5th Grade STAAR Test – How to Prepare?
Last Updated on January 17, 2023
Every public school student in the state of Texas has to take a STAAR test towards the end of the academic year. For all 5th graders, the test consists of math, science, and reading tests. Students’ proficiency in these subjects is assessed. Only those that can pass the STAAR test can be promoted to the next grade.
Preparing for the STAAR test can pose immense stress for students. The better you prepare for it, the higher you will score on the test. Find out everything you need to know about the 5th Grade STAAR test.
Table of Contents
What is the 5th Grade STAAR test?
Students attending 3rd to 8th grade will take a STAAR test once a year. The test coverage slightly differs each year, but the structure and format remain relatively the same.
The STAAR test is a measurement to quantify the knowledge absorbed by students throughout the academic year. The coverage is based on the syllabus advised by the education bureau. The 2023 STAAR test will take place on April 9 (Math), 10 (Reading), and May 15 (Science).
After the test, students will receive a scorecard indicating their performance in each subject. Furthermore, a corresponding percentile and the change in score from last year are also recorded. Students can make adjustments to their study plans accordingly.
Is the STAAR test difficult?
Since the STAAR test is designed to assess a student’s learning progress in the academic year, it is made to be passable if you prepare well enough for it. The questions can often be divided into three parts, including:
- Simple questions
- Regular questions
- Difficult questions
Simple questions are the theory-based ones that test the fundamental knowledge of the subject. Students that have revised the textbooks and have a basic understanding of each subject will find this part fairly simple.
The regular questions involve exercising the skills taught in class. For example, in a math test, the application of formulas, calculations, data analysis, and the use of diagrams is tested. Most of these questions directly involve a skill that has been taught before, such as communication, presentation, logical reasoning, numerical reasoning, critical thinking skills, and more.
This part will require students to transform the knowledge at hand into problem-solving skills to tackle the question. The difficulty level is fairly reasonable if a student has done enough exercises.
Finally, the challenging part involves cross-chapter questions. They require students to combine different skills and knowledge learned in different chapters to find a solution. This part will not be as straightforward and will be the hardest part of all. An in-depth understanding of the topics and a fair amount of study sessions are required to get the full scores.
The STAAR test is meant to be a fair assessment to determine if a student can handle next year’s academic work. Therefore, the difficulty in passing is reasonable. However, it is very difficult to score high enough to fall into the best-performing group, deemed elites of their grade.
What will the 2023 5th Grade STAAR test include?
Here’s what is on the test.
A total of 47 multiple-choice questions and three open-ended questions will be in the test. A reference sheet with all the formulas are is provided to students. During the 5th grade, students would learn about the calculations with integers, fractions, decimals, and more.
Each step counts towards the final grade. Students can gain step points even if they fail to arrive at the correct answer at the end. Solving an equation is a big topic for 5th graders, and students should practice the various ways to solve a formula and apply it accordingly.
Graph and chart interpretation is also a part of the exam. Students will either have to draw a chart with the data points given or analyze the graph and describe the trend, etc.
5th graders are taught all these math topics in-depth. Follow the textbook and complete the exercises at the end of each chapter. Teachers will also distribute study notes that highlight the important topics. The topics highlighted are the most crucial math concepts to be tested.
There will be 47 questions from six passages in the test. The topics covered can vary tremendously from fiction to non-fiction, from history to sci-fi; each passage conveys a different tone and style.
Students will have to demonstrate strong comprehension and logical reasoning skills. The questions will include summarizing the passage, looking for the hidden meaning, the text’s aim and theme, and character development.
To score high on the reading test, students need to present their answers methodically and logically. Most of the answers are not directly written in the passage. Students have to exercise their reasoning skills to interpret the meaning of each passage.
Reading and comprehension skills take time to develop. Students should put effort into reading more books of various genres to enhance their logical thinking and critical thinking skills. Constructing arguments and debates are also a fantastic way for students to familiarize the process of articulating solid paragraphs with meaningful sentences.
The 5th Grade science test consists of 44 multiple-choice questions. This academic year is a major turning point for students as they start to delve into more specific topics within the science realm. Specific niches like biology, geology, chemistry, geography, and physics are discussed.
A strong understanding of the topics is required to pass the test. The questions include theory explanation, chart interpretation, and formula calculation. Since a wide range of topics is covered, students are expected to study the textbook and complete the coursework diligently throughout the academic year.
Students should pay attention to the notes the school distributes and the portion of each topic in the subject. Topics that span across multiple chapters will take on a heavier weight in the test. During the school term, teachers will give out several tests to students. Those tests serve as a good reference to the format and style of the STAAR test.
How to pass the 5th Grade STAAR test?
Take practice tests
You will never master a test until you have tried doing it. Not only does taking a practice test help you familiarize yourself with the structure and answer key, but it also teaches you to answer some questions intuitively.
However, not all STAAR practice tests you will find online accurately represent the difficulty and the content of the test. You should find a reliable online test practice platform. TestPrep Online is a reputable online test library with a proven track record in helping students ace their tests.
Its 5th Grade STAAR test practice includes a step-by-step study guide, multiple test sets of each subject tested, 24/7 customer support, a detailed report on your performance, and an analytical report on things to improve.
TestPrep Online guarantees that you will pass the test as long as you follow the instructions and do the practice.
Study the textbooks
Before you spend all the money buying supplementary exercise books from other publications, spend the time to read your school textbooks first. These textbooks are approved by the education bureau and comprise the major content to be tested.
Textbooks are your most valuable resources in building your knowledge vault. Revise each chapter until you are confident about the concepts included. Don’t forget to finish the exercises in the textbooks as well as they help you visualize and break down complex ideas in a simpler way.
Utilize teacher’s notes
Write down any additional information teachers have taught during the course of the academic year. Notice the points the teachers have emphasized plenty of time. Those will take on a higher ratio in the test.
Follow your teacher’s study notes as you will easily get an idea how which sections you should spend more time on and which sections are relatively less important in the test.
Do the exercises several times
Whether it is homework distributed for the coursework or the practice test, to get the best results, you should do them at least a few times. That way, you can identify your weakness if you are stuck on the same question over and over again.
Furthermore, on some occasions, the STAAR test recycles materials from previous years or exercises with a change in the numbers used. The more you practice, the easier it will be for you to answer the questions. You might even find yourself knowing the answer instantly without having to do the calculations.
Highlight key question words
If you are often misinterpreting the instructions, highlighting question words will help. Read through the instructions and locate the question words. Highlight it so when you come back later to double-check it, you will get the essence of each question.
It is a major time-saver if you take the time to understand the questions. You will end up spending less time constructing the whole solution process and can simply dive into the calculation and presentation parts.
Don’t overspend your time on each question. Check the time regularly to make sure you are proportionally dividing your time among the questions. You should always have time to read each question twice. Do the easier questions first and only attempt the most difficult ones if you have enough time left.
How is the 8th Grade STAAR test graded?
The scores of the STAAR test are divided into three categories, namely:
- Level I: Unsatisfactory Academic Performance
- Level II: Satisfactory Academic Performance
- Level III: Advanced Academic Performance
Students in Level I show an inadequacy in knowledge and skills to be promoted to the next grade. Two makeup tests will be offered to students for them to pass the STAAR test and be promoted.
Students in Level II show a fair understanding of the subjects taught. They should be able to handle next year’s coursework. Students in Level III are considered masters in the grade. They have a high proficiency in the subjects and are ready to take on more advanced topics. These students are expected to have an outstanding performance in next year’s courses if they keep their effort up.
To pass the test, you will need to get at least 25% of the total score in each subject, although the benchmark varies slightly from year to year. At around 55%, your performance is considered satisfactory, whereas anything above 89% is considered advanced.
In order to pass, you will need to have to go through all the chapters and understand the basic concepts. Passing the STAAR test is not the most difficult, but you should also aim for Level III as your scorecard influences your academic life tremendously.
The upcoming 5th Grade STAAR test is frightening a lot of parents and students. A lot is at stake here. To better prepare yourself, get your copy on TestPrep Online now so you can be a master in your grade.