What are STAAR Interim Assessments?

The STAAR interim assessments are free, optional, online assessments that measure a student’s understanding of a broad span of student expectations. Test questions are developed by Texas teachers and align to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). The questions include multiple choice and open-ended “griddable items” (for math and grade 8 science only).

The STAAR interim assessments are offered through the STAAR Online Testing Platform. This is the same platform that is used for STAAR summative, which means that students get practice with the online format and districts and open-enrollment charter schools can verify that their online testing systems are properly set up.

Which STAAR Interim Assessments are there?

STAAR interim assessments are currently offered during two opportunities throughout the year. Both of these opportunities are available until March 20th, 2020.

The assessments available in both opportunities include:

  • Grades 3 – 8 math
  • Grades 3 – 5 math, Spanish
  • Algebra I
  • English I
  • English II

The assessments available only during the second opportunity include:

  • Grades 3 – 8 reading
  • Grades 3 – 5 reading, Spanish
  • Grade 5 science
  • Grade 8 science
  • Grade 8 social studies, biology, and U.S History

The STAAR interim assessments also include the following embedded supports:

  • Content and language supports (English, Spanish 3 – 5)
  • Text-to-speech (English, Spanish 3 – 5)
  • Refreshable braille (STAAR 3 – 8 reading and social studies, STAAR EOC English I, English II, U.S. History)
  • Basic calculator (math and science 3 – 7)

What do the STAAR Interim Assessments Look Like?

Each test is designed to take two hours. Students may pause as needed or just answer part of the test and come back at a later date or time to finish. The test does not have to be completed in one sitting or session.

The grades 3 – 8 math and reading and algebra I, English I, and English II tests have two sections. Based on a student’s responses in section 1, the system will determine the next test questions for section 2. Section 2 includes three possible options – low (easier), medium, and high (harder). Once a student has completed section 1 it is not possible to go back to section 1 to change an answer.

How can I access the STAAR Interim Assessments?

No application or TEA confirmation is required to use the STAAR interim assessment tool; districts and open-enrollment charter schools just need to register students in the STAAR Assessment Management System.

Results from the STAAR interim assessments are reported in the STAAR Assessment Management System’s Online Reporting Suite, which provides district-level, campus-level, and student-level reports.

Registration is now open for the first testing window (Opportunity 1). Registration for the second testing window (Opportunity 2) opens November 15, 2019. Both opportunities will be available until March 30, 2020. Districts and open-enrollment charter schools decide when to schedule testing opportunities.

Learn more about STAAR, Designated Supports, and Technology Tools at our workshop in January.

Gretchen Kehrberg is a Special Education Specialist at Region 13. In addition to her experience at the Education Service Center Region 13, she has ten years of teaching experience. Gretchen is passionate about education and working with teachers to create inclusive learning environments where all students have the opportunity to grow academically, socially, and emotionally.

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