures the student’s abilities such:
- Vocabulary development
- Understanding of words, their meaning, synonyms, or antonyms
- Comprehension of passages
- Understanding the meaning behind a passage
- Understanding the message of a passage
- Drawing conclusions based on the info provided
- Making comparisons, finding similarities and differences between situations or characters
- Understanding the authors’ intention for writing
- Summarize and distinguish between important and unimportant parts of the passage
Writing STAAR test
The writing test of STAAR is designed for measuring the 4th graders’ abilities to organize their thoughts, do drafts and edits, and come up with coherent, grammatically correct writing.
Some of the abilities that are measured with this test are:
- Organize their thoughts and ideas
- Develop drafts
- Do edits
- Express their thoughts in a coherent way
- Usage of the English language
- Grammar and spelling
- Spelling rules
- Establish one main idea and supporting sentences
- Paragraph structure
- Correct usage of punctuation marks
How many questions are on the 4th-grade STAAR test?
The number of total questions varies from year to year. With that, the minimum number of right answers for passing the test also varies.
Mathematics STAAR test
The Mathematics STAAR consists of a maximum of 45 questions with multiple-choice answers. In addition, there are three open-end answers where the student needs to provide their own opinion and elaborate.
For finishing the math test, students are not allowed to use calculators. But, they can use additional paper for doing calculations.
Reading STAAR test
The reading part of the STAAR exam for 4th graders will have a total of six passages, each 600-800 words in length. For each passage, there will be follow-up questions, all regarding the passage provided. The biggest possible sum of Reading sub-test questions is 44.
For the student to answer those questions, they will need to carefully read and understand each passage. But, in case they forget some details, they can always go back and re-read certain parts of the passage.
Writing STAAR test
The writing part of the STAAR test will have three passages ranging from 300 to 500 words each. There are a total of 18 questions; six of them for revision and 12 for editing. In the end, there will also be a writing prompt, asking the students to either express an opinion or explain a situation.
To create their answer for the prompt, the students will have to think it through, organize their thoughts, and plan what they will write. They should also make sure that they don’t make any structural or grammar mistakes.
Each test is done on a different day and has a time limit of four hours for completion.
Sample questions for the 4th-grade STAAR test
Mathematics STAAR test
The number of movie tickets sold at a theater last year can be written in expanded notation, as shown.
(8 x 100,000) + (6 x 1,000)
What is this number written in standard form?
– The digit in the hundredths place is a 4.
– The digit in the thousands place is a 7.
– The digit in the tenths place is a 2.
Which number could be the number Della wrote?
- A customer bought almonds and walnuts at a grocery store.
– The customer bought 1 pound 15 ounces of almonds.
– The customer also bought 3 pounds 4 ounces of walnuts.
What is the total amount of almonds and walnuts in pounds and ounces that the customer bought?
A 4 lb 3 oz
B 5 lb 9 oz
C 4 lb 11 oz
D 5 lb 3 oz
Reading STAAR test
- The prefix un- helps the reader know that the word unfamiliar in paragraph 8 means:
A partly known
B known together
C known in the past
D not known
Which line from the play suggests that Scott disagrees with Amy’s opinion of Bella?
A SCOTT: Remember what I told you?
B SCOTT: From what I can see, “shun” words arent easy for you.
C SCOTT: Besides, you’re really good at lots of other stuff.
D SCOTT: You should just keep on rapping.
- What is the most likely reason the author included the photographs in the selection “Bouncing Around”?
F To shot that the trampoline was invented many years ago
G To show that the trampoline can be used for different purposes
H To show that people enjoy watching others use trampolines
J To show that people cal perform together on a trampoline
- Which statement best describes a difference between Cassidy in the article “The Broken-Crayon Solution” and Nissen in the selection “Bouncing Around”?
F Cassidy found it easy to sell her product, but Nissen found it difficult.
G Cassidy was not happy with her invention at first, but Nissen was pleased with his at first.
H Cassidy got the idea for her invention at a public event, but Nissen thought of his idea at home.
J Cassidy made her product to avoid waste, but Nissen made his for exercise.
What is the pass grade for the STAAR test 2023?
The Score results of the STAAR test be in one of the three different levels:
- Unsatisfactory Performance – the student doesn’t pass the test
- Satisfactory Performance – the student passed the test with average results
- Advanced Performance – the student passed the test with above-average results
Since the total number of questions for a particular grade varies each year, there isn’t a way to accurately state the number of right answers for a passing report.
A good rule of thumb is:
- At least 50% of the total number of questions to pass
- 70%-85% for average results
- More than 85% of right answers for advanced performance
STAAR test report and results
The STAAR Report Card will contain a couple of different scores. The most important is the Raw Score, i.e. the number of correct answers as opposed to the total number of questions.
For the school year of 2021 the minimum and the total number of questions were as follows:
- For mathematics – minimum of 16 correct answers out of 34 questions
- For reading – minimum 19 right answers out of the total 36
- For writing – at least 17 right answers from the 32 total
The next score is called a Scale Score and it will give two comparison results:
- Horizontal Scale Score is the peer comparison i.e., how well a certain student performed compared to its peers;
- Vertical Scale Score is a comparison of the academic success of a student throughout grades. A fourth-grader, for example, will have the scores from 3rd and 4th grade, showing how much better or worse he or she performed based on the previous year’s results.
The writing Score report is different and it is only given to grades that take the Writing STAAR test (4th and 7th grade, that is). In the Writing score report, the score is a sum of the right answered questions, as well as given points for the writing prompt that the student did.
How do I prepare for a 4th-grade STAAR test?
The best way to prepare for the 4th-grade STAAR test is with the help of Test Prep Online. They have more than 20 years of experience in helping students practice all kinds of tests nationwide.
They always keep an eye for new test releases and adapt their practice materials accordingly. Plus, subscribing to their family pack, you could track the performance to up to three individuals, while getting access to thousands of sample testing questions for all kinds of grades, levels, and assessments. Here is the 10th Grade Staar Test Preparation Guide.
Tips to successfully pass the STAAR Test
- If you want to help your child in bettering their 4th-grade knowledge, use these tips:
- Start practicing a few months before the STAAR test
- Use the practice materials of Test Prep Online
- Create a learning schedule
- Take short breaks after every 20 minutes of learning
- Give them positive reinforcement when they learn something or answer correctly
- Make learning interesting by coming up with interesting learning games
- Objectively see their strong and weak points and work on underlining or bettering them
On the testing days for the STAAR test for 4th grade, help your child by making sure:
- They are well-rested
- They have had breakfast, had plenty of water, and been to the toilet
- They know how to calm themselves by using simple breathing techniques
- You support them by reassuring them that they’ve practiced and learned for the test and are ready to pass it
- You tell them to first answer the questions they are sure of
- You tell them to not spend too much time on one question if they are unsure of the answer
- You tell them to answer all the questions they are sure of, and then go back to the unanswered ones
- Tell them to not rush through the test and use all the testing time they have
In the state of Texas, the STAAR test is a mandatory exam that middle and high schoolers take at the end of the school year. The test serves the purpose of concreting the level of proficiency that the students have in math, reading, and writing.
To help your 4th grader get the best results possible on the STAAR test, use the help of Test Prep Online and our tips.
- 5th Grade STAAR Test Guide
- 6th Grade STAAR Test Guide
- 7th Grade STAAR Test Guide
- 8th Grade STAAR Test Guide
- 7 Tips to Pass the 9th Grade STAAR Test
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.