2023 9th Grade STAAR Test Study Guide (With Practice Questions)
by Sarah Duncan
By the time they get into junior high school, students have already gotten used to taking the STAAR test. After all, they’ve been successfully passing the test since third grade.
But, with puberty and hormones raging, sometimes studying (and passing) the exam can be a little more challenging.
To ensure students successfully pass the test, they must be familiar with the questions’ structure, know the material that has been taught through the 9th grade school year, and start practicing on time. This article will give you valuable info about all these things, so read on.
Table of Contents
What is the STAAR test for 9th grade?
State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness — or the STAAR test — is a mandatory test for middle and high schoolers in Texas.
Instead of the STAAR classical test that is given to grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, students in 9th grade will take the STAAR End-of-Course (EOC) assessment, where a test is given after finishing each of the courses. The STAAR EOC exam is part of the graduation requirements for high schoolers.
They have a 4-hour time limit to finish each of the tests, except for English I and II, which have a 5-hour limit. This time restriction is enough for the students to fill their tests out, but it is possible for students with special learning needs that meet the requirements to receive extensions. This should be inquired about and set with the school officials.
What STAAR EOC tests are required for 9th grade?
The Math STAAR EOC assessment will measure students’ abilities in:
- Numeric expressions
- Algebraic expressions
- Linear functions (writing, describing, solving, and graphing)
- Quadratic functions and equations
- Exponential functions and equations
English I and II
The English I test is a combination of both writing and reading capabilities.
For reading, students don’t need to simply understand the meaning of a paragraph, but they need to analytically and critically think about a subject. The test includes:
- Understanding in different genres
- Understanding and analysis of formal and informal text
- Understanding and usage of technical and discipline-based words and vocabulary
- Distinguishing between denotative and connotative meaning of words
- Meaning and usage of foreign words
- Correct punctuation, structure, grammar, and spelling
- Analyzing a theme of a literary text
- Making connections between different texts or text versus personal experience
- Drawing conclusions based on info and being able to support those conclusions with proofs
- Understanding of diction, imagery, and use of language for specific purposes such as mood, poetic value, dramatic effect, irony and oxymoron, figurative speech, satire, etc.
- Understanding the purpose of a paragraph/text and the authors’ idea/motive behind it
- Ability to summarize, paraphrase, analyze
- Ability to develop and organize ideas, do edits and clarifications
- Ability to compose an essay with a main idea and supporting evidence
Writing has more multiple-end answers where students need to do edits and revisions. They should use knowledge about sentence structure, grammar, usage, format, and pattern.
The writing part contains two types of essays for English I:
- Expository – the student is required to explain their opinion about a subject.
- Literary – the student is required to write a story and explain a situation.
English II also has two types of essays:
- Persuasive – the student is required to take a stand about a matter and present valuable, logical arguments to support it.
Biology questions will cover topics as:
- Cell structure and functions
- Evolution and classifications
- Biological systems and processes
- Interdependence of ecological systems
The U.S. History STAAR EOC test is made out of a few interconnected themes such as history, geography and culture, government and citizenship, economics, science, technology and society, and social studies.
The historical events that are included are:
- Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution, Progressive Era reforms
- Federal Government policies and legislations
- Industrialization and U.S. economic growth
- The U.S. becoming a world power between 1898 and 1920
- American expansionism
- World War I, World War II, and the Holocaust
- Wars in which the U.S is included
- American Civil Right movements
- The U.S. between 1970 and the 21st century
- Migration and immigration
- Cultural and Art movements
- The richness of American multi-ethnic culture
- Influence of scientific, technological, and economic discoveries and innovations
- Understanding how all these factors are interconnected and influence each other
Sample questions for the 9th-grade STAAR test
- Given g(x) = x² – 6x – 16 , which statement is true?
F The zeros are -8 and 2 because the factors of g are (x + 8) and (x – 2).
G The zeros are -8 and -2, because the factors of g are (x + 8) and (x + 2).
H The zeros are -2 and 8 because the factors of g are (x + 2) and (x – 8).
J The zeros are 2 and 8 because the factors of g are (x – 2) and (x – 8).
- What is the solution to 4 (y – 3) + 19 = 8(2y + 3) + 7?
- A customer paid a total of $6.00 for 68 copies at the print shop. Some of the copies were black-and-white copies, and the rest were color copies.
– Each black-and-white copy cost $0.08.
– Each color copy cost $0.15.
Which system of equations can be used to find b, the number of black-and-white copies, and c, the number of color copies that the customer paid for at the print shop?
A b + c = 6.00
0.08b + 0.15c = 68
B b + c = 68
0.15b + 0.08c = 6.00
C b + c = 6.00
0.15b + 0.08c = 68
D b + c = 68
0.08b + 0.15c = 6.00
3x² – 30 x – 72 = 0
A x = -12
B x = -4
C x = -2
D x = – 6
English I and II
- Veronica has not used the most effective word in sentence 10. Which word should replace use to create a more effective sentence?
- What change needs to be made in sentence 16?
F Change isolated to isollated
G Delete the comma after people
H Change were to are
J Change their to there
- Which sentence should Reese add after sentence 18 to provide additional support for the inference in sentence 19?
A It would be a good idea to get rid of these bad proteins.
B Another type of protein is important to building strong muscles.
C Alzheimer’s is a disease that is heavily researched.
D Some of these same proteins appear in the waste products of brain cells.
- Why does the author include the extended flashback in paragraph 1?
F To clarify the setting of the story
G To give an early example of Kevin’s determination
H To introduce characters who are important to the selection
J To highlight the conflict that occurs within the town
What is the passing grade for the STAAR test?
Scores on the STAAR tests, for all of them, are divided into three sections:
- Level 1 – Unsatisfactory Performance – the student did not pass the STAAR EOC
- Level 2 – Satisfactory Performance – the student passed the test with an average score
- Level 3 – Advanced Performance – the student showed a better-than-average score
English STAAR EOC scoring
To pass the English STAAR EOC exam, a student needs to get slightly more than half of the questions right.
For the English Writing STAAR test, after both of the EOCs are taken, the score is a combination of the two English sub-tests. The lowest score possible is 2 (one point from English I and one point from English II.) The highest possible score is 8 (4 points from each sub-test).
- A summed score of 4 (2 points from English I and 2 points from English II) gives a Basic Performance;
- A score of 6 (3+3) gives a Satisfactory Performance Score;
- A total of 8 is Accomplished Performance;
Other STAAR EOC sections scoring
The other tests usually require less than half correct answers for passing. For example, in 2021, for the Algebra I STAAR test, students needed at least 19 right answers out of the total 54.
The exact minimum number of right answers varies through the years, depending on the total number of questions.
The so-called “Raw Score,” i.e. the number of correct answers, is then converted into Scale Score.
The EOC score is important for every student since it accounts for 15 percent of the final grade for the subject. Even if a student has a passing grade before the STAAR EOC test, but fails the EOC test, they won’t receive any credit for the subject.
What happens if you don’t pass the STAAR test in 9th grade?
Each of the tests is taken as the course ends.
If a student fails to pass the STAAR EOC test the first time, they will have three more opportunities to pass the test each school year. Plus, they will be provided assistance and tutoring in order to acquire the knowledge they need.
If a student doesn’t pass the EOC test, they can still move into the next grade, but they need to attend summer school or get instructional help and assistance in the next school year. Passing all the STAAR EOC exams is also mandatory for getting a High School Diploma in the state of Texas.
If a person is not happy with the results they’ve got on the STAAR EOC, like students that failed the test, they can retake the EOC exam on other occasions. This is especially important for students that are in some special high school programs or plans and are looking to get the highest score possible.
The final score that will be taken into account will be the highest score from all the testing occasions. So, even if you got a good score, but are willing to try and get a higher one, you can retake the test.
Can you practice the STAAR EOC test?
The best way to pass the STAAR EOC test is to practice it.
Firstly, you will get used to the questions’ format. With that, you will automatically know what you need to answer, without wasting time on understanding the question.
If you get the help of Test Prep Online, you can practice using the material you actually need. They will provide you with hundreds of questions to can practice with. They all come in a realistic format and are drawn from previously issued STAAR EOC tests.
The next section will give you some helpful tips for the learning and testing process.
Tips to successfully pass the STAAR test
- Advice to follow earlier, in the practicing period:
- Get the help of Test Prep Online
- Start practicing on time – if you start a week before the exam, you’re in for a lot of anxiety
- Divide the material by subjects, topics, niches, or however suits you
- Schedule a practicing time and stick to it
- Do short breaks between studying to relax and recharge
- Start with the things you have the most difficulty with
Tips for the testing day:
- Get there on time;
- Make sure you’ve eaten breakfast, drunk enough water, and gone to the toilet
- Relax and do some breathing techniques
- Start with the questions you are sure you know
- Leave the harder questions for last and go back to them
- Take all the time you have for finishing the test – there aren’t extra points for finishing early
The STAAR EOC test is a standardized test in the state of Texas that all middle and high school students need to take. In order to get a high school diploma, students in high school need to pass all the STAAR EOC tests.
In 9th grade, junior high schoolers take STAAR tests in Algebra, English (two tests), Biology, and U.S. History.
The best way to ensure that you get the best score possible is to get the help of Test Prep Online. They have an extensive library of past STAAR tests, and they regularly update their sample questions and practice materials.
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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Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.