Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about STAAR Testing

Is there a time limit?

  • Yes. With the exception of the English I and English II EOCs, all STAAR tests for all grade levels have a four-hour time limit. English I and English II EOCs have a five-hour time limit. The test will start when students are directed to turn to their first question.


Are breaks allowed during STAAR assessment administration?

  • Breaks are allowed during the STAAR assessments. The following breaks must be included in the time limit: 
  • Breaks for water or snacks
  • Bathroom breaks
  • Breaks for physical activity (e.g. standing up and stretching)
  • Routine medical breaks (e.g. to take medicine)
  • Breaks for lunch are not included within the time limit.


Does my child have to pass the STAAR to be promoted to the next grade level?

  • The current Student Success Initiative legislation requires students in grades 5 & 8 to pass reading and mathematics assessments to advance to the next grade. For more information about SSI, see: English Brochure Spanish Brochure

What are the testing requirements for middle school students taking Algebra I, Geometry, or Algebra II?

For 2014 testing, Algebra I middle school students will take the Algebra I EOC. Middle schools taking Geometry or Algebra II will take their grade level STAAR assessments. All students grade 3-8 must take a Mathematics assessment per Texas Education Code (TEC) 39.023.


How are the STAAR EOC assessments related to graduation requirements?

Students must achieve Level II Satisfactory Academic Performance in English I, English II, Algebra I, Biology, and US History in order to be eligible for graduation. This is just one requirement for graduation. For more information about the additional graduation requirements, see: Graduation Requirements.

How many times can a student retake a STAAR EOC?

  • A student may retake an end-of-course assessment as many times as s/he may need to achieve Level II Satisfactory Academic Performance.


What does the STAAR test?

  • The STAAR test assesses the readiness and supporting standards in the TexasEssential Knowledge and Skills.  The STAAR emphasizes "readiness" standards, which are the knowledge and skills that are considered most important for success in the grade or course subject that follows and for college and career. 


What are the benefits of state testing?

  • Informs parents and the community of the educational progress of students on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills standards
  • Provides a more objective view of instruction and learning. Without assessments, education is a very anecdotal field based on qualitative information
  • Provides information on an initial basis in order for teachers to teach students according to their needs and expand their areas of 'expertise'
  • Data doesn’t lie, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. The STAAR is one point of data NISD uses to understand how well instruction leads to learning. It is not the only point of data NISD uses. We believe the STAAR is one piece of the puzzle used to create a whole picture. There are numerous other pieces of the puzzle.

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